Well here we are, Bronco fans on the cusp of seeing our beloved team navigate it's way through another unbeaten season. The only thing that stands in the way is the pesky Nevada Wolfpack, led by their bird-legged quarterback Colin Kaepernick (by pesky I mean overrated, and by bird-legged I mean he really is a bird. We just aren't sure which kind yet. So far the nominations are angry ostrich and flamingo). What is in store for Boise State in the Biggest Little City in the World? Does the Wolfpack have any idea of the buzz saw that they are about to run into? Why am I the boy who cried wolf? What type of fowl is Mr. Kaepernick? How short really is Chris Ault? There are so many questions and some of them will be answered after the jump.
Let's get one thing straight. Nevada is a good team. They are easily the most talented group that Boise State will have faced since the opener against Virginia Tech. So as much fun as we make of them and the diminuative stature of their head coach, this could potentially be a great match up to see. On the other hand, it could easily turn into another Hawaii or Fresno State contest where the Broncos are so dominant that it makes their opponent look very much like "the Little Sisters of the Poor." Either way, keep your eyes glued to the screen. In fact there should be no reason to leave your couch on Friday. Let your over-used stomach continue to recover from the glutton-filled day before as you feast on Auburn at Alabama followed by Arizona at Oregon followed by Boise State at Nevada. Let's get it on!
As we all know, Nevada's bread and butter is the run game. As you also know, the Broncos are really good at stopping the run. Just ask Ryan Williams, Darren Evans, Jacquizz Rodgers, and Robbie Rouse. What makes it so difficult for normally good running backs to gain yardage? I'll give you the answer in 5 words; Billy Winn and Chase Baker. They clog up the middle. The linebackers behind them aren't too shabby either, even with the loss of Byron Hout. Boise State will be able to contain The Bird and running back Vai Taua, limiting them to what I am guessing will be pretty much season lows in rushing. Take it to the bank baby! Look at these numbers for Kaepernick the last three times we have played them:
2007-177 yards rushing
2008-70 yards rushing
2009-31 yards rushing
The first year was due to the fact that Boise State had absolutely no tape on the kid and didn't have a clue what to expect from him as it was only his second start. He proceeded to shred the Broncos with long run after long run. Luckily, the Wolfpack defense couldn't stop anybody either. In 2008, Boise State deployed a spy on Kaepernick and limited his production. The only reason the score was so close in that game (41-34) was because Kellen Moore threw two pick-sixes (note; that won't happen this time around. I promise.) In 2009, The Bird did nothing with his scrawny little legs (the spy was also used).
So what does that leave us with? Nevada's passing game. Allegedly, it is much improved. Like I have said all season; I'll believe it when I see it. They do have some good receivers. If the quarterback can deliver the ball with precision and accuracy, then the Wolfpack have a good chance of winning this game. Unfortunately for them, I don't see that accuracy thing happening. Couple that with the fact that Brandyn Thompson and Jamar Taylor are playing like out-of-their-mind-lock-down-cornerbacks right now and you have before you a very tall task for Kaepernick and his receivers, one that I don't see them completing.
I have said this same thing for the Hawaii and the Fresno State game, but I'm going to say it again (ask Kevan, he sees all my comments. I mean seriously, he must be in front of the computer all day reading all that crap we put on OBNUG). I am the boy who cried wolf in this case-Nevada will gain yards and score some points. They are too good not to. I feel confident that Boise State will make stops when needed and keep the Wolfpack's score low. Now they just have to stop Kellen, Titus, Austin, and Doug if they want to give themselves a chance to win. Sorry Renoites (I'm not sure if that's what you call people from Reno), you will not. Remember, I said basically word for word the same thing about Boise State's opponents scoring points and gaining yards before Hawaii and Fresno came to town. I ate my words then and here's to hoping that I do the same this week.
As for what type of bird Colin Kaepernick is? I think we all know the answer. That is why this game was scheduled so close to Thanksgiving.
So as you punish your belly tomorrow for the holiday, make sure you remember the things that you are grateful for. As for me, I'm grateful that i am a Bronco fan, confident in the ability of the Dork Assassin to dissect the Nevada Wolfpack secondary like formaldehyde-frog in a seventh grade biology class (side note, Reno smells like a formaldehyde-frog). Enjoy your turkey day and of course, the beat down on Friday!