Boise State welcomes the Air Force Academy into the Bronco Stadium buzzsaw tomorrow afternoon (1:30 p.m. MT, Versus), and I for one could not be more anxious. I love and fear option teams, and I love and fear the Broncos. If Tom Osborne ever became coach at Boise State, I might have a joy heart attack.
With game time only hours away and with one of the three remaining dangerous teams on the Broncos' schedule coming into town, I have some nervous energy to get out. Join me after the jump as I share my feelings, and feel free to share yours in the comments.
One big thought
The one area that people seem to point to when they talk upset on Saturday is that Boise State is not used to playing this Air Force offense. Sound familiar? It's the same song, different verse, from the season-long argument that the Broncos might struggle against new conference competition. Obviously that wasn't the case, and there was never any precedent to make us think so in the first place.
Oh, right. The Rice game. Boy, you let one option offense run up and down the field on you 10 years ago ...
Yes, the Rice game happened. No, it's not a harbinger for tomorrow. The 2011 Boise State team is not the 2001 Boise State team in several important ways like a) Dan Hawkins is not its head coach, b) the defense is NFL caliber everywhere you look, and c) the Broncos have shut down a myriad of different offenses the first time they saw them (Oregon, for one).
Add to that the fact that this game is in Bronco Stadium and the Bronco offense is nigh unstoppable and will most definitely score more than 14 points, and we find ourselves comparing apples to oranges. Sure they're both fruits, just like Rice and Air Force are both option teams. But let's not get carried away with ourselves. Any similarities between a game from 2001 and a game from 2011 will be coincidence.
Several little thoughts
I am emotionally prepared for Air Force to get at least one big pass over the top ... I said on Wednesday that Air Force will have to win this game in a shootout if it wants to win this game at all. But just how many points would the Falcons need to get? I don't see Boise State scoring under 35 and I don't see Air Force scoring over 40 ... UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel got the stamp of approval until the end of the season, so there's one less Coach Pete coaching rumor I have to worry about over the holidays ... For how many of you was this game one of the top two or three most concerning games coming into the season? And where does it rank now? For what it's worth, I'm more worried about Air Force than San Diego State, and I have no rational reason to explain that other than Fisher DeBerry is in my head ...
What pregame thoughts and feelings and emotions do you have? Should the Rice game be used to predict what might happen on Saturday against Air Force? How many points do you think the Falcons need to score to keep it close? Share your thoughts in the comments.