1. We are all saddened by the loss of Taysom Hill, but interested in/nervous about Tanner Mangum. What did you see in his performance that gives you hope in this weekend's game?
The trait that stood out to me the most was the poise he had for a freshman quarterback that just came into the game against once of the most storied programs in America. He approached each play with a determination to make something happen, yet didn’t make poor decisions. The play that stood out to me even more than the game winner was the fourth down play that led to the field goal in the 4th. Not only did he show that he could scramble to buy time, he also showed that he will take the hit in order to use all the time allotted to him, AND he showed how much he trusts his receivers to go up and the ball when he throws it to them. It has been a long time since I have seen that type of play from a freshman, let alone one that has only been back from his mission for 3 months.
2. What are your team's primary strengths and weaknesses?
For the offense this changed dramatically over the weekend with Hill going down. Now the glaring weakness would be the running game. Without Hill in the game the Cougars running game was non-existent. The game plan did call for less rushing, but very few plays that were run, ended up being effective.
The strengths for the offense were quite apparent with the wide receivers. Being big didn’t hurt at all but the group also showed that they will go after the ball on any throw, and will make the hard catch regardless of the contact. If they are focused in on the ball I would hate to be playing defense.
For the defense the weakness may still be their secondary. It is a little hard to gauge with a few key players not playing last week, but I don’t think they turn a questionable secondary into a great one. The players have talent but they can also be beat as shown by Nebraska. It will be interesting to see how they play with starters back.
The strength for the defense will always be Bronson Kaufusi. He is a monster and loves the backfield. However, injuries haven’t been nice to the defensive line so as a group I think the linebackers are stronger. Fred Warner is one of the leaders of that group and Bronco fans should remember him from last year when he recorded a pick-6 on the blue turf. The linebackers are fearless and love to play fast and in the backfield, and the rest of the defense seems to play as the linebackers play.
3. Which Boise State player(s) do you fear the most?
On offense the running back Jeremy McNichols worries me the most. By game end it could be Ryan Finley. Before the loss of Travis Tuiloma the running game wouldn’t have worried me as much. However, after he went out with the knee injury you could see a dramatic change in the defense and it seemed that the Nebraska running game picked up.
On defense it would be Kamalei Correa. If the Cougars offensive line can’t contain Correa, it will be a long night for Mangum and company. I can only imagine that Correa is salivating at the chance to play against a first time starter, and a team that struggled with the run. I think if anyone will make noise it will be him.
4. Using Microsoft Paint, illustrate a scenario you see playing out in this game. (You will not be graded on artistic prowess.)
(Editor's note: Kevin says those are our wideouts getting behind his secondary. Hopefully, Finley's been studying Mangum's bomb technique!)
5. On a scale of 80s hair bands, with Twisted Sister being "not at all" and Van Halen being "supremely," how would you rate your confidence coming into this game?
Somewhere in between is where I would fall, maybe like Poison. Not the top of the charts but never seems to go away, no matter what the circumstance.
(Editor: It was really hard for me to pick just one picture of the band. There are so many good ones! This last one looks like a hybrid of The Village People and Cyndi Lauper!)
Thanks again Kevin! And I wish your team the best of Nebraskan luck this weekend!