Tag Archives: Idaho

Boise State’s Third Loss; What Went Wrong

Jay Ajayi, another great performance.

Jay Ajayi, another great performance.

Well shut my mouth, butter my behind, and call me biscuit. Boise State was handed its third loss of the season. They were beat 37 – 20 by a very good BYU team with a motivated quarterback, Taysom Hill.

Normally I wait a couple of days before posting about a game. I like things to sink in a bit.

Allow a quote from my post predicting a great Boise State win:

“I’m caught between my heart and my head. One should always go with their head. So I’m going with my heart.” https://jitterygt.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/boise-state-vs-byu-predicting-the-score-grant-takes-richmond-or-was-it-provo/

My head was saying 34 – 28 BYU. No apologies – I’m a fan not a realist.

Did Boise miss Southwick? A little, but Grant Hedrick did not cough-up the ball three times. Yes, he did throw a pick, but that’s what quarterbacks do.

Grant Hedrick, some lessons learned.

Grant Hedrick, some lessons learned.

Hedrick looked nervous in the pocket, but I think he handled himself well. This was his first start, it was an away game, and against a top-notch opponent. I think BYU is better than UW and Fresno.

Jay Ajayi turned in another great night (151 yard in 23 carries), but he did fumble once. Shane Williams-Rhodes had a good night (10 catches for 95 yards), but he did fumble once. Boldewijn had two catches, but he did fumble once. Is there a pattern emerging here?

Boise had no picks nor created any fumbles. You can not expect to win if losing in that department. You must create more turnovers than your opponent. A good defensive team not only stops the ball they get the ball.

I thought we’d see Hedrick tuck and run more often. He had plenty of time in the pocket and my hat goes off the Boise State offensive line. They did a tremendous job. Early-on BYU had a good rush, but for the most part they did a fine job. The running game was also substantial, although there was a couple of forth and short Boise got beat back on. One was a bad spot, but that’s spilled milk.

The d-line did a good job rushing Hill, but had trouble closing in on him. It seemed to me they were content to contain him.

It looks like our d-backs could use some more time in the weight room. There were a couple of balls that were clearly muscled away from them.

Let it be said this is a team loss. If Southwick would have been around his critics would have hung it on him. If Boise won it would have been and upset.

Now it’s back to conference play at Colorado State next week.

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Shea McClellin, The Kid From Chicken Dinner Road – A Boise State Legend & Bears’ Star In The Making.

images[2]Shea McClellin was raised just down the road from Boise in Marsing, Idaho, a farm boy. It’s an environment where you don’t call in sick, because you don’t feel like working today. If you don’t work nothing gets done because there is no one else to do it.

Farming is a tough racket. You plant, hope, pray, and wait for rain. In Idaho you plant and go get the rain; nothing comes to you. I imagine Shea spent some time moving irrigation pipe. He bucked hay and straw. There was probably a time or two a ornery calf had to be man-handled. That kind of work builds muscle and character.

They say muscle is muscle, but what you get from hard work is reflected in what you accomplished as a person and not standing in front of a mirror doing reps.

McClellin was a gifted athlete at Marsing High School. He excelled at football, basketball, and baseball, but it was football that got him to Boise State.

Boise State was the only college to recruit him although Idaho and Idaho State showed interest. I suppose when that happens it’s a real motivator – if you’re a person that can be motivated. Like I said before, being from a farm, motivation is a word for corporate types. They have a couple of motivational speakers a year to keep the corporation in the black. No, out on the farm motivation is you don’t eat and the farm goes back to the bank. After awhile everything becomes  routine, a way of life.

After watching him at Boise State for four years it is clear he doesn’t know the word ‘quit.’ He wore opposing lineman down. They were huffing and puffing while he was smiling.

He is likely as good of a success story as Kellen Moore, perhaps even more so. That story’s for another day, but here’s the boiled down version; Dad splits, Mom gives Shea to Grandma and Grandpa to raise, they raise a good kid, plays high school sports, goes to Boise, Bears draft him first round.

Chicago is a good fan city, especially for defensive players. They seem to appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes. Flash only last for a moment. They like the long haul. They like you, they keep you for life. His work ethic and personality will endear Bears’ fans to him. The Bears and McClellin are a good fit.

He’s not only blue-collar, but he’s blue turf. Boise is endeared to him also. I got the feeling that back in Marsing they’re all proud of him, but he’s just the kid that lives outside town down on Chicken Dinner Road (Yep, that’s the name of the road).

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News From Boise: New Name For Potato Bowl?

Will Mr. Potato Head become Mr. Pot Head in Boise?

Will Mr. Potato Head become Mr. Pot Head in Boise?

Just this past week law enforcement confiscated its largest marijuana crop in state history. It was estimated that over $100 million worth was growing in Boise County.

Speculation runs high (no pun intended) on what to do with the crop.

With other states such as Colorado legalizing it, why not sell it to them?

Boise has a football bowl game every year called the Potato Bowl. It can‘t be making money. Who wants to come to Boise in the winter to watch football?

If financed with the $100 million from the confiscated marijuana it can be called the Pot Bowl. It’s a beautiful compromise; people already abbreviate potato ’pot.’ anyway.

It’s just another way government and the private sector can work together.

It also gives Californians one more reason to move to Idaho. On second thought, let’s forget the whole Pot Bowl thing. Just send the pot to California maybe that will keep them there.

The weather has moderated in Boise. Temperatures are in the 70’s to the 80s. We’ve had rain. It is almost like being in my beloved Michigan (sarcasm).

On the north/west corner of Maple Grove and Fairview there used to be an empty lot. A Mexican food truck used to park there. Now a Jack-In-the-Box is being constructed. I don’t see that as an improvement.

Food trucks are becoming the rage. Boise has its share.

I like food trucks better than Jack-in-the-Box. I like frozen dinners better than Jack-in-the-Box. I like heart burn and diarrhea  better than Jack-in-the-Box. Jack-in-the-Box gives me heart burn and diarrhea.

The Walgreen’s down the street from Jack-in-the-Box is stocking up on Prilosec Imodium.

Immigrants from Mexico are starting to call Jack-in-the-Box “Venganza  dela trabajador de salario mínimo.” (“Revenge of the minimum wage worker.”)


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Boise State – Life After UT-Martin; A Time For Sober Reflection

In Boise they talk more about Joe Southwick's stache than Miley Cyrus's video.

In Boise they talk more about Joe Southwick’s stache than Miley Cyrus’s video.

Looking back at Boise State’s game with UT-Martin with such an offensive output it’s difficult to single out one particular outstanding performer. The giddiness of a lopsided win dissipated while players were still toweling off.

Normally such accolades for such a game are reserved for the quarterback. Other than the center he handles the ball more than anyone else.

If possible to say, Southwick had a much better day than what showed up in the final stats. There were at least four pass interference not called. In addition, there were at least three passes that should have been caught. Get the picture? Great game and Southwick has charged up the hill of the starting quarterback and firmly planted his flag.

Shane Williams-Rhodes is a nuisance to opponents. His real value is downfield pass plays. He is near impossible to cover legally. I don’t think he is the player who will put up big numbers consistently from the line of scrimmage, but he will be the guy who puts up the big numbers when big numbers are needed. I get that Chris Matthew’s warm Obama tingle up my leg every time Williams-Rhodes touches the ball. He’s easy to love (Williams-Rhodes not Obama).

Geraldo Boldewijn has emerged as a first class receiver. He’s running nice crisp routes and making catches. Likely this may be, in part, due to the attention shown to Miller – either way.

Except for two nice touchdown runs of 11 yards each from Jay Ajayi, a 50 yard run from back-up quarterback Grant Hedrick, and 38 yard run by back-up running back Charles Bertoli there is nothing to talk about as far as the ground game is concerned.

So, let’s talk about Bertoli. He’s been the buzz under the radar since spring drills. His first touch from the line of scrimmage went 38 yards. If not for a referee missing his appointment at Eyemart the week before the game that run would have gone another 18 yards for a TD. With minutes remaining in the game is Petersen going to challenge the call with a 63 – 14 lead? Who wants to be in the same class with Chip Kelly?

In one year Bertoli has worked his way from walk-on to earning playing time on the blue turf. I see him as a Wes Welker-type. He’s unassuming in presence and stature, but always carries a quiver full of stakes to pound into an opponent’s heart.

Perhaps by the end of the season Bertoli will be taking up some of duties of Williams-Rhodes and it would be nice to give him a complete possession of downs. I think he has one gear – forward.

We know Nick Patti can fling the ball now. I’ve watched enough of his high school footage and now want to see what else he can do. Grant Hedirck still looks like the back-up for Southwick, but Patti sure looked sweet. He didn’t look like a guy taking his first snaps in college ball. He looks prepared upstairs.

Without a doubt Southwick was the most impressive player on the field. Without a doubt the offensive line and defensive unit must improve by leaps and bounds. They’re performance to this point is no where near what it will take to win the Mountain West or get a good bowl bid.

Most students fail in college for not turning in assignments. At least turn in something. Boise blockers should at least put a body on somebody; they are missing assignments. It is mental not physical.

Think! Think! Think!

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What happened in Boise last week?

Grown men cried, mothers wept, children sobbed; Boise State lost, the city was in gloom.

Grown men cried, mothers wept, children sobbed; Boise State lost, the city was in gloom.

There was a crack in the pavement at the intersection of Fairview and Milwaukee that I observed going from three feet to three and a half feet.

Costco had a special on Chicken Alfredo. I purchased two and froze one.

There was a dark cloud of gloom over the city last week. I hate to write again about Rick Lantz and the weather, but it’s the only thing going for us in Boise at the time.

He started out the weather report this past Sunday with, “Don’t be fooled friends, that is not rain in the forecast. It’s tears from Boise State’s loss to the Washington Huskies in Seattle. A high pressure ridge moved all that Seattle moisture in the form of tears lift there by Boise fans into the Treasure Valley.”

There was doom in the city last week. There were outcries from bars. Young mothers shrieked, ran from their homes into the streets carrying and holding their infants close and tightly covering their eyes and ears so they would not have to watch or hear anymore. Oh, the humanity!

“Defeat and humility are good for the soul.” I think somebody said that once. That’s what Byron Hout really said to LeGarette Blount at the end of the Boise/Oregon game in 2009. Blount clocked Hout and Oregon went on to be a better team.

Wait a minute, that’s what Rudy at Rudy‘s shoe repair used to say all the time; “De feet is good for de sole. Now you owe me $27.50.”

“But, Rudy, I only paid $25 for the shoes.”

“Hey, look, if I charge you less, my soul would be hurting and not you feets.”

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Boise State Vs. Tennessee-Martin Prediction

I really feel stupid. Here I thought Boise State was playing the (even) lesser known college, Tennessee Williams, named after the famous playwright who wrote A Streetcar Named Desire. I was so hoping to hear their famous cheer, STELLA! Stella, Stella, Stella, STALLA!

I really feel stupid. Here I thought Boise State was playing the (even) lesser known college, Tennessee Williams, named after the famous playwright who wrote A Streetcar Named Desire. I was so hoping to hear their famous cheer, STELLA! Stella, Stella, Stella, STALLA!

Tennessee Martin, didn’t he write A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie ? All kidding aside Tennessee-Martin must be taken seriously. They would have been a better opening opponent. Starting the season with a worthy opponent like UW leaves little room for mistakes or speculation.

The Skyhawks won their opener against Chattanooga 31 -21. Granted they don’t play at the same level of competition Boise does, but the Broncos played under that illusion for years also. Let’s add some perspective to their conference, The Ohio Valley. One of their teams, Eastern Illinois, shellacked San Diego State 40 – 19 last week.

This will be an intermediary test for the Broncos coming off a 38 – 6 spanking by the University of Washington Huskies. They will play Air Force next and Fresno State after that.

Boise is in shock. Bronco fans in the Treasure Valley are not used to defeats that handily. Defeats in recent history have been games down to wire.

Boise State's offense had been a little vanilla as of late; it about time for a little topping.

Boise State’s offense had been a little vanilla as of late; it about time for a little topping.

A solid defeat does something to teams and fans. The great teams go through a metamorphoses of sorts. They look at themselves and suddenly decide that what made them great was just not showing up, but playing like there’s no tomorrow. Fans show up as if their soldiers just came back from winning the war. They stand behind the team.

All the pundits have had their say about last week’s loss. Much of the blame went to the offensive coordinator, Robert Prince. Indeed, he should take a lot of it. The defensive coordinator, Pete Kwiatkowski, must also take his share of the blame. There seemed to be something missing from the all and all ambiance of Boise State. This falls on the shoulders of head coach Chris Petersen and the senior leadership.

I’d like to back up for a moment; Prince, Kwiatkowski, and Petersen have all paid their dues and showed their worth. Their credentials are not in question; they’re solid. That leaves the senior leadership.

I recall playing for on a team long ago, the seniors were not performing. Our coach started an all sophomore line-up. We got the point. At half-time we would have ran through a brick wall and burning building to start. “If ya ain’t playin’ worth a dime you’ll find your behind for a time on the pine.” It’s not so much about performance as it is attitude. Seniors must perform and lead.

The hope is for big things against Tennessee-Martin. This is a test, a big test. I’m going to go wild again and say Boise State over Tennessee-Martin 49 – 0. If it was Tennessee-Williams I’s say Boise by 3 – 0, mainly because of boring dialogue.

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What Does Boise Football Have To Do With Sewage Problems?

Many feel a Boise State win will come down to the foot of the kicker, Dan Goodale.

Many feel a Boise State win will come down to the foot of the kicker, Dan Goodale.

Boise will be quiet this Saturday night except for anticipated problems with the city’s sewage system (more on that later). Boise State has its first game of the season with the University of Washington in Seattle.

Every decent citizen will be at the game in Seattle or perched in front of their TV like crows on a telephone wire.

Fans in Boise are not like fans anywhere else. They don’t take losses like a Michigan fan or Ohio State fan does. Ohio State could win a national championship and the fans will say, “But last year we lost two games.” Boise State fans move on. They know there will be a tomorrow.

A typical Ohio State fan remembers every defeat in their lifetime with clarity, but are vague about the wins. The losses are so painful.

Boise State is so used to being the underdog it is the wins they remember more than the losses. Sure the losses are tough, but the murder rate and wife-beating don’t escalate like it does in Ohio and Michigan after a loss.

Kyle Brotzman, a Boise place kicker missed a field goal that would have given Boise a win and a possible shot at the National Championship a couple of years ago. After the immediate angst he was quickly forgiven. He was remembered for all the good he did over the years. Sure there were some reported death threats, but they were from Ohio, Michigan, and California transplants.

Michigan will never forget opening game loss to Appalachian State on September 1, 2007 (I won’t let them). Ohio State doesn’t care whether they win, they just don’t want to lose; if that makes sense.

Boise State is an underdog in the upcoming game. That’s where they want to be.

Last year Boise beat Washington in the MAACO Bowl. Some might think this gives UW a revenge advantage. The only thing Boise won the score. UW pushed them around the field like a schoolyard bully. Boise knows they got beat. They have something to prove.

Home field advantage is not all it’s cracked up to be. It makes the home team overconfident.

Prognosticators and analyst alike look at games three ways from Sunday (or is that seven – same thing) for the advantage of one team over another no matter how inconsequential. It doesn’t make any difference whose birthday it is or what a quarterbacks biorhythm chart is, or which team wins the most games closest to a full moon during odd-numbered months; the best team wins. It all comes down to skill, conditioning, preparation, and motivation.

I don’t know how good Boise State is this year. I hope they are real good. Nevertheless nobody will know until the first game is over. Nobody can make an assessment on anything from the past. The only thing that is really known is that Boise and UW are two good teams.

I’m assuming Boise has remained motivated better than most in the off-season. I assume Chris Petersen is the smartest guy on both sidelines. I’m assuming Boise players have honed their skills to an art. I’m assuming they have bigger hearts.

There is a good thing about Boise, the fans, and the people; win or lose there will be no riots, fires, or cars turned over in the streets. They know how to win, they know how to lose.

The city of Boise Sewage Department has only one overwhelming concern. There will likely be at least 50,000 Bud Light drinking males who will be holding it until the final knee taken by Nick Patti. They will all rush to the john at the same time and flush within seconds of each other. The overload to the Boise sewage system will be catastrophic! For those near the river, watch the game from high ground.


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