More Boise State thoughts

I wasn’t the only one who took a look at Boise State’s opener from last season for some insight.  Over at Team Speed Kills, Year2 did the same and shared a few observations about what he saw, like this one:

… Watching Boise’s defense felt a lot like watching Auburn’s defense from a year ago. If you’re running it up the middle on them, or they guess correctly about what you want to do, they will stop you. They got a fair amount of pressure in the backfield too. However when Tyrod Taylor had time to throw, he picked apart the Bronco secondary. He posted a 169.2 passing efficiency for the game, his second-highest of the season against good teams. It would have been even higher if not for two obvious pass interference penalties that Boise’s secondary committed to prevent long plays from succeeding. Boise State also had issues with Taylor’s athleticism, as it doesn’t have elite athletes on defense to combat the other team’s elite athletes.

For what it’s worth, Aaron Murray’s passer rating in last year’s Auburn game was 170.83.  And I doubt Boise State will be trotting out anyone like Nick Fairley.

But here’s the easier said than done part of his analysis.

… What Mike Bobo will want to do is find ways to get his elite athletes in space. Orson Charles sticks out to me as the biggest potential mismatch, but he’s got some good ones in Tavarres King and Isaiah Crowell also. He’ll also need to be productively unpredictable because you can gash Boise if the defense guesses incorrectly. BSU’s defense also had a distinct bend-but-don’t-break flavor to it, so Bobo can’t get impatient and stop taking what the defense gives him.

This part is spot on, though.

… If Georgia can come into it focused and treat it like any other game, it will have an excellent chance to win. I just don’t know where this team will be at mentally in the wake of last year, after the hype of the “Dream Team” recruiting class, and with the desire to vindicate the head coach.

Hell, nobody knows right now.

If I had to lay out my three keys to the game in descending order, this is what I’ve got:

  1. The lines on both sides of the ball have to play well.
  2. Whatever funk grabbed this team last season at crucial moments has to be fully banished.
  3. Mike Bobo needs to show up for an entire 60 minutes without thinking of the word “balanced”.
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44 Comments

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44 responses to “More Boise State thoughts

  1. Chadwick

    My two cent analysis is that it is up to the defense. The ball is in Grantham’s court. Boise wins with quick explosions of multiple scores that seemingly paralyze teams. Bobo and Murray can’t have a UCF game, but the defense must be stout. I have always been 100% behind the Erk Russell philosophy, to paraphrase, if they don’t score we can’t lose. For me, that has always summed up football, even in the age of the spread, west coast offense, the wishbone, the veer…..

  2. Actually, Senator, you pretty much laid out the three keys to the season. I’m most interested in point #2.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      There’s a fourth: the coaching staff has to stop making f*cked up decisions at the end of the game that cause the Dawgs to lose. See 2010 games, UGA-Arkansas, UGA-Colorado and UGA-FLA as examples.

  3. haws1178

    I watched a replay of the BSU and Nevada game last night and hell I thought they looked weak and slow compared to what I normally see (SEC football). I say that meaning both teams. I’m not so sure that either one of those teams could have beat UGA last year on that weekend. For those of you that are superstitious the last team that was ranked 19th beat boise (Nevada).

    • Dawgfan Will

      I watched that as well. I was struck by the tale-of-two-halves for Kellen Moore. I think at one point he was 12-for-14 in the first half; after halftime, the commentators made mention of the fact that Nevada was brining more pressure, and he definitely seemed more rattled. He wound up going 8-for-17 down the stretch. Of course, he still didn’t make any real mistakes, but if we can get some pressure on him, we can definitely disrupt their passing attack.

      Now don’t ask me about Doug Martin, ’cause he looked like a nightmare.

  4. Spence

    Key playmakers in space with unpredictability?!? Carlton Thomas is out for the game, and I don’t know who else will run up the middle on third and long.

    We. Are. Screwed.

  5. Will Trane

    Senator you have done a great job on your site today and this season. If the coaches and team does as good it will be fun and successful. Thanks for your work and craft.

    Just wondering how much Jenkins will play considering his strenght and conditioning coming into camp, first year under TG, preparation for BSU with a week out due to injury. Do not think this is something CMR had planned for re D line. It will be interesting to see how many players and plays the D uses in the first half. What will help the Dawgs in this game and first half of season with O line depth and the RB situation would be some turnovers and short field position.
    TG has been silent about the BSU offense and their new O coordinator. It will interesting to see what changes they run against the Dawgs.

  6. baltimore dawg

    i still think #2 is the most crucial, although i think it’s pretty clear from his past comments that bobo thinks being “balanced” is the same thing as being “unpredictable.” i hope he’s figured out that opposing defenses can track the number of run vs. pass plays as easily as he can. if our guys can just block for the run, i doubt there will be much complaining about bobo.

    • Dawgfan Will

      For shits and giggles, I tried to run a “balanced” offense on NCAA12. I got my ass kicked regularly. Then I just started handing it off to Samuel and Crowell, and low and behold, SEC championship game.

      Ah, if only it were that easy in real life.

      • James Stephenson

        That’s funny, I run a balanced PA offense in NCAA and seldom lose. God, I love setting up the PA, the TE is always open. And with Charles, lets just say it is fun.

        • Dawgfan Will

          Man, I only make PA work every once in while. It’s a sure fire sack (often accompanied by a fumble) for me 3 times out of 4.

          • James Stephenson

            If they blitz, you have to hit the full back out in the flats, 9 times out of 10 he will get 10 yards on a blitz, unless it is cover 2, if it is cover 2, you have to get the te as soon as you drop back.

            • Dawgfan Will

              Dude. I bow to your superior hand-eye coordination and coverage reading. I tried it last night and my QB wound up with a turf beard by the end of the game. I’ll just go back to handing it off. :-)

              • James Stephenson

                Yes, whoever programs NCAA D-Linemen AI does not seem to realize that linemen would freeze on a PA. Instead sometimes it seems they ignore the RB and just run for the QB and the fake hand off gives them enough time to get there.

  7. ScoutDawg

    I think Richt is being a little crafty at this point about injuries, Samuel, Jenkins. I won’t be surprised to see them at full speed in the dome.

  8. 81Dog

    the bottom line for me is not whether Boise has a good team (they do), or whether they are capable of beating us (they are), but simply whether we show up ready to go from the opening kick. Too many times, starting with the West Virginia game in 2005, we come out sleepwalking, get in a tremendous hole, and end up gacking one up to an inferior, or at least beatable, team.

    Our A game beats Boise’s A game. Of that, I have no doubt. The real question is whether UGA brings its A game. Our C game versus their A game won’t end well for us. I actually have faith that all the happy talk this offseason isn’t just talk, so I guess I’ll have another shot of Kool Aid, bartender. GATA!

    • Prov

      I don’t remember what UGA’s A-game looks like.

      • D.N. Nation

        Eh, vs. UT and Vandy last year was a reasonable estimate. (Some of vs. Kentucky, too.)

        • Prov

          Fair enough. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the Dawgs can’t get it back. It just seems like a long time since they’ve played lights-out in a big game.

    • Macallanlover

      I agree 81 that we have to hit the ground running and be focused, the great thing about that is I have no doubts that will happen. I have several questions about how this team will shake out, but focus for the opener isn’t on my list. Richt will bring a very determined, prepared game to The Dome on September 3.

      The ability and depth quesions are the unknowns about this UGA team. We have talent in spades but much of it is inexperienced, or has inexperience backing up the position. I agree with Chadwick, the biggest factor in game one is the Dawg defense. If it is as good as everyone hopes, UGA will win. I worry about our getting sucker punched by an offense that is pretty creative and returning a lot of weapons. They may have lost the better receivers but anyone on their team is capable of catching a pass when running all alone because our secondary didn’t stay disciplined. (I will add offensive concerns to my worries about the game against The Cocks.)

  9. AlphaDawg

    “Bobo can’t get impatient and stop taking what the defense gives him”…thanks, i’ve found my pessimistic side

  10. daryl

    “3. Mike Bobo needs to show up for an entire 60 minutes without thinking of the word “balanced”.”

    Bingo

  11. JBJ

    We need swagger on defense. Smashmouth, take no prisoners. I want to see Tree lighting up Broncos all over the field. If we are going to get this program on track, then defense is the catalyst in my mind.

    The rhetoric is over. It’s showtime.

    • Ginny

      Nine months from now I would love to see a violent Tree highlight video. He’s probably the player on defense I’m most excited to see.

    • Bad M

      Exactly. Fundamentals people. Get after their @sses.
      If there aren’t three red jerseys around the ball every down, then after the game run up the stadium for each slack play. I’d give them a break if its a one or two man sack, though.
      Bump the receivers off the line. Heck, don’t just bump them, knock ‘em to the ground. It’s within the rules. (They better not be able to beat them deep even with pressure.)
      Stop standing up when you are rushing the passer. The reason you are in a 3 or 4 point stance is so you can get under the guy in front of you, lift him up, and push him back. Just pushing back one or two feet can help collapse the pocket. Stop standing and playing patty-cake.
      Stop watching the play happen and get down field and block. It may not help most plays, but there will be three or four where it will allow the ball carrier to break one.

  12. doofusdawg

    Bobo getting players in space has been my mantra for three years.. hopefully this year will not require eleven defenders to be knocked down on each play to create said space.

  13. yurdle

    I think this game fall particularly heavy on the OL. If we can control the tempo when we have the ball and run with success, that’s a back breaker for Boise. That DL is real good but it’s undersized. Boise basically plays 4 DEs, and is unproven in the secondary. If they start having to bring more guys into the box, Murray will get his chances. That whole defense is built around a small DL, and if we can get ‘em where they think they’s strong, they’ve got no plan B.

    On D, defending Boise is a crapshoot. Petersen and Moore will get their points. If we can pressure Moore, we can win in blowout. But, even if we can’t pressure Moore, we still win if our OL can be decisive.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Remember that Outback Bowl game when everyone said we were so undersized against the Badgers?

      • yurdle

        Not the same thing. We were just smaller. Here, Boise is built around using speed on the DL because that’s what is most effective against the offenses and personnel they compete against. We have a pretty linear, straight-ahead running game, something they’re not used to (especially when run with big lineman). Is size decisive? No. But, given our guys and their guys, lining up and coming right at ‘em seems to produce the most favorable matchups. You disagree?

      • James Stephenson

        Also remember the O-Line for Wisc had not seen D-linemen who could run that fast. Our O-Line sees it every game. Fact is, whenever the RB got the ball that game, our D-Line had blown past their O-line.

        I bet those O-linemen still have nightmares. Our O-line will not be impressed with the speed or shouldn’t be. In fact, our D-line is bigger than Boise, but just as fast. Especially when you count for Jones off the corner, oh boy.

  14. 69Dawg

    I watched the BSU Nevada game too. If we let BSU play it’s usual game of score fast we will see another WVU game where we try and come back and fail. BSU is a Shock and Awe team. They get the lead and then try to hold on. If the lead is great enough they then take advantage of the other teams errors while trying to catch up to pad the score.

  15. OKDawg

    Fully agree with your 3 keys, Senator. Look forward to seeing how this season develops – it has been the most difficult to predict or get my brain around in a long time.

  16. Jim

    Who thinks we will do the following
    - win the toss and get the ball
    - start right off the bat trying to run the ball down their throat
    - score on our first drive with nothing but running plays

    We did it against tech on 09 and florida in 07 (though we recovered a fumble as opposed to winning the toss and taking the ball) and those two games turned out ok…

    I have not studied boise’s personnel but if they are really playing the equivalent of 4 DEs then that would be my game plan. 2nd drive? Boot legs and play fakes to king, brown and charles for another score

    Please dont run any screens unless we have figured out how to run them better than last year…

  17. OC_Dawg

    “BSU’s defense also had a distinct bend-but-don’t-break flavor to it”

    Bring back Willie to run the scout team!

  18. Awesome- your line about Bobo and the word “balanced” was hilarious!!!! http://www.wedgeorgia.com