Friday, November 11, 2011

Spit Blood Predictions: TCU vs. Boise State

This is definitely a strange place for the Frogs, as they haven't been such big underdogs in quite some time. So little a chance is being granted TCU by the so-called experts, that I have to admit not even being nervous about tomorrow's game: if they win, that'd be awesome, but I'm definitely not going to feel let down if the Broncos do indeed beat them.

By now, most of you know the drill- but we probably have a few visiting Boise readers (who we encourage to participate in our little Friday afternoon tradition). Fill up our comments section with the following predictions about tomorrow's game and a few other things going on this weekend:

-The final score between TCU and Boise
-Who will shine for the Frogs on offense, defense and special teams
-What will be the most telling stat in the final box score
-What will be the score in the Bengals/Steelers game on Sunday, and how will Dalton play
-What will be the score in tonight's TCU-Florida Gulf Coast basketball game
-How many games will the TCU men's basketball team win this year




Give thanks to those that serve

On this Veteran's Day, I think it's important for all of us to take a break to reflect on the sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces. Without their service, there's no telling how much harder life would be for the rest of us or how much individual freedom we would have. You may have read the following story in this morning's Star-Telegram, or you may have seen it posted on facebook or received it in an email. But if you haven't read the article about Marine Lance Cpl. Benjamin Schmidt (pictured above), a former TCU student, you need to do yourself a favor and take five minutes to read this incredible story:

Marine makes lasting gift for TCU history students


Game 10 Preview: Boise State Broncos.

He's just too good.

If I could only do a one word preview for the game this weekend, it wouldn't even be a word, it'd be a sound, and that sound would be, "UGH!!!!" Never in my life have I looked less forward to a TCU game than I do this one. Not because we're going to lose; if your happiness this Saturday derives solely from TCU winning, then I have a Xanax guy to put you in touch with. I also don't even care that, with a loss, Boise's National title hopes are still technically alive. In fact, that's kind of a silver lining as watching Boise go undefeated yet miss out on BCS NC gold for a third year is almost as fun as a TCU victory sending them tumbling from the Fiesta Bowl to Shreveport. Ok, the second option is admittedly a LOT more fun, but let's keep things in perspective. TCU is going to have a very, very difficult time being the team to end Boise's gaudy home win streak. That much is guaranteed. Boise is older, deeper and has the kind of team built to rip us to shreds.

But you know what? Screw it. What kind of fan would I really be if I didn't at least recognize the potential for hope in a hopeless situation? Homer goggles can be pretty incredible. So since we all pretty much "get" Boise, in lieu of an actual preview, here are reasons to have hope if you're a Frogs fan.

Legit Reasons.

  • Kellen Moore doesn't run. It's true, he doesn't. In three games against TCU, Napolean Dynamite has rushed three times for -11 yards. Of course, you have to assume those three rushes were scrambles when he was flushed from the pocket, although I don't have the energy to dig too far into it. According to the stats, Moore has ZERO rushing attempts this season and has only been sacked 4 times. You get the idea - Kellen Moore doesn't leave the confines of the pocket and make a break for it unless he has to, which is apparently rare. As a TCU fan, this should be at least marginally reassuring considering what running quarterbacks have done to us this year. BYU's Riley Nelson had 84 yards, bettering his season average, and Wyoming's Brett Smith had 64 yards on FOUR!! runs before leaving the game with an injury. Truth be told, all things being equal with the turnovers, if Tank Carder doesn't commit Hensonicide - that's what I'm rolling with for a TCU LB injurying a WYO QB - we're heading to Boise with a 6-3 record and a 1 game losing streak. But, the things Kellen Moore does with his arm pretty much negate any perceived advantage we might gain by flushing him from the pocket, right Lee Corso? NOT SO FAST...
  • Kellen Moore has never thrown a pass against TCU. I'll be honest, this one jumped out at me as I more or less forgot how they came about their points in the BowlsFiesta and Poinsettia. Turns out their 3 TDs were the result of 2 runs and 1 PAINFULLY memorable pick seis. So, technically, Andy Dalton has thrown more TD's to Boise players in our games than Moore has. I'm not sure how that's supposed to make me feel. But it's true - we are the one team Moore has not dominated in his career. Uncle Rico has thrown as many TDs over them mountains as his protege has over TCU's defense. However, if Vegas had a prop on K Moore TD's tossed Saturday and set it at 2.5 - or perhaps even 3.5 - casino sportsbooks would lose so much money on folks taking the over that Vegas might cease to exist. A terrifying proposition, indeed. Big Gay Kellen has been averaging 278.63 yards per game this year at an eye popping 11.63 yards per reception and 67% completion rate. TCU has been giving up 225 yards at a decent 57% completion rate. To be frank, Moore is going to beat our average. He just is. The defense has improved significantly as the weeks have gone on, but other than Baylor we haven't faced an offense that has this many weapons. Unfortunately, Boise has a defense to match, so a shootout of that caliber is unlikely. So let's just get that out of the way. However, there is a way to slow down Boise, and that's to shut down Doug Martin and the Broncos backs. Fortunately fate threw a bone just last week...
  • Doug Martin is hobbled, as are backups Jay Ajayi and Malcolm Johnson. Before we begin, can we just stare in awe at what the F Jay Ajayi's parents were thinking? That's just a phenomenal lack of creativity on their parts. I'm trying to think of which player on TCU would have the best iteration of this name and the best I could come up with is Olabode Iolabodey, although Fabuluje Ifabulujey holds a special place as well. Come ON, parents! Anyway, not to draw attention away from the topic at hand, the always underrated Doug Martin came up lame last week at UNLV and sat out most of the game although Chris Petersen said he could have played in a pinch. Martin is the team leader with 756 yards and 9 TD's, well in front of second place DJ Harper, who has 365 and 6. Martin is expected to play, and Harper is a senior, so this paragraph may self destruct come Saturday afternoon. Still, this has to give TCU fans a reason for hope, especially when you take into account the above mentioned absences of Ajayi and Malcolm Johnson. It's not entirely likely that Boise will need a huge day from their ground game to win the scoreboard, but if Martin isn't at full strength and TCU does the unthinkable and shuts down Moore to force some runs, they're pretty thin in the offensive backfield.
  • Boise has a few glaring absences from last time we played. I believe I read a stat somewhere yesterday that said from the Boise State Fiesta Bowl roster there are 30 players suiting up again Saturday. That's a lot. But still, there are a few absences that could work in our favor. Some are expected - Austin Pettis, Titus Young, LOLBrotzman. But some aren't, such as the potential loss of Doug Martin and DE Billy Wynn. Defense back Jamar Taylor could be absent as well. They've filled the receiving void nicely with Tyler Shoemaker, Matt Miller and Mitch Burroughs, but without Pettis and Young, Moore is behind the career best pace he set for himself last year. However, the losses of Wynn and Taylor could be big. As mentioned, Boise's run defense isn't the stoutest, so losing depth along the line can't help matters. And Taylor's absence could give Pachall a bit of a leg up in the passing department. In case you missed it, LaGarrette Blount got a teency bit punchy once again this past weekend for Tampa Bay. Perhaps we can bring him back for a pre game repeat of his bitch slap on Boise's second leading tackler Byron Hout from a few years back? We need all the edges we can get.
  • The Frogs defense has come together. This one is pretty obvs, but it bears mentioning again. The defense has seemingly gained confidence week by week and, although you'll never confuse them with those of the past three seasons, should be as well prepared for this game as they possibly can be. Jason Verrett has been an unsung hero since week 1, the Tank Carder/Kenny Cain tandem seems to be finding their footing, and Tekkerin Cuba should return after sitting out last week with an injury. If he doesn't, though, Jonathan Anderson proved we are in pretty capable hands, although he naturally came back down to earth last week after his breakout performance against BYU. However, Cuba is certainly preferable as he's been our most consistent safety and safety play has been our achilles... not heel... achilles, like, liver or something cause it's way more serious than that. Those guys DID come through pretty big against San Diego State though so let's hope they've got another big one in them. I don't know that it will be enough, but stranger things have happened. I mean, Kellen Moore DID find a girl to marry him, after all.
  • Boise doesn't play the run well. It's true. As dominant as Boise's defense is rumored to be - and, yes, the rumors are true, they are good - they DO give up ground yards to the tune of 140 per game. It's no coincidence that Air Force's 26 points were the most scored on this defense all year. The Broncos simply do not have talent up front to match the rest of the team. I have a pretty narrow window of logic when it comes to offensive strategy, so excuse me if I sound like a broken record, but seriously, running the ball is going to be the #2 key to this game right behind not letting Kellen Moore go all tora! tora! tora! on our secondary. If Pachall can keep Boise somewhat honest, EdTuckWay should be able to find a few holes to run through, although that comes with a major caveat: Boise has the fifth best passing defense in the nation. So... crud. The Broncos are currently only giving up 165 yards per game through the air while we only average a measly 224. However, I kind of feel like this low ranking is misleading when you consider that Pachall is on pace to break quite a few of TCU's single season passing records; perhaps that speaks more to the offenses we've used over the years than Pachall himself? Need another reason to drink heavily Saturday? Dalton had perhaps the worst game of his career against Boise - 3 picks, 1 TD, 272 yards. That's not a coincidence. The Broncos haven't had to play too many big games over the years, but other than Kickpocalypse 2010, they always seem to play their best when the games matter the most. The backs and O line are going to have to come up BIG if we want any chance of pulling the upset. With Jeff Olson potentially not at 100% strength, the battle becomes even more difficult.

Less Legit Reasons.

  • TCU has no pressure. Think about it - when was the last time TCU played a game where a win by less than 3 TDs wasn't almost as bad as a loss? Andy Dalton's first year in 2007 springs to mind, although I suppose the 2008 season ender versus Air Force, which immediately followed the Utah debacle, would qualify as well. The point here being it's been a while, and it's been even longer since TCU was such a pronounced underdog. Yes, the Conference title is on the line and the proposition of Craig Thompson presenting the trophy to GP following the UNLV game next month resulting in GP grabbing the trophy, dropping his pants, pooping in the trophy cup and then Qadaffi'ing Thompson on stage with a microphone is a juicy one, the end result will still be the same as if we lose: The Las Vegas Bowl against a crappy Pac 12 team. I'm not trying to downplay winning the Conference, but speaking as one of the spoiled trust fund youth borne during the golden era of TCU Football, finally getting a head to head shot at Boise just doesn't feel the same without a BCS berth being on the line for both teams. I have to believe I'm not entirely alone in feeling this sentiment. But you know what? I'm completely fine with this. Lyle - sorry, I'm dragging you in so we can fight this battle together - were talking the other day about how losing to SMU and Baylor REALLY sucks, but the fact that it takes the heat off of this game isn't all bad. I think this will actually help the team, too. A loose, carefree team can often be far more dangerous than a team with everything on the line. Just ask undefeated WVU about 4-7 Pitt from a few years back. Or freaking Boise from last year against Nevada. There are still plenty of players from the 2009 team that want revenge, but I think knowing that losing isn't the end of the world will be an added bonus. Ok, so it's a crappy silver lining, but it's what we have.
  • They have to lose sometime, right? I mean... right? They just HAVE to... Don't they? DON'T THEY!?!? The Frogs have a bit of a history of ending streaks. They've won when they perhaps had no business winning (OU), they've announced their presence in a new Conference over a team at its pinnacle (Utah 2005) and they've ushered a team out the Conference door on their home field (Utah again). So it's not unprecedented. And Boise's home win streak is perhaps a TEENCY bit skewed due to the whole WAC thing. Better teams than us have entered that track and left with an L, but perhaps karma owes us a favor considering how we got screwed out of a home game? Speaking of...
  • Reverse Karma. I mean... right???? Come on, MWC!!! Yes, we left your ship for brighter waters, but we're a good part of the reason why you have flipping ship in the first place! Boise has done NOTHING for you! NOTHING! You gave them EVERYTHING and they left you at the altar. I understand wanting that one last BCS pay day before you become CUSA, jr, but seriously. Remember your roots. Remember all the money and notoriety we've brought you. If David Stern can influence the outcome of an entire Finals Series because he hated Mark Cuban, surely you've got ONE game in you, Craig!! Make the call; I'll get the Buffalo Wild Wings ref and water maintenance man on the phone.
  • Frogs are seemingly better on the road. I think we all know this one, although I doubt any one can accurately explain it. Guess it has something to do with the distractions being cut out, or maybe the boys take more pride in silencing an away crowd than firing up a home crowd. Truth be told, the number don't reflect it, but other than TERRIBLE New Mexico, our most complete games were arguably against Air Force and San Diego State. ... ummm... I mean, we SHOULD'VE scored a lot more points at Wyoming? Ok, I'm done.

Ok, I've sugar coated this one as much as I possibly can without outright mocking myself. I'm going to shoot straight on this one - for perhaps the first time as a spitblood contributor, I do not see us winning this game. OU in 2008 is the only other game that springs to mind since SB was in existence, but a cursory glance through the back catalog suggests I was not yet an overbearing previewer then. So, this makes it officially the first time I am going to pick against the Frogs. I don't consider this a slight - far from it. This TCU team has exceeded the expectations we set for them after week 1; if anyone told you that after that embarrassment this team would be 7-2 and ranked in the Top 25 heading to Idaho, you'd have taken the mess out of that. But Boise is just better. They're more experienced, they have the type of offense that can do bad things to our defense and they simply do not lose at home. Like I said above, there's a first time for everything, but I don't see it happening. Boise wins the battle, but TCU wins the war... cause we're goin' to the Big 12, suckas!! Enjoy CUSA+.

The Pick: TCU 24, Boise 35.

The movement watch is being retired for the week because if I'm picking us to lose, can't really pick us to move up in the standings, can I?

Blog Exchange Fail?


The look on the faces of blueturfnation.com while reading my questions.

It's Friday and the folks over at blueturfnation.com have still not responded to my blog exchange questions I sent over there a couple nights ago. I mean, I know things move a little slower in Boise, ID, but you'd think 2 days is ample time to fire off responses to 5 pretty straightforward and simple questions, but then again, I don't know the rigors of working the night shift at 711 and then having to come home and tend to your potato crops to avoid going hungry this winter, so I'll cut them some slack. Also, I noticed that they didn't put my responses up on their blog yet, so either the internet is out this week up there, or, and this one is more likely, they think I'm a dick head who didn't take their questions seriously and tried to make a joke out of it.

Since they approached us by tickling our mailsack and asking for this blog exchange, I feel like I'd be cheating the readers if I didn't follow up and finish this thing off. I considered just posting my questions on here for the readers to look at, but I decided to take it a step further and answer them as if I were a Boise State blogger as well. Keep in mind that this may read like someone from Boise is trying to read and write and I'm not a complete idiot, so beware. Now here are the questions I supplied them, and unfortunately my own snarky responses to them. I'm sorry the real life Boise bloggers have no sense of humor.

1) Does the track in their stadium just make it look that way...or is it in fact the year 1987 in Boise, Idaho?

You mean most real colleges don't have a goofy looking track around their stadium anymore? It's way past 1987 up here though. I wear a Denver Broncos Starter Jacket and Umbros. People didn't wear that shit in '87. See, we was division 2 back in '87, so we just put the track on the football field so we could double up our track meets and our football game at the same time to save us time and money. We gotsa swimmin' hole inside our basketball gym too, so we can watch the swim meets and basketball games at 2 for the price of one! Shit, man, that's a better deal than 2 tacos for 99 cents at Jack n the Box. That reminds me- I gotta head to work now, but I'll get to the rest of them questions when I get my first smoke break.

2) Does that hideous blue field actually make an impact as far as home field advantage goes, or should the credit go to the thin air, which is no doubt a direct result of Kellen Moore mouth-breathing all of the air out of the stadium while on offense?

That blue field is magic. It's the prettiest thing in Idaho that ain't got 4 legs. Really though, we just couldn't get real grass to grow there and we couldn't afford the real fancy green fake grass your people down in Houston made, so we bought the cheap stuff, and it was blue. Looks real nice with our blue jerseys though.

I don't really think Kellen breathes up ALL the air when he takes the field, but it definitely helps. Don't make fun of the poor kid though. See, he's got this problem or disorder called "Chicklet Gum Buckteeth Syndrome", where his front 2 teeth basically look like 2 big white chicklets that take up a ton of space and it prevents him from being able to close his mouth...ever. He tried out a "breathe-right" strip one time in practice and it was like someone had attached a shop-vac to his face. He was sucking in so much air through his mouth and nose that his offensive line couldn't hold their balance when he was calling the snap count, so they canceled that idea and just told him to stick to his Eli Manning/Derek Holland dumb face mouth breathing ways.

3) Did Kyle Brotzman try to blame Dan Marino for not having the laces out? Also, do you think Brotzman has a closet full of Rose Bowl paraphernalia since we all know he had to be a big TCU fan after watching the Nevada game?

It's me again, your friendly TCU blogger SnK. I realize after sending this question that immediately it wasn't fair and would confuse the simple Boise fan. You see, the movie "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" has not yet been released up there, so they have no frame of reference for what I was referring to. I'm sure the Boise bloggers who read this are scouring their media guides to see if in fact Dan Marino actually played for Boise last year.

I don't know if Brotzman has any TCU Rose Bowl gear or not, but the guy at least deserved a kind thank you note and maybe a gift basket.

4) What are the keys to the game for Boise, other than avoiding crucial field goals in late game situations?

None of this matters. We play on a blue field! Nobody can win games on a blue field except Boise! Have you seen it? It's blue. Our blog is called blueturfnation.com because we have blue turf. It's our identity. Not winning football games our graduating students (6% graduate in 4 years, 28% in 6. Ranked #614 by Forbes. Thank you, wikipedia), it's all about the blue field. So unless someone comes in and puts in normal grass, you guys don't stand a chance.

5) Do you think Kellen Moore can duplicate the early success that Andy Dalton has had in the NFL, or do you think he goes the way of other soft tossing lefties like David Greene or Josh Heupel? I see him taking the Heupel route and becoming an overweight offensive coordinator who eats his weight in potatoes while working for his alma mater.

Kellen Moore is the greatest QB to ever live. He's so great that Tim Tebow prays to him. He's way better than that Rose Bowl winning ginger y'all had. He would be 6-2 right now on any NFL team. Who cares how short, puny, and unathletic he is? It doesn't matter that he can't throw it 50 yards. Hell, I'd draft him over Andrew Luck. He the next Peyton Manning. No. He's a combination of Manning and Tom Brady, and of course Eli Manning because of the mouth-breathing.


Thanks again to the Boise blog blueturfnation.com for reaching out to touch our mailsack for a blog exchange and then failing to do your part. I realize you probably didn't know what you were getting yourselves into when approaching us, but it's good to see that it's still pretty obvious that very few up there have any semblance of a sense of humor. I mean, we should've seen this coming just based on how butt-hurt their fans got at our obvious satirical attempt to start potato boycott this week, but I thought it would be worth a shot. Oh well. At least by them not answering it gave me another chance to make as much fun of them as possible before Saturday afternoon's kickoff. Hopefully we are all still laughing by the end of that one...


Morning Dump

Football:
Boise State see's TCU upgrade on deep pass
Star-Telegram

Boise State doesn't look like a national title contender
Star-Telegram

Frogs 'D' has bone to pick with Broncos
ESPN

End of the Rebel era for Horned Frogs and Broncos
ESPN

Surveying the football scene in Texas
ESPN

Bronco fan opens arms to TCU
Idaho Statesman
Cheerleading:
Cheerleader chat Star-Telegram

Basketball:
New era begins for Jim Christian and TCU
Star-Telegram

Transfer finds comfort at home with TCU
Star-Telegram

TCU introduces men's hoops student rewards program
GoFrogs.com
Volleyball:
TCU upsets No. 23 Colorado State in five
GoFrogs.com