Zag's Frags.. Week 2

Our very own Zagco delivers up a hot steaming plate WAC Football predictions for your perusal and abusal... **Caution.. may cause intermittent fits of laughter, consternation, irritated bowels, lumbar throbbing, and inner-thigh chaffing(?).. Prolonged contact with your senses may lead to a numbing sensation and a reputed (albeit unconfirmed) diminution in brain cells. Read at your own risk.**

Nevada-Reno Wolfpack v. Arizona State Sun Devils
Where: Tempe, Arizona
When: Saturday, September 9, 2006, 4:00 pm MT

Down in the Grand Canyon State, where the official neckwear is a bolo tie, the monkeys are apparently running the zoo. One can only wonder if Dirk's little helpers will ever band together for a purpose like playing in harmony, with a sense of purpose and direction. Dirk's new democratic style of management is quite a departure from the cold blooded reptilian creature that we knew and loved so much.

Last week, the Sun Devils needed a 21 point fourth quarter rally to topple the I-AA Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona. Reno's world famous Pistol Offense came up with 351 yards and 19 points last week, although in Canada it would have been 500 yards and 30 points. Reno's interior run defense also looked crappy, although it is possible that Chris Ault might invent a newfangled defense between now and Saturday. Zagco expects the step up in competition for the Sun Devils to be a wakeup call.

Dirk's Player-Assistant Coaches 45, Nevada-Reno 17.

Utah State Aggies v. Arkansas Razorbacks
Where: Fayetteville, Arkansas
When: Saturday, September 9, 2006, 5:00 pm MT

Utah State can try to shift blame away from itself following its 38-7 loss to Wyoming by blaming it on "those damn jocks in Laramie," but the fact of the matter is that the Aggies stunk up the joint and should have been thrown in the hoosegow.

Houston Nutt, college football's most pimptastic redneck, won't need to hire anyone's dad or coach to knock off the Aggies. It might help, though, if he stocks the visiting team's locker room with bags of chips. Utah State gained only 129 total yards against the Cowboys last week, and their only points came from an interception returned for a touchdown!!! That's crazy bad! The Hogs are going to be snorting mad after yet another embarrassing loss to the Boys from Troy, and Utah State is just the ticket.

Hogs 52, Utah State 3.

Oregon Ducks v. Fresno State Bulldogs
Where: Fresno, California
When: Saturday, September 9, 2006, 6:00 pm MT (ESPN 2)

It's official: Fresno's late-arriving fans are at least as lame as the Boise State fans who can't pull themselves away from their liquor and wieners.

Memo to Gene: Paint the seats in Bronco Stadium orange, so that it looks full when the game starts. Spread rumor that butterflies land on seats, thinking they are beautiful flowers.

In Fresno's first made-for-ESPN, epic clash of the year against a high profile BCS team, there's only one question: Fu Manchu or 70's Porn Star? You really gotta love the Fu Manchu, if for no other reasons than its flavor saver advantages and tough guy look, but I'm a real big fan of a guy who can pull off the 70s porn star look. Mike Belotti does that. He's got the fluffy hair and the thick, trimmed ‘stache that was sooooooooo hot in the days when hair was considered a fashion accessory. When I see Mike Belotti, the first thing that comes to mind is BOOM CHICKA-CHICKA-CHICKA BOOM CHICKA-CHICKA-CHICKA BOOM…. Ah, yes.

Anyhoo, back to football! Is it me, or did Fresno look almost totally uninterested in the game last week. Their big running back looked good, and I loved the dude with the Mr. T haircut! I think they'll play inspired football against what I think is going to be a very good Pac-10 team this year, but Oregon will be too much for Fresno to handle.

Ducks 33, Fresno 18.

New Mexico Lobos v. New Mexico State Aggies
Where: Las Cruces, New Mexico
When: Saturday, September 9, 2006, 8:00 pm MT

This traditional rivalry game between two opponents vying for in-state supremacy begs a single question: Why?

I honestly don't know what to say about this game. The contestants include two schools that rival Idaho for the worst winning percentage in Division I college football: New Mexico State wins 42% of the time, and New Mexico wins 45% of the time, sandwiching Idaho's 44% winning percentage. The Lobos have totally dominated the rivalry, except for a period in the 1960s that, for some reason, no one seems to want to talk about anymore. Last week, the I-AA Portland State Vikings put the hurt on New Mexico in Albuquerque, whereas our WAC brothers snapped their losing streak against another I-AA team in Las Cruces. The game is in Las Cruces. Personally (but this is just me), I think something magical is happening in Las Cruces. Something wonderful. Something that may have been caused by space aliens.

New Mexico State 32, New Mexico 25

Stanford Cardinal v. San Jose State Spartans
Where: San Jose, California
When: Saturday, September 9, 2006, 8:00 pm MT

San Jose darn near knocked off a crappy Pac-10 team last week in Seattle, and the Spartans now have a chance to knock off an even crappier Pac-10 team. The game is in San Jose for the first time since 2001. Spartan quarterback Adam Trafalis was en fuego last week, shredding the University of Really Expensive Boats Docked Near the Stadium for 323 yards on 28/35 passing. That's freakin' awesome! The bad news is that the Huskies ran through Dick Tomey's defense for 300 yards, gaining over 7 yards per carry. Yikes! The good news is that Stanford, blown out last week by the Ducks, does not appear in any condition to take advantage of San Jose's rushing defense. All of these details, along with the crack I just got done smoking, leads me to predict a San Jose State victory.

San Jose Can You See! 33, Smart Guys 19.

Idaho Vandals v. Washington State Cougars
Where: Pullman, Washington
When: Saturday, September 9, 2006, TBA (FSNW)

The Vandals proved two things last week: (1) they are even more craptastic than John L. Smith's Spartans; and (2) the Steven Wichman Interception Show and Cocktail Hour is off and running! Oh, and a shout out to the Vandals for committing only three penalties! What big boys they are!

Alas, our red-headed neighbors who came to visit but wouldn't leave must come down from their glue sniffing highs just in time to pay the weekly hush money to the local prosecutors and plan this week's post-loss kegger.

The Vandals have no peers when it comes to finding the bright side in losses, but that should come as no surprise given their status as a NCAA Division I college football bottom feeder, with an all time record of 419 wins, 508 losses, and 25 ties. Several of their wins are against local high schools too! I'm totally serious about that. They even lost to Washington State twice in their first year of existence, both times in shutouts!

Anyhoo, the Cougs are coming off a thumping to Auburn, a legitimate Top 10 team and the home of some of the most smoking hot coeds in the nation. It was a game that reminded me in many respects of our thumping at the hands of Georgia last year, sans the full body cramps. I don't care much for Bill Doba's teams, but they should rebound strongly at home against an Idaho team that really had only one bright spot last week – running back Jason Bird, who runs like a fullback with strength and heart. Wazzu's overall numbers weren't much better than Idaho's, but the Cougs were playing against a superior team that was not coached by Satan, and I think Washington State has far more weapons on offense.

Cougars 45, Moscow Horseshoes and Shuffleboard Club 11.

Oregon State Beavers v. Boise State Broncos
Where: Boise, Idaho
When: Thursday, September 7, 2006, 5:30 pm (ESPN 2)

In a battle of budding rivals that opened their seasons with easy victories over Big Sky Conference teams, there can only be one question for my fellow Bronco fans: Should we continue to writhe in ecstasy over Dan Hawkins' humiliating defeat to I-AA Montana State, or should we thank him for his services and move on?

Bronco fans are pretty happy after seeing our offense go deep with success. Hey, it's better than full body cramps, four interceptions, and crushed hopes and dreams, even if the opponent sucked! Z looked very good. Zagco also liked the way our defense was facing the ball more, ready to make plays on the pass. Marty Tadman looks dangerous roaming around in the secondary, like a barn owl trying to decide between the alpha mouse or the kitty cat. Very, very nice indeed! Colt Brooks also deserves a shout out, as he did everything other than milk the cows.

For the past two seasons, Oregon State has given us fits for two reasons: (1) Mike; and (2) Hass. That dude made our secondary look very, very bad. Well, he's gone, and our secondary appears to have a slightly different coverage philosophy that involves trying to prevent receivers from catching the ball. This is a much welcome change of pace. I think Chris Ault invented this scheme.

I will be watching a couple things in this game: (1) our receivers and their route-running prowess; and (2) the battle between Oregon State's offensive line and our defensive front seven. Some people suggested to Zagco that we might have had a couple issues with route running last week, which is sort of maddening given that most of these guys have been practicing these routes for a few years now. Oregon State's offensive line is expected to be a dominant group this year in the Pac-10, so I think we'll have to worry about them more than any freakish performances from wide receivers.

The game will be won in the trenches. Zagco is optimistic that we will limit the Beavers ability to run with a stingy defense and an offense that will get off to a fast start.

Broncos 44, Beavers 21.

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