Zag's Frags

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.**

ZAGCO'S WEEK 4 WAC GRIDIRON PICKS

Zagco's season record is 19-2.

Northwestern Wildcats v. Nevada-Reno Wolfpack
Where: Reno, Nevada
When: Friday, September 22, 2006, at 6:00 pm MT (ESPN 2)

Reno pulled out a win last week against Colorado State, and now they get to face off against one of the worst Division I college football programs in American history. Northwestern's all-time record is 449-596-44, a winning percentage of 41%, worse than even the Vandals. However, unlike our dorky northern neighbors, Wildcat fans suffer from no delusions of grandeur – they actually know they have almost always sucked in football, insight that must be attributable to the strong academics of the Chicagoland school.

Chris Ault's Pistol Offense racked up only 381 yards (American yards) in the Colorado State win. Zagco is still puzzled by this offense, and he is beginning to suspect that it is nothing more than a public relations stunt. Still, Jeff "The Schnauz" Rowe was super-efficient, going 19 for 22, and Reno's defense only gave up 177 yards.

This is a home game against a bottom-feeding (but smart) Big-10 team that has, this year, squeaked by Miami of Ohio (21-3) and Eastern Michigan (14-6) and lost to New Hampshire 34-17. Reno will win this game with relative ease.
MEMO TO GENE: Schedule Vanderbilt.


Utah State Aggies v. Brigham Young University Cougars
Where: Provo, Utah
When: Saturday, September 23, 2006, at 1:00 pm MT (mtn)

Last week's embarrassing loss to the Utes, coupled with the Aggies' decision to kick their best player off the team, leaves Zagco feeling a bit bad about teasing Utah State so relentlessly this year. I mean, this is a program that literally hit rock bottom and broke through, continuing down into the abyss, only to find it full of harsh homegrown pot. To its students, who have stepped up so much for stadium improvements in Logan, and to its remaining players, I think the words of Mr. Hand are most appropriate: "What are you people, on dope?!?"

This week the Aggies line up against the non-dope smoking Utahans. The Y looked pretty good last week against Boston College, falling just short due to a kicker that couldn't hit the side of a round barn. This week, however, the kicking won't matter.

BYU will win in a rout.


Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs v. San Jose State Spartans
Where: San Jose, California
When: Saturday, September 23, 2006, at 4:00 pm MT (WAC.tv)

Dick Tomey has it going on in San Jose. Adam Tafralis is putting up numbers that even statistics lovers like Bleed must find eye-popping! San Jose leads the WAC in passing efficiency as a team, they protect their quarterbacks very well, and Mr. Tafralis leads the WAC with a Dinwiddie-esque passer rating of 175.6.

The I-AA Mustangs of the Great Western Conference, meanwhile, are off to a 3-0 start, having opened the season with two straight shutouts, 44-0 over Fort Lewis and 17-0 over Weber State. They defeated Sacratomato State last week by a score of 17-10.

San Jose wins big.


Louisiana Tech Bulldogs v. Texas A&M Aggies
Where: College Station, Texas
When: Saturday, September 23, 2006, at 5:00 pm MT

Who cares?

A&M wins easy.


North Central Idaho Vandals v. Oregon State Beavers
Where: Corvallis, Oregon
When: Saturday, September 23, 2006, at 8:00 pm MT (FSN-NW)

As Idaho head football coach Jerry Davitch was warning the world last week that his Vandals were going to "open it up" against I-AA Idaho State, our fellow Scout message board colleagues at Vandal Venue were chuckling it up over their marketing of a t-shirt depicting Vandal mascot "Joe Vandal" committing an act of bestiality upon Buster Bronco. Seriously. The insanity continues to ooze forth from Moscow.

Anyhoo, as the Vandals were celebrating their dominating 27-24 win over I-AA Idaho State, Coach Davitch could be heard threatening to "unleash Hell" this week at Oregon State, a threat that Zagco takes very, very seriously.

Football-wise, Idaho looks pretty bad; worse than ever. Every time Zagco flipped over to their game, a Vandal was either hurt or committing a stupid penalty. The Beavs, meanwhile, had some time to lick their wounds from Boise, and Mike Riley needs to understand his future replacement is going to be staring him the eyes from across the sidelines on Saturday night.

As big a whipping as we put on the Beavers, I didn't think they looked too bad. They had some very athletic players, and I kinda thought they just lost all focus and discipline after we stormed back into the game. If there is a serious knock on Oregon State, it is that they seem to be an easily distracted team. I do not, however, think the Vandals are capable of throwing the Beavs off kilter.

Beavers in a rout.


Boise State University Broncos v. Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors
Where: Boise, Idaho
When: Saturday, September 23, 2006, at 6:00 pm, MT (KTVB, WAC.tv)

Hawai'i and its puking quarterback and those phenomenal receivers come rolling into Bronco Stadium for a Saturday night tilt that promises to test the Bronco defense. As Zagco has said before, Davone Bess is the BEST PLAYER IN THE WAC. Colt Brennan and Ryan Grice Mullen are serious weapons as well.

Last week, the Bronco's eked out a win in Wyoming because of very, very good defensive play, great punting by Kyle Stringer, and, of course, Ian "The Offense" Johnson. It was a good win in a tough locale against a team that looked decent, especially on defense. I understand that it was windy too.

The Bronco defense will face a MUCH tougher opponent this week. Zagco likes our defense a lot, but he does not believe Boise State should count on winning this game with its defense alone.

Offensively, Boise State looked rather disjointed last week. Maybe it was the wind, maybe it was Wyoming, and/or maybe it was just one of those days. Nevertheless, they just didn't look like a well-oiled machine. If there's ever a time for that to happen, you would think it would be against Hawai'i, a team that traditionally plays super crappy defense.

Zagco implores our offense to figure out a way to really get our receivers into the game. Because of size, speed and strength factors, they present so many mismatches for opponents. Plus, Z has looked pretty good throwing deep balls – much better than last year – missing a couple here and there, and it really was looking like everyone seemed to be in much better sync this year. For now, Zagco will write off the lackluster offensive performance at Laramie to the wind.

Zagco is very nervous about this game. Hawaii comes here with its whole season on the line. Win, and the WAC title is within reach. Lose, and it's another year of being losers on the mainland.

Somehow, Boise State will eke out another win.

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