Zag's Frags.. Week 9

This weeks WAC football predictions from the irrepressible, irreverent and sometimes irrational Zagco. From Honolulu to Ruston, Moscow to Las Cruces and beyond, Zagco tells you exactly what you need to know about what is happening this week in the WAC.


Zagco went 4-0 last week, raising his season record to a staggering 40-7, for a mind-blowing winning percentage of .851.

As many of you know Zag's Frags was censored last week by our corporate slavemasters, Scout.  They object to two things:  (1) my use of the word "gay" in describing Utah State's offense; and (2) they asked that I not quote the entire newspaper article from the University of Idaho's student newspaper (The Argonaut) about how Vandal quarterback Steven Wichman was allowed to drive drunk in Moscow by Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson.  They felt that quoting the entire article, even though I cited it, highlighted pertinent portions, and hyperlinked to it, might raise some sort of copyright issue.  However, they had no problem with the hyperlink, so if any of you have not read how Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson allowed Vandal quarterback Steven Wichman to drive drunk in Moscow , click the following hyperlink:

Anyhoo, Zagco is very sorry about the "gay" comment too.

Zagco was unsure whether he should continue writing his column, as he thinks the Corporate Slavemaster Scout is really being petty.  Plus, the whole thing got started because a certain prolific columnist on Vandal Venue complained, as he apparently got his precious feelings hurt by Zagco.  Scout really ought to let the poor Vandal Venue people fight their own fights.

Anyhoo, Zagco realized he couldn't just quit.  After all, it was Zagco who implored Jerard Rabb to "never stop dancing" after he was called for three penalties and tossed out of the game for engaging in a perfectly reasonable après touchdown endzone celebration.  Zagco also remembered the opening verse from one of his favorite Iron Maiden songs, Can I Play With Madness:


Give me the sense to wonder
To wonder if I'm free
Give me a sense of wonder
To know I can be me
Give me the strength to hold my head up
Spit back in their face
Don't need no key to unlock this door
Gonna break down the walls
Break out of this bad place

Alas, Zag's Frags returns for Week 9.

New Mexico State Aggies v. Reno
Where:  The Biggest Little City in the World
When:  Saturday, October 28, 2006, at 2:00 p.m. MT (ESPN Gameplan,

Hal Mumme – a man who wipes his boogers on a white towel wrapped around his neck during games, allowing the boogers to mix in with sweat and then drizzle down his body, covering his flesh in a thin, shiny coat of snot – is in desperate need of win.  Instead of winning, however, the Snotgobbler spouts off about how Hawaii is the best team in the WAC, an obvious slight to Boise State that is clearly related to his ego and his inability to understand how Boise State 's young coaches could possibly outcoach him.  Whatever.  The Snotgobler keeps losing, but at least he's not cheating, at least not that we know about, yet. 

Personally, Zagco thinks New Mexico State 's quarterback Chase Holbrook is a phenom, especially considering that he was an option quarterback that hardly ever threw the ball in high school.  The way he throws the ball in that crazy, Canadian Football League-esque offense is pretty dang impressive. 

The Aggies gave Hawaii a tougher game that Zagco thought they would.  It was a close game until a couple late mistakes gave the Rainbow Warriors some breathing room.  So now, the Aggies take the WAC's top passing offense into Reno to face the WAC's second best passing defense.  Chase Holbrook, who has been banged up this week, leads the WAC in total passing yards, and he is third in passing efficiency, behind Colt Brennan and Z.

Reno looks very solid.  They play what appears to be a more conservative style of game – lower scoring, less dynamic, and efficient.  Zagco has been impressed with Reno .  They might not be a great football team, but Chris Ault, the man who invented the QWERTY keyboard, seems to be getting them to achieve, something that was lacking under prior coaches.  Nevada's vastly superior defense and decent offense should be enough to get them by a New Mexico State team that has had their clocks cleaned by the WAC's two best teams at home the last two weeks.

Reno will pull out a win at home against the Aggies.

La Tech Bulldogs v. San Jose Can You See
Where:  Do You Know The Way To San Jose ?
When:  Saturday, October 28, 2006, at 4:00 p.m. MT (

Zagco is really starting to dig the San Jose posters on the Scout network.  What a dedicated, entertaining group!  Whoever the Spartan was who posted the digital pictures of the Reno fan peeing in the bushes at the stadium during the game last week and getting arrested deserves a gold medal!  Sadlly, the pictures have been removed, but still….  Awesome job Spartans!

La Tech finally got off the schneid last week, beating the dope smoking Aggies from Logan and their new quarterback Charles Nelson Riley.  It was a donnybrook, as Keith Jackson might say.  However, they now have to hit the road again against a good San Jose team that is coming off a hard fought loss.  San Jose has the second best defense in the WAC, and they seem to be playing with a consistency and hunger that has been lacking for a long, long time.  La Tech is a lost cause.

San Jose recaptures that winning magic at home against the southern Bulldogs.

University of North Central Idaho v. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
Where:  Paradise
When:  Very, very late MT (10-ish p.m. MT) (ESPN Gameplan)

I have good news for my Vandal friends this week:  You guys are going to lose again, so get ready for another celebration!!!  The Vandals, who have elevated the art of celebrating closer-than-expected losses to something metaphorically akin to one of those 80's-era Nagel prints that kinda looked like Duran-Duran album covers, should be breaking out the Crystal this week!  Nothing gets a Vandals hopes higher than a closer than expected loss.

The Hawaii offensive machine will roll to a big win over an emotionally depleted and banged up Idaho squad.

Fresno State Bulldogs v. Boise State Broncos
Where:  On The Blue
When:  Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. MT (ESPN2)

Zagco respects Fresno , not because of their non-conference schedule, but because they have been able to maintain a winning program for so long.  This year is certainly an anomaly, and even though the year is going badly for the California-based Bulldogs, Zagco thinks they have plenty of talent that could, at any moment, come together and form a formidable team.

Fresno 's defense is fourth best in the WAC, giving up just over 360 yards per game, decent but a bit lower than Fresno might be used to giving up.  Fresno 's offense is second to last in the WAC, well below expectations, especially when you consider that they have a great running back, Dwayne Wright, who is getting 103 yards per game.  They've recently made some changes, including the quarterback position, so we'll get to see if the changes make any difference.

Boise State continues to roll.  We looked okay in Moscow .  Ian Johnson was awesome, as usual, and our offensive line continues to have its way, especially as games wear on.  Zagco is concerned, however, about our passing game – the route running and hands are both apparently lacking.  Z's play might not have been great, but Zagco feels his misfires are too often the result of wrong routes and dropped balls, and Zagco cannot help but wonder whether Z's confidence in the passing game is at all shaken.  Perhaps it's time for some new blood to run those routes.  Defensively, we looked okay, but our pass defense continues to look somewhat shaky, as if confidence is lacking.  As a fan, I am beginning to feel nervous (like last year) when I see opponents drop back to pass.  We have to get pressure to the quarterback faster, and we've got to get some picks and make plays in the secondary.  Zagco thought we had some opportunities last week in the secondary and with pass rushers who let Wichman get away – we've got to make plays defensively, as we just aren't good enough to make up for mistakes on the fly.

I think Fresno will come in very fired up, as they always are against their big opponents.  However, I just don't think that Fresno has the kind of defense and offense they need to win this game.  I also think that we, for all our misfires, are a helluva hard team to stop.  We can score so fast in so many ways. 

On the blue, the Metropolitan University of Distinction will get its defensive mojo back and roll to a solid victory over a completely shell shocked Fresno State club.

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