Two teams with high hopes for 2007 have both experienced
Tonight's game provides the victor a chance to elevate their season outlook with a 3-1 record. The loser will drop to an even 2-2. To say the game is a key to how their season will go is an understatement.
The two teams are nearly even in offensive production, with
Both teams feature senior quarterbacks; Taylor Tharpe leads the Bronco attack (58-96 for 651 yards and three touchdowns) while Jeremy Young (48-90 for 606 and three touchdowns) goes for the Golden Eagles. While Tharpe has a slight edge in passing, Young has the upper hand in running, accounting for 123 yards and three TD's.
Although Ian Johnson has been productive in three games (62 rushes for 292 yards and three touchdowns), he is far off the pace set in the 2006 season. Jeremy Avery's 8.1 yards per carry leads all Bronco running backs, while D.J. Harper (The Texas Tornado) has been impressive as well. Sophomore Damion Fletcher (5-10, 175) is the workhorse in the backfield for the Golden Eagles with 304 yards and a nice 5.3 ypc average.
Jeremy Childs has been the only star among the Bronco receivers thus far with 18 catches for 242 yards. It is crucial for other wideouts such as Vinny Perretta, Austin Pettis, Titus Young, Tanyon Bissell and Toshi Franklin to get untracked. Chris Johnson (116 catches for 224 yards and two TD's) is Young's favorite target, although freshman Torris Magee (6-2, 204) and tight end Shawn Nelson (6-5, 240, Jr.) will also figure prominently. Magee has nine grabs for 117 yards while Nelson has eight catches for 122 and a touchdown.
Middle linebacker Gerald McRath (6-3, 220, So.) has exploded for 39 tackles, 3.5 for loss in the three games for Coach Bower. He was named to several Freshman All-America teams last year after being credited with 104 tackles and 11 for loss in just nine starts. Free Safety Eddie Hicks (6-2, 185, So.) has two interceptions to go with 23 tackles. Other stars for the Golden Eagles on defense include rover LeVance Richmond (5-11, 197, Sr.) with 23 tackles, cornerback Brandon Sumrall (5-11, 195, Sr.) with 20 stops and linebacker Tokumbo Abanikanda (6-0, 217, Jr.) with 16 tackles including 2.5 behind the line.
Many, many teams would like to be in the Broncos' position
where they feel disappointed with just one loss, but that's the way it is in Broncoland. High
expectations come with the territory.
The noise factor will be huge tonight.
Tonight's game is slated for and is nationally televised on ESPN. Chris Fowler, Craig James and Doug Flutie will announce the game.