Zag's Frags.. Week 12b(Idaho vs. Boise State)

BroncoCountry.com is proud to bring you Zag's Frags.. musings and 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.

Satan Worshipping Cheat Monkeys v. Donkey State
Where:  The Blue
When:  Saturday, November 17, 2007, at 12:00 p.m. MT (KTVB, ESPN Gameplan)

The University of Idaho , which has long been known as the Satan Worshipping Cheat Monkeys, brings its dog-and-pony show down to Boise , where its traveling fans can look forward to getting liquored up in new bars for a change.  

For those of you who have never seen a Satan Worshipping Cheat Monkey, Zagco was fortunate enough to have one of Bronco Country's most artistic posters (BlueandOrangeMonkey) send him a lovely portrait that accurately captures the appearance of these cute, yet vile, creatures:


AN IDAHO VANDAL SATAN WORSHIPPING CHEAT MONKEY

The psychology of an Idaho Vandal is a difficult thing to explain to people who are not as familiar with them as we Boise State fans.  Zagco was contemplating how best to describe the Vandal psyche when he stumbled upon a post made by an Idaho Vandal fan shortly after the Vandal men's basketball team was defeated by Zagco's other alma mater, Gonzaga, on Tuesday night.  In stating his views on Idaho 's 80-43 loss to Gonzaga, the Idaho Vandal poster wrote:

 

"I actually feel good about a 40 point loss."

 

Seriously.  Zagco is not joking.  All you ever need to know about the average Idaho Vandal fan is contained right there in that sentence.

The University of Idaho has a proud tradition of losing a lot of football games.  They are arguably the worst college football program in American history.  To illustrate the craptasticness of the Idaho Vandal football program, Zagco presents another table:

 

IDAHO VANDAL FOOTBALL HISTORY IN A NUTSHELL

 

ERA

WINS

LOSSES

WINNING PERCENTAGE

Division I All-Time

294

440

39.23%

Division I-AA

140

84

62.50%

Return to Div. I

42

83

33.60%

Against BCS Conf.

34

242

12.32%

ALL-TIME TOTAL

424

524

44.73%

Pretty crappy, huh?!?  Idaho has actually gotten worse than it was when it was a member of a couple of the very early incarnations of what is now known as the Pac-10.  Back then, they sucked.  They suck worse now.  Their all-time record against BCS conference foes is even worse, with an all-time winning percentage of 12.32%.  Although they had more than half a century to do it, they have never beaten a BCS foe outside of the Pac-10.  Plus, of those 34 victories against Pac-10 foes, 25 of them come against Oregon State and Washington State , the Pac-10's historical doormats.  The last time Idaho beat Washington was in 1905, UCLA in 1928, Stanford in 1947, Southern Cal never, Oregon in 1950, California never, Arizona State never, and Arizona in 1962.  And we wonder why they are known as a drinking school! 

Plus, of Idaho 424 all-time victories, 11 of them came against high schools, YMCA's, mining camps, military bases, and city all-comer teams.  For example, Idaho put beatings down on Lewiston High School , Coeur d'Alene High School , St. Louis ( Hawaii ) High School, and the Spokane YMCA, not to mention the "Boise All-Stars."  They also lost 6 games to this hodge-podge collection of barnstorming gridiron clubs.  If you subtract these totals from Idaho 's all-time win-loss record (which seems only fair), Idaho 's all-time winning percentage drops to 44.36%.

You discerning readers might have noticed Zagco's bold, large red font on the Idaho Vandal Division I-AA era, which is the only era of winning football for the sorry SOB's.  Zagco, for one, believes the only hope for winning football at Idaho is to return to a lower division.  The numbers do not lie. 

Idaho 's new head coach, Rob Akey, has been a real comedian this year, lightening up the whole atmosphere.  When he was hired, he announced to the crowd at his press conference that his kids are named "Jack" and "Daniels."  Zagco bets that got a good laugh out the Vandal crowd that had gathered to greet the University of Idaho 's most public face.  Zagco also bets Coach Akey and his wife—Sex on the Beach—are so proud!  Next, at the WAC summer meetings, he was quoted as saying that we might all think he's been "smoking dope" due to his optimistic nature, which at the time referred to his expectation that his team would defeat USC in their opening game.  This week, as the Vandals prepared to play their arch-rival, he used one of the oldest Vandalisms in the book, saying that Idaho 's "next game happens to be on the blue turf against the donkeys." 

Zagco, for one, is relieved that Idaho hired a funny guy to be its head coach, and he is more than happy to join in the fun and tease him back a little!  Welcome to Boise , Coach Akey!  Maybe after the game we can stay up all night swapping manly stories, and in the morning, we'll make waffles!

 

 

The stats tell us that Boise State should dominate Idaho .  The Broncos have big advantages in total offense, rushing offense, passing offense, scoring offense, total defense, rushing defense, passing defense, and scoring defense.  Um…..

Idaho , however, leads in Zagco's Special Teams Index!  The reason they lead Boise State (and the entire WAC) is twofold:  (1) the have the best punt return game and they are tied with Boise State in PAT kicks, and they are not super weak in any special teams category; and (2) Boise State's overall number is really hurt by its punt return game (8th in the WAC).  Plus, Boise State 's real weapon on special teams, blocking kicks, is not something directly accounted for in the rankings.  You could make an argument that Boise State 's kick and punt blocking prowess should elevate their overall special teams ranking.

 

 

Idaho

 

Category

 

Boise State

 

Rank

Stats

Stats

Rank

1.360

342

Total Offense

482

1.098

1.571

152.5

Rushing Offense

205.4

1.127

2.396

189.5

Passing Offense

276.6

1.641

1.552

22.5

Scoring Offense

42.8

1.147

1.397

418.4

Total Defense

299.6

1.000

1.456

162

Rushing Defense

116.4

1.046

1.441

147.7

Pass Efficiency Defense

102.5

1.000

1.930

36.1

Scoring Defense

18.7

1.000

1.000

6.556

Zagco's ST Index

6.683

1.019

14.048

 

TOTALS

 

10.078

 

Idaho 's main offensive weapon has been freshman running back Deonte Jackson.  Mr. Jackson has rushed for 1,016 net yards, which works out to 101.6 yards per game.  He's scored 6 touchdowns.  However, the once-promising Vandal rushing attack has been flummoxed in its last two games.  Idaho only gained 56 yards against Nevada 's craptastic rushing defense, and Mr. Jackson carried the ball 17 times for 45 yards.  Against La Tech, Idaho only gained 67 yards rushing, and Mr. Jackson carried the ball 15 times for 42 yards.  Idaho 's rushing offense has gone right into the crapper.

Meanwhile, the Vandals have not been able to get any kind of passing game going, even though its coaches call pass plays much like Zagco would if he was a head coach (Zagco's always swinging for the fences!).  Freshman signal caller Nathan Enderle is the lowest rated quarterback in the WAC with a 92.1 rating.  He's thrown only 9 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.  Zagco likes his apparent composure after a sack or a mistake, but he does not like his mistakes.

Idaho does have some capable players.  Linebacker David Vobora once again leads the WAC in tackles, with 124 (12.4 per game).  Zagco also thinks that Shiloh Keo is a solid player who can contribute in many different ways.  Although Idaho does not have a great passing game, Zagco has also been impressed with receiver Max Komar—he has good hands.  Too bad he doesn't get to use them more.  Like Utah State, Idaho has some good players that are simply not able to get their hands on the ball enough to make a real difference.

Boise State 's performance against Utah State last week was extremely good.  It's hard to criticize anything, although Zagco did note that the penalty bug is still biting us.  We had 8 penalties in the game.  Zagco is still concerned with our proclivity to false start and hold.

At press time, we do not know for sure if Jeremy Avery, Andrew Woodruff, and Titus Young will play this week.  It really shouldn't matter.  Frankly, if there's any doubt about the health of a player, Zagco would be happy as a clam to have them heal up this week so that they can be 100% ready for Hawaii next week.  Boise State should be in good shape with Taylor Tharp, Ian Johnson, Jeremy Childs, and its resurgent defense, which pitched its second shutout of the season last week (to go along with two games where they gave up 7 points).

The biggest concern for Zagco in this game is that the Broncos don't come out overconfident and under-enthused.  He doubts they will, but it's awfully hard to not see that as the biggest threat facing Boise State this week.

Boise State will defeat Idaho .


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