Shortly after 10 am (MDT) on Saturday, September 3rd, at the humid confines of Cajun Field in Louisiana, Boise State and the boys in blue (or orange. Or white. Or even gray) will be back for game-time action.
After eight months, college football will finally be back in Boise.
(Okay. College football will be played in Boise in spirit only. Give it another week before home excitement officially ramps up.)
The game plan has been implemented, the uniforms pressed, and the footballs have been inflated (properly, we hope).
The pundits have spoken, the fans have debated, and now the Broncos can finally get down to business, with fans near and far gathering to support their team.
(Many of these fans, excluding those going to the game, will be huddled around laptops and cellphones to watch the game, being shown on ESPN3. Or they will be like me, giving the game a listen the old-fashioned way, on the radio.)
The excitement of the teams is palpable, the energy high. An unblemished record and clean slate hang around their necks. Dreams of titles and playoffs drive them forward.
(Unless you’re the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, 0-1 thanks to a loss to Cal in Australia last weekend.)
Visions of an undefeated season and Mountain West title are on the agenda for the Boise State Broncos after finishing last season 9-4, only the second time in the last decade in which they failed to win 10 games.
(The first step is Saturday but the real test will be protecting the blue. Is the aura of the blue busted? Or was last season simply a hiccup?)
Will the Boise State offense, in a performance reminiscent of last season’s victory of Northern Illinois, set records? Can the defense replace a depleted line and diminished secondary? Will Tyler Rausa continue to demonstrate his power and accuracy?
(More importantly, does Tommy Stuart see the field in situations not of the mop-up variety? Or do the coaches unleash him as an early-career Grant Hedrick, change-of-pace quarterback?)
Saturday morning will give us new faces, both on the sidelines and in the booth. Who will be the next big receiver? The next powerful defensive lineman? The next coordinator to leave? (Too soon?)
There will be elation and disappointment. There will be tailgates that go on forever and games that fly by too quick.
Fumbles, interceptions, and missed tackles will inevitably occur, as will the armchair quarterback yelling “your tight end is open” or “run faster!”
It all begins Saturday. (And now we wait).
We wait for the first Brett Rypien completion.
The first Jeremy McNichols breakaway run.
Thomas Sperbeck’s first one-handed snag.
The first sack or big hit delivered by the experienced trio of linebackers.
Then, and only then, we can relax, settling in for the next three plus months. Hoping the Broncos can once again rise to the promise bestowed upon them.
It’s all happening, Bronco Nation. Boise State football is all in. Are you?