BRONCO BLOG-LIVE AT QUALCOMM STADIUM

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM
GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM


BRONCO BLOG

12/23 Afternoon

A few hours before kick-off and Bronco fans are taking over the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot.  There is considerably more blue and orange faithful than purple and black.  Estimates have the Boise State crowd at close to 5,500.         

-----

Qualcomm Stadium is a natural turf field.  The grass is in perfect playing condition, as it was covered during yesterday’s rain.  As of three o’clock Pacific Time, the only weather related issue was wind.  Gusts were around 20-25 miles per hour earlier in the day around Qualcomm.  It remains mostly sunny, with patchy clouds and breezy.

-----

Poinsettia Bowl captains for Boise State will be four fifth year senior starters, who have been a part of four conference championship teams, five bowl appearances and a 55-8 record since 2004 when they signed with the Broncos.  #19 Vinny Perretta, #44 Kyle Gingg, #18 Ellis Powers and #41 Ian Johnson will handle captain duties and be at midfield for the opening coin toss.

-----

Boise State is wearing a different uniform combination for today’s game, for the first time since in six years.  The Broncos will be wearing their normal white away jerseys, but instead of white or orange pants, the Broncos will be wearing their blue pants that usually accompany their home uniforms.                 

-----

The Air Van 18-wheel Bronco painted semi-truck pulled in right next to the TCU 18-wheel semi-truck.  The two were parked right next to each other, showing off the prominence of two nationally ranked opponents.

-----

Boise State equipment manager Dale Holste was recognized at yesterday’s AT&T Team Luncheon aboard the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier.  Each team selected one person to receive the “Most Inspirational” honor, presented by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Holste is commonly referred to as the “hardest working man in show business”, working tireless hours, every day of the week during football season to keep up with all the team’s equipment, locker room and practice needs.

 

12/23 Morning

Poinsettia Bowl game day is here and so is the morning sunshine in San Diego.  There is still a forecast for a chance of rain, and the skies are fairly cloudy.  But, unlike Monday, which was wet and windy most of the day, there is sunshine and so far no moisture.               

----- 

The field at Qualcomm Stadium was covered yesterday, so the rain that fell shouldn’t have an impact on field conditions.  That’s one of the main reasons Boise State did not practice at all at Qualcomm during the five days in San Diego.  The team did get a chance to visit the stadium and locker room facilities on Monday.

----- 

The Poinsettia Bowl will take center stage nationally today.  It is the only bowl game being played on Tuesday, and the NFL news and notes are all recycled by now.  Look for plenty of media attention nationally on this game as it is the only non-BCS game that includes two top 15 teams.  ESPN started its advance promotion on Saturday, and has been running game previews and promos throughout the weekend and even in last night’s ESPN broadcast of Monday Night Football. 

-----

Boise State is hoping to make it four-for-four on hardware pieces during the 2008 season.  The team has already collected the WAC championship trophy, the Governor’s Trophy for defeating the University of Idaho and the silver Milk Can, which goes to the winner of the Fresno State-Boise State game.

----- 

An exact count on Bronco fans who attended last night’s men’s basketball game at the University of San Diego was not available.  But, judging by arena size and the announced crowd at the game, best guesses put the blue and orange contingent at around 700, and add in 100 band, cheer and dance team members and it was probably close to nearly half of the game attendance.  It paid dividends as the Broncos hung on for a three-point win, led by junior guard Anthony Thomas and senior forward Mark Sanchez, who each scored 20 points.  The Broncos are now 8-3 on the season.                                                                              

12/22/08 Morning

Boise State’s red-shirt freshmen (self dubbed the “Blue Bloods”) have done early morning workouts since arriving in San Diego.  But, Monday morning was a different story.  The group left the hotel at 7:00 am and headed to Coronado Island, where they were greeted by members of the U.S. Navy stationed in San Diego, who took them through a Navy Seals training regimen.  The hour long workout was put together by football operations director Keith Bhonapha and strength coaches Tim Socha and Ryan Russell.  Click here to watch clips from the “Blue Bloods” Navy Seals Training Session.

-----

Bronco Poinsettia Bowl tickets have are over the 5,100 mark through Sunday night.  Bowl officials are still confident the game will draw somewhere in the 40,000 range and surpass last year’s game bowl record attendance of 39,120.

-----

At Sunday night’s Poinsettia Bowl Grand Prix team event at the Miramar Speed Circuit, Bronco players squared off in a series of race heats to determine the top go-cart racer on the team.  Freshman kicker Jimmy Pavel was the winner.  Bronco coaches also mixed it up on the track, with offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin winning.  Harsin comes from a racing family, as does Pavel, giving them both a leg up on the competition. It is not yet known if either of them will be leaving the team for the Nascar nationwide tour.

-----

The Broncos will take part in the AT&T Team Luncheon at the USS Midway this afternoon. The luncheon gives the team an opportunity to dine in the hanger bay aboard the flight deck. The team will listen to speeches and watch season highlights then take a self guided tour of the historic USS Midway.

-----

The Boise State men’s basketball team faces the University of San Diego on Monday night in San Diego, in what could turn into a home court advantage for the Broncos.  With more than 5,000 Boise State fans in town and 100 band, cheer and Mane Line dance team members, there’s a strong chance the Jenny Craig Pavilion will have a strong Boise State feel.

-----

The Broncos will take part in the AT&T Team Luncheon at the USS Midway this afternoon. The luncheon gives the team an opportunity to dine in the hanger bay aboard the flight deck. The team will listen to speeches and watch season highlights then take a self guided tour of the historic USS Midway.      

-----

Boise State’s combined football-men’s basketball record is 19-3 heading into the hoop game Monday night and bowl game Tuesday.  The Broncos are one of eight teams in the country to have at least 19 combined wins between the football and basketball team.  Oklahoma has the best combined record at 23-1, with a number one ranking in football and number four ranking in basketball.  Florida, Penn State and Pitt are next with 20-3 records, followed by BYU and Cincinnati at 20-4.  North Carolina joins Boise State at 19 wins, with a combined football-basketball mark of 19-4.   

 

12/21/08 - Sunday Afternoon

Saturday's SeaWorld adventure was definitely up close and personal for Bronco players.  Just look at the photo below. Offensive linemen Jon Gott and Matt Slater were the recipients of a wet greeting from Shamu and his buddies.  To take the whole experience, click here to watch exclusive video from Bronco Day at SeaWorld.

 

----- 

For Tuesday's game, the Broncos are the visiting team, so they'll be in their normal away white jerseys.  A decision on pant color has not been made.  Stay tuned.
 

-----


Today's activity for Bronco players is the San Diego Chargers Poinsettia Bowl Grand Prix.  It takes place this evening at Miramar Speed Circuit, as players will get an opportunity to race go-carts and pretend to be the next great NASCAR Champion.
 

-----

Buster Bronco had his own adventure in getting to San Diego.  He did some cross country flying.  Earlier in the week, he traveled to Richmond, Virginia as one of four mascots invited to the sponsorship party for the 2008 Capital One Mascot Challenge, of which Buster was of of ten finalists.  Buster left on Friday to San Diego, and ended up going through North Carolia and on to Chicago, before finally ending up in Southern California.  The actual Buster costume made it a day later.  Somewhere back east there have to be great photos of airline baggage workers wearing the Buster Bronco head.  After all, everybody wants to be a Bronco right now.
 

-----


Stat of the Day:  Boise State's game this year with highest time of possession was at San Jose State, holding the ball for 39:26.  The Broncos scored just 33 points and won by 17 points.  Boise State's lowest time of possession came in the opener against Idaho State, when the Broncos had the ball just 22:53 to ISU's 37:07.  The Broncos easily won 49-7.

-----

Stat of the Day #2: Boise State is the only FBS team in the nation to not trail in the second half at any point during the 2008 season.  

12/20/08 evening

Bronco players received their bowl gifts this afternoon at Southwestern College, as they were in the lockers waiting for the team following practice.  Gifts included an Apple Touch I-Pod, a watch, a Poinsettia Bowl hooded sweatshirt and a $50 gift certificate to Best Buy.

------


Boise State is sharing a locker room with the Southwestern College men's basketball team.  The Jaguars actually host a home game tonight, as players started to file into the locker room as the Broncos wrapped up practice.

------


Boise State will be playing its second bowl game in a stadium that has hosted the Super Bowl.  University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (site of Boise State's memorable 2007 Fiesta Bowl victory) hosted Super Bowl XLII in 2008, while Qualcomm Stadium has hosted three Super Bowls (XXII in 1988, XXXII in 1998 and XXXVII in 2003).  Qualcomm Stadium has also hosted World Series in 1984 and 1998, as well as the 1978 and 1992 Major League Baseball All-Star Games.

----- 


Bronco Head Coach Chris Petersen and TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson have coaching bloodlines back to UC Davis.  In fact, Patterson was the Linebackers coach at Davis in 1986, the same year Petersen was the Aggies starting quarterback.

----- 


The Bronco Senior Class of 2008 and Horned Frog Senior Class of 2008 have incedibly close numbers when it comes to consistency in winning.  Boise State's four year record is 44-7, with league titles in 2005, 2006 and 2008 and three 10-win seasons.  TCU is 40-10, with a league title in 2005 and three 10-win seasons.  Bronco seniors have been to bowl games in each of the last four seasons (Poinsettia, Hawaii, Fiesta and MPC Computers), as have TCU's seniors (Poinsettia Bowl in 2008 and 2006, Texas Bowl in 2007 and Houston Bowl in 2005).  The Horned Frogs are 3-0 in their previous three bowl games, downing Houston, Northern Illinois and Iowa State.  The Broncos are 1-2 in their previous three bowl games, defeating Oklahoma and losing to East Carolina and Boston College.

12/20/08 morning

Bronco football players were prepared to get wet on Saturday morning.  It was SeaWorld San Diego Day for Boise State as the entire team, along with coaches families headed to perhaps the single biggest tourist destination in the San Diego area.  A number of players and head coach Chris Petersen started the event off by feeding the Dolphins.  It was on to the shark walk and seeing Shamu, and along the way, signing a few autographs.

-----

The Broncos will hold what is referred to their Wednesday practice, a two hour session at Southwestern College.  Friday night’s practice was hampered a bit on the Southwestern College field because of wet field conditions from the rain that hit San Diego earlier this week.  With some sun the last few days, Bronco coaches are hopeful the footing will be a little better on Saturday and Sunday at Southwestern College.

----- 

Former Bronco linebacker and current Fresno State defensive coordinator Dan Brown is coaching his last game at Fresno State in today’s New Mexico Bowl against Colorado State.  Brown has been battling brain cancer throughout the last two seasons, and is stepping down after today’s game.   Brown played on Boise State’s 1980 National Championship team, and then coached at Boise State until 1996.

-----

True freshman safety George Iloka has a little extra motivation in this game.  A Sugar Land, Texas native was recruited by TCU, but not made a scholarship offer.  Iloka holds no ill will, as his choice to come to Boise State has paid huge dividends for both he and the Broncos.  But, as a Texas native, Iloka will certainly carry a little bigger chip on the shoulder on Tuesday.  The 6-3, 202 pounder has made an impact in his first season, earning Second Team Freshman All-American honors by The Sporting News.  He is one of four Texas players on the Bronco roster (DJ Harper, Brenel Myers and Chandler Kock are the other three), as the Poinsettia Bowl matchup also gives Boise State a chance for recruiting exposure in one of the high school football hotbeds in the country, the state of Texas.

12/19/08 

The Broncos were treated to a red carpet welcome at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. As the players buses pulled up to the hotel, they were greeted by roughly 40 San Diego County Credit Card Poinsettia Bowl representatives dressed in their red blazers, complete with a Mariachi Band.  The greeting was equal to the arrival of the Bronco team in Phoenix, Arizona at the 2006 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, except the jackets were yellow on that occasion.

----- 

After arrival at the hotel, the 101 players had to be checked into their rooms.  Three separate tables held the room keys for players and coaches.  The Manchester Grand Hyatt is a two tower hotel that sits between the Gaslamp Quarters (tourist, shopping and dining district of San Diego) and the San Diego Boardwalk that sits along the warf of the Pacific Ocean.

----- 

Boise State’s sold and committed tickets to the bowl game have surpassed the 5,000 mark.  Ticket officials at the Poinsettia Bowl report that the game has sold 38,000 tickets, nearly 8,000 more than expected and on pace to break the bowl attendance record set last year when Utah and Navy drew 39,120 fans.

----- 

39 of Boise State’s 101 players on the active roster are from the state of California, meaning family and friends will be convening on the San Diego area for the Poinsettia Bowl.  Vinny Perretta’s family, for instance, bought more than a hundred tickets for the game.  Perretta is from La Costa Canyon High School in nearby Encinitas.  Other San Diego area Broncos include sophomore quarterback Michael Coughlin and freshman cornberback Jamar Taylor.

----- 

The Broncos practiced on Friday night at Southwestern College, the first of three padded practices in San Diego.  The team will practice Saturday and Sunday afternoon at Southwestern College, before holding their final bowl practice and walk through at Qualcomm Stadium Monday evening.

----- 

Senior tailback Ian Johnson accepted an invite to the 2007 East-West Shrine Game on Thursday.  The game will be held in Houston, Texas on January 17th at 2:00 pm Mountain Time.  The game will be shown live on ESPN-TV.  A Boise State player has made an appearance in the East-West Shrine Game in six of the past seven years.  Johnson joins Dan Gore (2008), Jerard Rabb and Brad Lau (2007), Gabe Franklin (2005), Ryan Dinwiddie (2004) and Quintin Mikell (2003) as Bronco representatives in the East-West Shrine Game.

----- 

Bronco players got their first look at the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl gifts on Friday night at the team welcome dinner.  Each player will get a commemorative Tommy Hilfiger Poinsettia Bowl logoed watch, an Apple 8 gigabyte I-Pod Touch, a Poinsettia Bowl Sport-Tek hooded sweatshirt and a $50 gift certificate to Best Buy.  Sophomore linebacker Derrell Acrey was the team’s model of the bowl gifts at the welcome dinner, with the biggest team cheer coming as he held up the I-Pod Touch.

----- 

The player schedule for Saturday includes a trip to SeaWorld San Diego, followed by a two hour practice, and culminating with a group of Bronco players presenting Boise State gifts to a San Diego area Make-A-Wish family.

----- 

Tomorrow’s broncosports.com Bowl Breakdown coverage includes video interviews with Bronco players, the first installment of Mike T’s Bowl “411” and another installment of Bronco Bowl Trivia.

----- 

The first of two Boise State planes landed in San Diego on Friday morning at 9:30 am Pacific Time.  It contained team support staff, administrative staff and a number of boosters.  The team plane landed about 45 minutes later, and then headed directly to the team hotel, where they were met by a Manchester Grand Hyatt staff decked in blue and orange Bronco t-shirts.  Several large banners welcoming Bronco Nation and promoting the team's string of WAC championships and bowl appearances were hung throughout the hotel lobby.

-----

It was a Bronco filled Boise airport on Friday morning, with three different athletic teams flying out, and numerous flights leaving with fans heading to Southern California and the Poinsettia Bowl.  In addition to the Bronco football team, both Bronco basketball teams were departing to California as well.  The women play at Santa Clara on Saturday afternoon, while the men play at Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday night before heading south to San Diego and Monday's game at the University of San Diego.  It's a men's basketball game that was scheduled on that date last spring, and just coincidentally fell the night before the Poinsettia Bowl, which ended up being Boise State's bowl destination.

-----

A college football team enters an airport just like everyone else. Just like you, they have to go through the screen process of taking of their shoes and belts before going to the plane.

-----

Boise State is traveling with 101 players to the Poinsettia Bowl, taking the entire team, including red-shirts and injured players.  Of that group, only injured players will not suit up in full pads on game day, a group that includes three defensive ends in Mike T. Williams, Shea McClellin and Jarrell Root.

-----

As a quick follow-up to yesterday's blog on the Air Van Bronco semi taking the equipment down, the moving process is amazing.  On Thursday, equipment manager Dale Holste and his crew loaded 10 equipment trunks, 4 athletic training trunks, 180 cases of Powerade, 101 player bags, 40 boxes of bowl gifts, 35 practice equipment pieces, 20 cases of water, 6 marching band tubas, two video equipment cases, two radio cases, one 30 foot inflatable Bronco helmet, one "Varsity B" tent...and a Partridge in a Pear Tree (just kidding on the partridge).  Total weight in the Bronco semi-truck is well over 30,000 pounds of equipment and accessories, all required to take the Bronco football headquarters on the road for five days.


-----

Make sure to check back later this evening for on-line Bronco Vision video interviews from the first day in San Diego, as well as updated blog and stories on the Bowl Breakdown page.  Also coming during broncosports.com's bowl week coverage is the Daily Deets (as in details) from Mike T. Williams and video upload segments as "Vinny (Perretta) and Kyle (Gingg) Go Poinsettia Bowling".

12/18/08
Weather is becoming an issue for the Poinsettia Bowl.  Not with the weather in San Diego, but with the weather in Boise of gusty winds, ice and more snow on the way Thursday night, getting the Bronco team out of Boise and to San Diego has now popped on the radar.  The team is expected to leave at 8:30 am on Friday morning, but several inches of snow is forecasted overnight, which could delay or cause issues with travel plans.

-----

 

Boise State’s football equipment room will be on wheels beginning Thursday night.  That’s when Dale Holste and his equipment staff will load up all the practice gear, uniforms, helmets, pads, practice equipment, Powerade, water, athletic training bags, player bags and an assortment of other Bronco gear that has to make its way down to San Diego for four practices and the Poinsettia Bowl.  Two Air Van drivers will leave at roughly midnight Thursday night/Friday morning and drive straight through to San Diego.  Weather permitting, the Bronco painted semi will arrive in San Diego between two and three Friday afternoon and get to the practice field in time for an evening practice. 

-----

 

A couple former Bronco stars and current NFL players may be sighted on the day of the Poinsettia Bowl.  Wide receiver Legedu Naanee is a member of the San Diego Chargers, so down in that area already.  Naanee earned first team  All-WAC honors in 2006, helping lead the Broncos to the Fiesta Bowl Championship.  Also making his way to San Diego is Detroit Lion safety Gerald Alexander, also a member of the Fiesta Bowl Championship 2006 team.  Alexander has missed most of this season with the Lions due to a neck injury.

-----

 

First this week it was billboards in San Diego.  Now Boise State is making an even bigger splash, this time in the air.  An joint announcement occurred today between Boise State University and Horizon Air.  In conjunction with 25 years of service to the Boise area, Horizon will be painting one of its new aircraft with the Boise State colors and marks.  How soon the Boise State-themed aircraft might be seen at airports and in the skies has yet to be determined. The aircraft will be one of the 11 new Bombardier Q400s that will eventually join Horizon’s fleet.  Below is an image of the artwork of the new plane:


 

 

12/17/08

The Boise State football team will depart for San Diego first thing Friday morning.  Upon arrival and check-in at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, the Broncos will hold their first pre-Poinsettia Bowl practice in Southern California on Friday afternoon.  Boise State will also hold full practices on Saturday (Wednesday practice on a normal Saturday game week) and Sunday (the key Thursday practice on a normal Saturday game week), before its final game preparation walk through on Monday.

 

-----

 

Three Bronco youngsters were named to The Sporting News Freshman All-American teams on Wednesday.  Defensive Tackle Billy Winn earned First Team Freshman All-American honors.  With injuries at the defensive end position, Winn has moved to the outside and will line up at end for the Poinsettia Bowl.  Joining Winn in getting recognized as Freshman All-Americans by The Sporting News are quarterback Kellen Moore (Second Team) and safety George Iloka (Second Team).  Moore has thrown for 3,264 yards and 25 touchdowns, while the true freshman Iloka has 56 tackles and four interceptions.

 

-----

 

Junior Kyle Wilson surprisingly was unable to make first team All-WAC as a return specialist, despite returning three punts for touchdown this season.  Instead, on Wednesday, he was named Second Team All-American by SI.com as a return specialist.  Kellen Moore was also on the Honorable Mention SI.com All-American Team, joining 12 other quarterbacks on the first, second or honorable mention list.  Also of note, two TCU players were recognized by SI.com, with defensive end Jerry Hughes earning first team honors and linebacker Jason Phillips on the honorable mention list.

 

-----

 

Voting for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year ends on December 22nd.  Bronco head coach Chris Petersen is one of the ten finalists, joining Nick Saban (Alabama), Joe Paterno (Penn State), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Mack Brown (Texas), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Urban Meyer (Florida), Brady Hoke (Ball State), Jim Tressel (Ohio State) and Kyle Wittingham (Utah).  Vote daily for Coach Pete at http://coachoftheyear.com.

 

----- 

 

The Bronco Nation billboards are in production and are expected to go up in San Diego on Thursday, the day before the Bronco team is scheduled to arrive.  With the help of former Bronco fullback Matt Strohfus and Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Boise State was able to put up three 14’ x 48’ billboards and one 20’ x 60’ billboard, with locations near the airport, Qualcomm Stadium and two other freeway locations in the San Diego area.  A look at the billboards is below.

 

 

 

12/16/08
The Broncos are in the middle of finals week and they are also trying to prepare for the TCU Horned Frogs. This means that practice cannot be held until the school bell rings. Players are allowed to lift weights if they need a break from their studies. This situation can be tough for the coaches as kick-off for the Poinsettia Bowl is only one week away.

 ------

Two senior players will not be traveling with the team to San Diego...until they graduate. Ian Johnson and Dallas Dobbs will attend graduation ceremonies in the morning, then will fly down later in the day to join the team Friday night.

-----

Ian Johnson has been selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game. It is not yet known if Johnson will accept the invitation. The game is played on January 17th in Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

-----

The San Diego County Credit Card Union Bowl broadcast on ESPN will feature Rece Davis, Lou Holtz and Mark May. The broadcast team from ESPN will be making their first appearance to announce for the Broncos this season.

-----

Against Fresno State senior Ian Johnson ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns. The two touchdowns gave Johnson a career total of 57. Those two touchdowns moved Johnson’s record to the top of the WAC record for rushing touchdowns tying Marshall Faulk’s record that was set in 1993 at San Diego State.

 -----

Kellen Moore has thrown nine interceptions on the season, giving the Broncos a grand total of ten for the season. Four of those interceptions have been returned for touchdowns by the opposing teams. Boise State gave up 147 points over the season averaging out to be 12.3 points per game, good enough for 3rd in the nation. Who’s number two in total team scoring defense nationally? Poinsettia Bowl opponent TCU, who is averaging 10.9 points per game. Take away those four Bronco interceptions and Boise State’s defense is allowing just 10.25 points per game.

 -----

The capacity at Qualcomm Stadium is 70,561. The largest crowd the Broncos played in front of this year was at Autzen Stadium. The 58,713 who attended that game got their moneys worth as Boise State beat then ranked #17 Oregon 37-32. The largest capacity that the Broncos have played in front of was at the 2005 against Georgia at which 92,746 attended.

 -----

The practice schedule for the week goes as following:
Thursday Night at 7:30 pm-The last practice before heading to San Diego

Do you have any questions you want answered? Or areas of the team you want us to explore? Write in to broncosports@boisestate.edu!