Can Boise Keep It Up?

By Adam Caparell - January 01, 2007

Just when I was about to say that Boise State needed a big play before the half to stem the momentum change that was beginning to occur, the Broncos got it.

Jared Zabransky made a play with his feet and his arm and let his receiver finish up the job as the Broncos got it into the endzone giving them an 11 point lead heading into halftime.

Saying it was huge is an understatement. The drive started at their own 35 and they stunned Oklahoma with that surprising score as it looked like the game was inching closer and closer toward Oklahoma’s direction as halftime approached. The Sooners defense looked like it was really starting to lock up Boise. It was questioned whether Boise’s offensive line could go toe-to-toe with Oklahoma for four quarters. The answer was starting to look like no.

Paul Thompson has not looked good so far in the first half of this ball game. He’s under-thrown the ball and made mistakes. And the running game hasn’t hurt Boise too much.

The turnovers have really put a big crimp in Oklahoma’s offense. Needless to say I’m very surprised with the game so far. I didn’t expect Boise to come out the way they did. The Oklahoma defense hasn’t made the necessary stops and the offense hasn’t gotten it going yet.

Ian Johnson and the Boise State line has done a pretty nice job picking up the Oklahoma blitz and giving Zabransky some time to throw. He’s a quarterback who, given time, can make some plays and when things break down he can improvise with his feet.

Back to Johnson for a second. I haven’t sat down and watched a Boise State game since the matchup with Oregon State the first month of the season. I knew Johnson wasn’t a big back, but seeing him out there – against a team that recruits the best players in the nation who just happen to be some of the biggest – you really get an idea of just how tiny he is.

I’m going to root hard for Boise. It’s a great story. The way the second quarter was turning, I wasn't holding out much hope that the Cinderella story could continue. But that changed with that touchdown. They’re hanging, big time. But why can't I see Boise actually pulling this one off? I hope I'm wrong.

- The Lloyd Carr Hot Seat watch is back in full effect.

After Michigan lost is rather decisive fashion to USC in the Rose Bowl – and the Wolverine seniors ended their career without a bowl victory – the questions about Carr’s capabilities as the head coach in Ann Arbor are going to swirling for another year.

And deservedly so. Carr is a guy who’s been able to attract mass amounts of talent to Michigan and has consistently failed to produce the kind of results he’s expected to produce: wins.

He can’t beat Ohio State, he can’t win a bowl game, he can’t win the big one. The beat is going to go on and on and on until Carr gets that marquee win. He’s got just about everyone on offense coming back next year. His defense, what carried the Wolverines throughout the season, is going to take a few hits – most notably LaMarr Woodley and very likely Alan Branch – but Michigan is going to be right up there with the best of them next year. They’re going to be favored in the Big Ten. They’re going to be talked about as a national title contender.

But the talk is once again going to be dominated by Carr’s tenuous status. The thinking was this year if he had another awful year, Carr would have been gone. He very like wouldn’t have survived another 7-5 season and an 8-4 campaign certainly would have made him sweat.

There’s only so much Michigan fans – and more importantly, boosters can take – and more of coming up short in these big situations has to catch up to Carr at some point. It very well could be next year.

With the Rose Bowl today, Michigan was burned through the air - the right way to beat the Wolverines, especially with deep threat receivers like Dwayne Jarrett - and John David Booty did it beautifully today.

Your preseason No. 1? If Jarrett ever decided to stay, it’d be USC without a shadow of a doubt. Pete Carroll stockpiles talent unlike any other in the game.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 10:21 PM on January 01, 2007

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