Bounce House Crazy!
By: Robert Craft
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
The Lying Season is over! College football is in full swing this weekend and all the preseason reviews and prognostications can be thrown in the trash. To steal a line from Hank Williams Jr., “ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?”
As I browse the games this week around the State of Florida, three games stick out with Playoff indications. The first features the number 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide taking on the number 14th ranked Miami Hurricanes in Atlanta. Can D’Eric King handle the Bama defense? No, Alabama 49 Miami 24
The second game is Sunday night, Notre Dame travels to Tallahassee to take on FSU. This game is tough to predict with so many unknowns. The Irish are rebuilding on offense and the Noles have a lot of new faces on defense. Notre Dame 27 FSU 24
The feature game in the State of Florida is on Thursday night as Boise State travels to Orlando to take on UCF. Why does this game have major playoff ramifications? For both teams, whoever loses is out week 1. The Playoff committee will give many teams a pass for losing one game but “Non-Power 5” teams do not have that luxury.
Both teams have new head coaches, Boise’s Andy Avalos and UCF’s Gus Malzahn. Both teams are in the running for the Group of Five’s bid on a New Year’s Six bowl game, with an outside chance to sneak into the big show, the College Football Playoffs.
The winner of the season opener in the Bounce House will keep themselves right in the conversation, but the loser will see themselves out.
It’s been a while since Boise State played in a full stadium. The Bounce house is very unique. As soon as you hear KernKraft 400’s “Zombie Nation”, the fans start jumping, and the metal bleachers wiggle and sway the stadium with every impact. Not a typical college football Saturday by any means, especially to first timers.
The Broncos are led by junior quarterback Hank Bachmeier, who threw for 1,150 yards and six touchdowns in five games last season. Boise State will likely run a West Coast style offense and will try to get the ball in the hands of senior receiver CT Thomas. Thomas had 20 catches for 347 yards and two touchdowns last season.
On defense, Boise State’s linebacker Riley Whimpey set the tone for the Broncos. Whimpey has led the Broncos in tackles the last two years, finishing with 61 last season and 83 in 2019. He joined this season with Brock Wilson, a transfer from the Wolfpack at North Carolina State.
Boise State has been to Florida in recent years, they even came home victorious; In 2019, the Broncos upended the Florida State Seminoles 36-31. This team is no stranger to winning on the road.
The Gus Bus has parked, and now it is time to see what Coach Malzahn has in store for the 2021 UCF Knights.
The Knights return quarterback Dillon Gabriel, a junior who has passed for 7,223 and 61 touchdowns over the past two seasons. In both seasons, he’s passed for over 3,000 yards, becoming the third quarterback in school history to do it twice. The other two were NFL quarterbacks Daunte Culpepper and Blake Bortles.
UCF will feature wide receivers Jaylon Robinson, Ryan O’Keefe, Jordan Johnson, Brandon Johnson and Mokiao-Atimalala. This is one of the most talented and fastest receiver units in college football. It has earned them the nickname UCFast.
UCF’s defense was (honestly) hot garbage last season. Luckily, for Orlando, Travis Williams has been brought in to turn things around. With the key additions of Big Kat Bryant, Bryson Armstrong, Ricky Barber in addition to the return of Kalia Davis, look for the Knights to cause disruption on defense.
The crowd, weather, a new coach, and traveling across the country are all factors to the downfall of the Broncos. Most importantly, UCF is a more talented team on both sides of the ball and in this contest, UCF has the best player on the field.
Final: UCF 38 Boise State 20.