NFL Week 8: The Buccaneers – Doug Martin & The Boise St 50 Club

Doug Martin burst onto the NFL scene with last night’s dazzling performance on NFL Network.

“On any given Sunday” was the phrase coined by the late commissioner Bert Bell back in the 1950’s. Well lets extend that to Thursday nights as well. With NFL Network carrying a full slate of games this year, another stage has been added to showcase players who otherwise would be obscured outside of Sunday highlight shows. Enter Doug Martin of the Tampa Bay Buccanneers.

He powered the formerly 2-4 Bucs to a 36-17 victory over the 5-2 Vikings up in the Metrodome. This was an impressive win for Tampa. Going into the game the Vikings were 4-0 at home and had the NFL’s 11th ranked defense which only allowed 14.25 points per game in those 4 wins. Even NFC heavyweight San Francisco could only manage 13 points in the home of the Norsemen. So who was this group that came up north to wreak havoc on a former division rival??

Well avid readers of the Taylor Blitz Times know this doesn’t come as a shock to us. In Tampa’s previous 4 losses, they came by a total of 22 points, and one of those came courtesy of Eli Manning’s 245 yard 4th quarter (520 overall), 25 point performance when they faced New York. Even in that 41-34 defeat, they stared down the defending champion Giants and have scored 28 or more in 4 of their 7 games this year. Josh Freeman is back to how he looked in 2010 when he was second to Tom Brady in the touchdown to interception ratio with 14 TDs to only 5 interceptions. Here we predicted the Bucs to rise into possible wild card contention with the addition of Martin from Boise St. https://taylorblitztimes.com/2012/08/27/2012-nfc-south-previews-predictions/ Even with our eye on him Martin’s start to the season has been slow and developing. His play mimics that of a team that showed flashes but hadn’t put a complete game together.

The Buccanneers learned to entrust Doug Martin with the football in his hands as the lead horse.

The big night began for Martin in the first quarter where he took a routine draw play 41 yards to the Vikings 16 to set up the first score of the night to make it 3-0. He finally showed the package of speed and burst this night that Boise St. Bronco fans had been accustomed to seeing. Later in the first now up 10-0, from his own 46 yard line, Martin took off on a counter gap and completely plowed over Viking DB Jamarca Sanford (SEC / Ole Miss) for 12 more. A completely physical run, the type of attitude run that establishes dominance on a football field. On this night the Buccaneers ran him on counters, stretches, and draw plays that allowed him to gain over 100 yards by halftime. Then early in the 3rd quarter came his signature play of the night. On a routine screen play, two Viking defenders converged on him, with a signature stiff arm to DT Letroy Guion (from Florida St.) he burst through 3 more Vikings and 64 yards later the Bucs were up 27-10. Ballgame!!

For the night Martin had 29 car. for 135 yards and 1 TD, to go with 3 receptions 79 more yards and another touchdown. Martin was the star of the game and did it on a national stage with the rest of the NFL watching.  Those that doubted his ability to play on this level have all shut their collective mouths for this was a strong performance. Consider his next three games are against the Raiders (12th against the run), down on their luck Chargers (2nd against the run), and Carolina (19th against the run) he might be able to string together a few hundred yard games here.

For the season Doug Martin sits at 543 yards, which is more than halfway to the 1,000 yards The Chancellor of Football told you he’d get. Do you realize he’s only played 7 games?? Do you realize if he duplicated last night’s performance next week, it would put him on pace for a 1,356 yard season?? For all the Johnny Come-Lately’s we have been touting this talent here for more than two football seasons now. https://taylorblitztimes.com/2011/08/02/2011-heisman-campaign-doug-martin-of-boise-st/ This was a gem we wrote to get some exposure out there about him when no other writer or pundit had anything good to say. It was us and no one else writer-wise. The only guy who did talk about Martin as a 1st round pick and will do great in the pros was fellow NFL analyst Mike Mayock. Ironically, he was the color analyst for last night’s game. We argued the merits of Doug Martin and the National Championship legitimacy of the Boise St Broncos against a tidal wave of naysayers… Which brings us to our next point…

Are you familiar with the Boise St 50 club?? I know you aren’t… The Boise St Broncos class of 2011 was the first Division I (we use old school terminology here) graduating class to win 50 games during their collegiate career. They should have played for the National Championship at least one of those years. Yet NCAA, CBS and BCS politics kept them from their legitimate place as one of the great teams in college football history because they didn’t play in the SEC or a BCS power conference. They were 6-0 against teams from BCS conferences, won 4 bowl games including 2 BCS bowl games, and had 2 undefeated seasons. Now those former colleagues that argued against The Chancellor’s points are nowhere to be found now that every skilled player from that Boise St. team made the NFL. Kellen Moore is in Detroit along with WR Titus Young, and WR Austin Pettis (Rams) who scored in last week’s game against the Packers. They were the winningest team in college football from 1999-2011. There are other notable Boise St Broncos in the NFL… Ask Aaron Rodgers and now Matt Ryan what they think of Daryn Colledge as a tackle. He started for the 2010 Super Bowl Champion Packers. Then go tap Peyton Manning on the shoulder and ask him what school his left tackle Ryan Clady went to.

Yet the lasting legacy of that group will be Doug Martin’s NFL career and he’s now off and running. He was the crown jewel of that group and last night was a glimpse into what he can do as a runner. Isn’t it ironic that Tamp Bay RB LaGarrette Blount became infamous for punching a Boise St player and now he sits behind one on the Buccanneer depth chart??

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Another friend to the Taylor Blitz Times is the Ray Ellis Show on Voice of America Sports. Talks about pro football on every Tuesday and has many former players on his show. The Chancellor has been on the show a few times talking football and being from Ohio he knows his football. Tune in on Tuesdays http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/64762/ray-ellis-sports

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A Word From the Chancellor: College Football- Boise St Needs To Become The New Miami Hurricanes

Boise St Broncos storming the field

After watching TCU and Boise St beat their heads against a brick wall just to play in BCS Bowl games, it finally hit our chancellor what needs to  be done.  The Mountain West Conference will never garner Boise St the respect it needs to crash the BCS Title Game no matter how well they play. The 4 undefeated seasons through the 2000s aren’t enough and neither were the 2 BCS Bowl wins in the eyes of jaded BCS conference lovers. With everyone joining these collegiate super conferences it’s time to reverse gears and go independent. Especially Boise St, at least TCU gets love since they hail from Texas.

Well, the blueprint has already been laid out for them. They are to copy the pattern that garnered the Miami Hurricanes prominence throughout the the 1980s and ’90s by being the independent foil that played 5 or 6 ranked opponents every year. This way they can play toward the mantra “it’s all about the money”, and take on teams that think they can beat them and will pay them for 3 to 4 game series. Think about it. Get a reported $800,000 from those three teams and supplement this with their bowl money. It will be a financial windfall. What happens if they take on a 3 game series with an LSU, and Ohio St., and an Alabama team that believes they can beat them?? Then they take on two to three single game  performances against a ranked West Virginia and USC, then schedule weaker opponents. If they come through a crucible such as that it forces the voters to rightfully vote them #1 if they can march through those 6. Gone is the conference argument being used against them. How well did this formula work for Miami??

Well the last time Miami was an independent and won the National Title outright was 1989, funny thing is they won a split title in 1991 as a Big East Conference member. You’ll note that they even lost to Florida St. yet ran the table against the rest of their ranked opponents. The teams that were not ranked by season’s end did hail from BCS conferences in Wisconsin, Cal, Pitt, defending champion Notre Dame (also an independent) and the pollsters couldn’t avoid voting them up. Look at this schedule for the 1989 Canes and fashion a 2012 schedule for Boise with some substitutes. If they could go 5-1 or 6-0 versus that tough of competition they could be #1 with ease. Think about it Coach Peterson!!

Date Result Miami Rank# (Rank#)Opponent Stadium · City
September 9, 1989 W 51-3 #3 Wisconsin Camp Randall Stadium – Madison, WI
September 16, 1989 W 31-3 #3 California Orange Bowl – Miami, FL
September 23, 1989 W 38-7 #2 Missouri Faurot Field – Columbia, MO
September 30, 1989 W 26-20 #2 Michigan State Spartan Stadium – East Lansing, MI
October 7, 1989 W 56-0 #2 Cincinnati Orange Bowl – Miami, FL
October 14, 1989 W 48-16 #2 San Jose State Orange Bowl – Miami, FL
October 28, 1989 L 10-24 #2 @ #9 Florida State Doak Campbell Stadium – Tallahassee, FL
November 4, 1989 W 40-10 #7 East Carolina Orange Bowl – Miami, FL
November 11, 1989 W 24-3 #7 @ #14 Pittsburgh Pitt Stadium – Pittsburgh, PA
November 18, 1989 W 42-6 #7 San Diego State Orange Bowl – Miami, FL
November 25, 1989 W 27-10 #7 #1 Notre Dame Orange Bowl – Miami, FL
January 1, 1990* W 33-25 #2 #7 Alabama Louisiana Superdome – New Orleans, LA
*Sugar Bowl #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game.

The Boise St. Broncos need to copy this formula and wind up with a ranking that will elude them with their present conference situation. They have to take the voters stance and embrace the BCS and force their vote. Without this type of set-up it’s more of the same thing. A big win against a Georgia team earlier this year and SEC pundits and fans scoffed they were an SEC bottom feeder. Well if Boise St schedules two of these schools and march through them it would bode well for their shedding the “one tough opponent” label. Without this they may never get their due as the well coached team that they are.

Kellen Moore, soon to become the all time winningest quarterback in Division I history.

The funny thing is most people equate the Broncos with BYU in past annals when they are not like BYU at all. This well oiled machine mines football talent from Northern and Southern California, and nabs some of the soon to develop talent who had issues with grades. They even allow players to send try-out tapes to the school and shop their wares instead of relying on big time scouting to be noticed. There are a lot of inner city kids on these Boise teams and these other “big schools” think they’re going to “punk” the Broncos. Then they wake up in the 4th quarter in a dog fight against a team where every player has a chip on his shoulder. There is a ruggedness to their teams yet they’re disciplined. It takes this type of attitude from the coaching staff and players to make this go. What do you say Coach Peterson?? The time is now or you may let one of history’s finest runs be regarded on the periphery of achievement when compared to other schools.

Just remember Boise St, the University of Miami was seriously thinking about dropping their football program from Division I altogether before Howard Schnellenberger came up with this bold plan. It turned a fledgling school in South Florida into a national power and may be just the tonic Bronco nation needs to finally crash the BCS Title Game. Well, that and a place kicker that can make a 4th quarter field goal.

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2011 Heisman Campaign: Doug Martin of Boise St.

Boise St’s talented Doug Martin

Heisman Trophy

One of the nation’s best running backs wasn’t even a guaranteed starter at his position just two years ago, let alone last year. Would you believe he was a complimentary back and special team standout who switched to and from safety several times at Boise State?? At 5’9 201lbs, he runs with a Mark Ingram-like low center of gravity, yet unlike the past Heisman Trophy winner, Martin has an explosive burst. He began the 2010 season as a complimentary option to incumbent starter Jeremy Avery and just flat unseated him. He wound up rushing for 1,260 yds on just 201 carries, had a whopping 6.2 yards per carry average and 12 TDs. Yikes! What would he have done if he had been the undisputed starter at the beginning of the season??

He exploded at the end of the season when he dazzled the nation with one of the best performances in college football against Nevada.  Boise St was ranked #3 with a 10-0 record and traveled to play Nevada, who was on a 10 game winning streak, and were 10-1 with a #19 ranking. This was the last hurdle for the Broncos to push to play in that elusive National Championship Game. In a nationally televised game, the Broncos sprinted out to a 24-7 lead thanks to 2TDs by Martin. The last of which was a 51 yd sweep to the left that left Wolfpack defenders gasping for air as he sprinted into the endzone for what appeared to be a clinching touchdown. Yet the Wolfpack furiously fought to get back into the game tying the score at 24 with 5:10 left in the regulation.

The Boise offense had been stifled for the better part of two quarters when they turned to their dynamic junior running back. In what should have been a last possession time consuming drive, Martin accidentally showcased his flare for the dramatic. On 1st and 10, he took a routine screen pass, set up blocks with a few electrifying moves and powered through an attempted tackle and exploded for a 79 yard touchdown. The play was stunning by itself yet when his team was playing pensive and they needed it most he came through. Alas the finish to the game robbed the Broncos of their shot at playing for it all falling 34-31 in overtime. However that Saturday night in front of an ESPN audience Martin amassed 152 yds on 24 carries for 2TDs while gaining 78 yards on 3 receptions and another touchdown. Two of his scoring plays were from 51 and 79 yards out.  For the season he had 11 plays of over 25 yds or more and 3 that were over 50.

After receiving a slight from the Bowl Committee and having to play December 22 in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl, the Broncos again had a national television audience tune in. After both teams started off sluggish, Martin moved the crowd with an 84 yard touchdown run in which he outran the entire secondary the last 50 yards to the endzone. He had another breathtaking cutback run of 32 yards and finished the day with 17 carries for 147 yards and 1 touchdown in a 26-3 win. When the lights came on and it was time to perform, he played his absolute best.

So why the high expectations on Doug Martin? He finished with 6, 100 yard games and if he carries the football to the tune of 250-275 times this season he could rush for 1,700 yards and over 20TDs in the Mountain West Conference. He rushed for 15TDs in a complimentary role in 2009 so those numbers aren’t far-fetched.  His stock is clearly on the rise and this is an NFL ready running back. As we debated the merits of a Boise St’s legitimacy to play for the National Championship last year, we expect some flack because of the Broncos schedule and conference. Until you realize

  • LaDainian Tomlinson -TCU Hornedfrogs WAC- 13,404 NFL Career Yards, 144 rushing TDs & NFL record 31TDs in one season
  • Walter Payton – Jackson St – SWAC- Former NFL All Time Rushing leader with 16,726 yards rushing
  • Jamal Anderson-Utah WAC- Ran for Atlanta Falcon record 1,750 yards on NFL record 410 carries in 1998
  • Mike Anderson-Utah WAC – Ran for NFL rookie game rushing record 250 yards against New Orleans Saints 2000

2011 Boise State Bronco Stadium Banner of Doug Martin

Just to name a few of the merits of those coming from smaller schools and their ability to compete with their BCS Conference School counterparts at the next level. Take a look at Reggie Bush for example….yet I digress. Ahem it’s at the collegiate level we’re talking about. As the video illustrates Martin can avoid the big hit with his quick feet yet when contact is imminent, he explodes into tacklers with the mentality of a defensive player. If you approach Boise St’s Stadium, you’ll see these huge banners of Kellen Moore and a few other players, yet its the one to the left of this column that will catch your eye. Keep your eye out for him this season and in next April’s draft. You haven’t heard the last of this talent and with an injury free season could be the best in the country and worthy of the Heisman Trophy.