Friday, September 2, 2011

Zombie Bronko Nagurski vs. USC Trojans

Bronislau "Bronko" Nagurski was a former Gopher football star and a true American hero.  At TCF Stadium, he's in the Gopher Ring of Fame. He played for the Chicago Bears in the NFL and was the only player to be named All-Pro in three different non-kicking positions (FB, LT, DT)  He was also a successful professional wrestler, recognized as a multiple-time world heavyweight champion.  Bronko was a 6'2", 235lb wrecking ball.  He has the largest ever recorded NFL Championship ring size at 19 1/2.  Bronko Nagurski's ghost still makes Chuck Norris wet his bed on occasion. Check out this story from Wikipedia:

"A time-honored and perhaps apocryphal story about Nagurski is a scoring gallop that he made against the Washington Redskins, knocking two linebackers in opposite directions, stomping a defensive halfback and crushing a safety, then bouncing off the goalposts and cracking Wrigley Field's brick wall. On returning to the huddle for the extra point try, he reportedly said: 'That last guy hit me awfully hard.'"

Bronko was so great back in the day that if he were reanimated his zombie corpse would be unstoppable.  Rather than eating brains he would destroy offensive lineman and tackle quarterbacks... then eat their brains. Each week we'll analyze the opponent and determine how many Zombie Bronkos (ZBs) it would take to defeat them.  Since Zombie Bronko is a holy terror from the underworld, even the best of teams would not be able to stand up to five ZBs playing both ways.  So we'll use a 1 to 5 ZB scale.

Zombie Bronko Poised for the Attack

Week 1 Opponent: USC Trojans

The Trojans offense is going to be very good in 2011.  They have one of the top quarterbacks in the nation in Matt Barkley.  Matt is a golden haired angel that the ladies love and secondaries fear.  Zombie Bronko Nagurski would key in on Matt's beauty and it would be the first thing that his tortured soul would want to destroy.  Matt threw for 26 TDs and nearly 3000 yards in 2010 and those numbers are expected to increase for this campaign.  Sophomore Robert Woods is an incredible talent at wide receiver.  Gopher cornerbacks will struggle to keep up with him; but not Zombie Bronko.  Zombie Bronko would stand Woods up at the line while snapping at his neck like a turtle.  The offensive line has several unproven players alongside elite tackle Matt Kalil; so a an undead monster from the depths of hell should be able to find openings.

In 2010 the Trojan defense was in the neighborhood of the Gopher defense with regard to awfulness.  They allowed a whopping 3300 yards via pass.  Something called Nickell Robey is their best cornerback and TJ McDonald was first team all Pac10 as a safety. Now Zombie Bronko doesn't really have the ligaments for a lot of passing, but the ZB short passing game might excel here.  USC is shuffling around some linebackers and they have some young defensive lineman that look promising.  I would expect the zombie running game to have some opportunities to break off some big runs against this defense.

Zombie Bronko Rating

So, on a scale of one to five, how many Zombie Bronkos are needed to beat USC?  Well, despite USC being ranked #25, they can be beat and it would only take 3.5 Zombie Bronkos to do so.  What's a half a ZB you ask?  That would be a legless Zombie Bronko that lost his lower half in a wood chipper or a piece of farming equipment.  Legless ZB could still do damage in the trenches and you'd half to be careful lest he latch on to your achilles tendon.

Legless Zombie Bronko Still Very Dangerous

Good luck to the Gophers in their week 1 match-up!

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