We're happier than you might think about the Broncos' win. Perhaps it is relief in knowing that one of the tougher games on the conference schedule is out of the way. Perhaps it is joy over our offense somewhat resembling an offense. Or maybe we're just always happy about the Broncos and blind to our own homerism. Yeah, probably that last one.
At any rate, there were still plenty of honorable plays and players from Friday's win. Here are game balls for each of them. We better not see these on eBay in a couple days.
Pontiac game-changing nominee
Ian Johnson's goalline fumble
The Broncos were about to go up 27-6 at halftime when the normally sure-handed Johnson put the ball on the turf millimeters before he crossed the goalline. San Jose State recovered, drove the ball downfield, kicked a field goal, and we had to endure Rece Davis and a halftime of "We've got ourselves a ballgame in San Jose." That Rece Davis is so glib.
Offensive player of the game, lightweight division
Avery weighs 168 pounds and stands 5 feet, 9 inches tall. We weigh ... actually, it's not important what we weigh.
The point is that Avery is, quite possibly, pound-for-pound the best running back in the country. That's right. We said it.
He was the spark the Broncos needed on offense, and his rushing was key in turning the game around. Without him, we might have had the 17-10 slugfest that everyone envisioned and we would have gone into the NMSU game still with a big question mark in the backfield. Now we've got ourselves an exclamation point (in 8-point font).
Kyle Gingg hustle play of the week
Kyle Gingg, forced fumble
At the start of the fourth quarter, with the Spartans "driving" into Boise State territory and the Broncos clinging to a seven-point lead, SJSU quarterback Kyle Reed found a receiver on a short drag route on third and 15, and Gingg took over from there. Similar to his strip in the Oregon game, Gingg dragged the receiver down while simultaneously pulling the ball loose with what appeared to be a third arm. The Broncos recovered, kicked a field goal, and the game was, for all intents and purposes, over.
Copious amounts of hair gel award
The ESPN play-by-play man had a good quart of hair gel lacquered on his thinning mane. It was to the point where the hair started sectioning itself off and clumping together, like a white man's DEP-induced cornrow. On booth shots, the lights bounced off his shiny 'do, nearly blinding fellow announcer Rod Gilmore. We imagine Gilmore preferred the days of the close-talking Joe Tessitore.
WAC special teams player of the week
Actually not. We were just assuming.
Player we would have missed were it not for the wonders of the Internet
The Boise State linebacker apparently had a very solid game, judging by the fact that he was nominated by the team for WAC defensive player of the week. We were relatively oblivious.
Acrey has been a consistent contributor for the Bronco defense ever since the drama of the first few weeks with benchings and injuries. Apparently, he has arrived as a player. Or the Bronco coaches decide their nominations via eenie-meenie-minie-moe.
Impact freshman we haven't really mentioned all that much
Consider this award a two- or three-game achievement award. Taylor has seen more and more of the field these past couple weeks, and the true freshman has made a seemless transition. Friday night, he picked off an SJSU pass to end the game, and he has been right in the thick of several other Bronco stops throughout the season. He celebrated by going to High School Musical 3.
Crystal Pepsi award for marketing decision gone wrong
San Jose State's "Gold Out"
The "Gold Out" itself was not a bad idea. Having it at San Jose State was. The Spartans supposedly had 26,000 show up at their 30,000-seat stadium, but the views of empty seats and barren sections told otherwise. Plus, it appeared that only a handful of people actually wore yellow, and all of the Boise State crowd (which seemed to be about half of the entire crowd) was clad in blue and orange. Better luck next year with the "Dick-Tomey-half-sleeve-windbreaker Out."
Glimpse of the future
Jeremy Avery, Doug Martin, and to lesser extents, D.J. Harper
Typically when teams lose one of the best players on the team, they struggle for a season or two to replace him. When Ian Johnson leaves at the end of the year, the Broncos won't have that problem.
We know that Avery will be good; he's already good. But seeing Martin rumble downfield on a screen pass was just as encouraging. Throw in D.J. Harper, who when healthy can run with the best of them (and be penalized on special teams with the best of them), and the Broncos will have themselves quite the backfield next year.
Penalty of the week
Ineligible receiver downfield
There were many penalties to choose from: 11 total for the Broncos. But this one stands out because it shouldn't have made it into the scorer's book. On third and five from deep in Spartan territory, Boise State was called for ineligible receiver downfield on a play that netted only four yards. Rather than put the Broncos at fourth down (and force a probable field goal), Tomey chose instead to accept the penalty and give the Broncos another chance. Naturally, the next play BSU picked up a first down.
Defensive player who outgained Yonus Davis with penalty yardage
Johnson has yet to find that fine line between aggressive and not smart. He was penalized for unnecessary roughness on a late hit to a wide receiver (and could have been kicked out), and his penalty kept the Spartans' drive alive. That one we had a problem with. Later, he crushed SJSU QB Kyle Reed as he went to the sideline and received a penalty for a late hit there, too. That one we actually kind of enjoyed. It was a good hit.