The Broncos survived a tough road game against the Golden Hurricane, winning 28-21 on the strength of a sturdy Boise State defense and solid games by Kellen Moore and Doug Martin. Should it have been that close? Probably not, but Boise State can certainly be happy with the win.
What did you think about the game? Happy with the result? Concerned about how it might have looked to voters? Couldn't care less? Share your thoughts in the comments. Analysis after the jump.
Well, that was closer than it needed to be
Boise State won by a touchdown, but it felt like so much more. For starters, Tulsa had three big plays that resulted in 14 points; they only had one sustained drive all night. The Broncos settled for a field goal on the one-yard-line, turned the ball over twice, and held a huge time of possession advantage (10 minutes more).
Were you worried in the fourth quarter?
How big was that two-point conversion
Boise State took two following its first touchdown of the night. Had they not, the final score might have been 27-21 and Tulsa would have been driving to win, not driving to tie at the end of the game (true, Tulsa could have gone for two and the win had they scored, but still).
What went wrong in the fourth quarter for the Bronco offense?
Doug Martin was running through folks in the third quarter. Kellen Moore was winging it at will in the first and second. In the fourth quarter, the Broncos could do nothing. What gives?
Fumbles are fun ... NOT!!
The only thing keeping Tulsa in the game in the first half was the butterfingers from Kyle Wilson and Doug Martin. Let's make excuses for them. Both turnovers came in the first half with the rain coming down much harder than at any other point in the game (except during Lou Holtz soliloquies). Wilson was probably anxious to actually get a chance to return a kick; nerves might have played a part. On Martin's fumble, it looked like Kellen Moore handed it off to him around the neck, which is probably not Martin's preferred handoff location.
Still, the Broncos won by a touchdown while going minus-2 in the turnover battle. On another note, Boise State hasn't forced a turnover in two weeks.
Under pressure, the G.J. Kinne story
Kinne had a long night running from pressure, throwing under pressure, going down under pressure. When there wasn't a man in his face, there was a man getting after his face and forcing Kinne to send wayward passes anywhere but near his receiver. Like Lou Holtz and Rece Davis said, the difference in the game was the pressure on Kinne and the lack of pressure on Moore.
Why didn't Todd Harris ask Karl Benson about his cool new look?
WAC commissioner Karl Benson was looking natty during his sideline cameo, sporting a slicked back hairdo, a striped Tommy Hilfiger button up, and some rather expensive Lasik eye surgery. And all Todd Harris wanted to talk about was how high Boise State could get in the polls? Missed opportunity, Mr. Harris. Did your Jared Zabransky interview teach you nothing?
When did college football become more about winning pretty and less about winning?
I really hate college football sometimes.
The halftime show of the Boise State - Tulsa game analyzed the first half by comparing Boise State to Oklahoma. Come again? With the Broncos holding an 18-14 lead, BSU got called on the carpet for not dominating the Golden Hurricane the same way that Oklahoma did.
Give me a break. The Broncos looked just fine in the first half, apart from a couple costly turnovers and one solid Tulsa drive. Teams don't play in order to look good. They play to win. Boise State was doing that, weren't they? Get a life, Trevor Matich, and stop making me wish longingly for the NHL.
Boise State's penalties did not make the trip (flu-like symptoms)
The Broncos, as penalty-loving as any team, took the night off from backing themselves up, ending with only three accepted calls against them. What made the difference? Fear of gassers, I guess. I'm just happy we didn't see any unnecessary false starts or defensive pass interference calls because those bum me out and make Coach Pete sad. Losing only 24 yards to penalties (as opposed to 65 from Tulsa) makes a big difference.
Which leads us to ...
Boise State in the red zone looks much more like you'd expect Boise State to look in the end zone
The Broncos had three TDs on five trips inside the Tulsa 20, which beats their rush-loss, penalty, fumbled-snap trifecta once the goalline gets closer. For the record, Moore hit TE Tommy Gallarda for two of the three scores and Austin Pettis for another. Those seem like a couple good options going forward.
The two trips that the Broncos took and didn't end up with six ended up huge. Ending the first half, a touchdown would have made a big difference, but Brotzman settled with a FG. On the third quarter drive that ended with a fourth and goal from the one-and-a-half and a Brotzman field goal was a big stop for Tulsa. Would you have gone for it? I'll say this: You're never wrong to take the points. And Coach Pete is never wrong in general.
Boise State's offensive line version 2.0
Kevin Sapien stayed home with the flu, and Nate Potter took over for Matt Slater at LT. That left the Boise State starting O-line as Garrett Pendergast, Joe Kellogg, Thomas Byrd, Will Lawrence, and Potter - only two of whom (Byrd and Lawrence) were in the lineup in the season opener.
The best part was that this group looked good. Kellen had plenty of time to throw, and there were just as many running lanes as there were in any other game. Anyone stand out to you?
Kellsy being Kellsy
Kellen Moore was his usual unflappable self for the majority of Wednesday night, and as per the norm, Boise State won. So Kellen Moore goes, so goes the Broncos? Perhaps. It might be more of "so goes the offensive line, so goes the Broncos." Moore was set up for success by having all day to pick his spots and find the open man. And he sure did.
Shea McClellin does his best Ryan Winterswyk
McClellin had a good first half for a Boise State D-lineman. He had a great first half for anyone from the city of Caldwell. Be it sacks, QB pressures, and batted passes, McClellin was seemingly everywhere, including perhaps the Tulsa lockerroom, tapping G.J. Kinne on the shoulder and doing that creepy eyebrow shrug just to let him know he's thinking of him.
McClellin's was excellent. Winterswyk was superb. Baker and Winn were solid.
And how big was Winterswyk's sack on Tulsa's final drive? Not only did it keep the clock running, but it forced a much tougher fourth down than it could have been.
Assorted thoughts that I couldn't work into a paragraph
- How about Tommy Gallarda tapping his toes for the TD? El oso beautisimo!
- Cullen Moore and Doug Harper would make a pretty good backfield duo.
- Anyone else think Lou Holtz would have a grand old time with Tom Scott and Mark Johnson?
- Does 2009 Kyle Wilson punt returner give anyone else deja vu of 2008 Vinny Perretta punt returner?
- Doug Martin had over 100 yards. Didn't it feel like it all came on one drive?