It wasn't all Kyle Brotzman's fault on Friday night. The offense stalled, the defense bent, I failed to wear the appropriate gameday shirt.
And ultimately, it was just one of those games. You can't win them all, even though Boise State had for the past two years. "It’s one of those games that usually we’ve been fortunate to pull some things out," Coach Pete said afterwards, "and this time we couldn’t do it."
So while the dust settles on this one and before the Broncos move on to winning a share of the WAC title next week against Utah State, here is my list of the confluence of football factors that just happened to not go Boise State's way last night.
The No Way game
If you play football video games enough (guilty), you will eventually come across a No Way game. The computer opponent gets sick of you winning all the time and simply decides that there's No Way you're winning this one. Every call goes the other way. You can't get a stop on defense. You can't do anything on offense. The most random garbage happens - always to you and never in a good way.
Boise State ran into a No Way game in the second half last night. And they almost pulled it out.
What went wrong for Boise State
Three fumbles forced, zero fumbles recovered.
Fumble luck was not going Boise State's way last night. Two of Nevada's fumbles bounced straight into the arms of Nevada players (the third went out of bounds) and even resulted in gained yards.
Jerrell Gavins's missed tackle on Colin Kaepernick's TD run.
Gavins came untouched on a blitz in the third quarter - on a 3rd and 7 no less - but whiffed on Kaepernick and lost contain, allowing the Nevada QB to scamper into the end zone for the Pack's second touchdown of the night.
Doug Martin only getting six second-half carries.
Part of it was playcalling, a lot of it was Boise State having the ball so little in the second half, and another part was probably that Nevada brought down Martin for a loss the last two times he touched the ball. But for a guy who had 100 rushing yards at halftime to be so quiet in the second half (on the ground at least) was kind of sobering.
Two big drops on Boise State's opening second half drive.
This game might very well have been over just after halftime if Boise State was able to go up 31-7 after its opening drive. But that obviously didn't happen. Mitch Burroughs dropped a big gainer on 2nd down with the ball just inside Nevada territory. Titus Young had a pass go through his hands on 3rd down. Punt.
Second-half penalties: Boise State 4 for 55 yards, Nevada 1 for 5 yards.
Doug Martin's forced fumble on the punt that was penalized for kick catching interference
If you are looking for a turning point in the game, this was probably it. Martin decked Rishard Matthews either just as he caught the ball or just after he caught the ball, depending on your point of view and probably on your affiliation to Boise State or Nevada. For the record, you do not need to give a punt returner a three-yard "halo" to make the catch. The kick catch interference rule merely says:
It is an interference foul if the kicking team contacts the potential receiver before, or simultaneous to, his first touching the ball
Jamar Taylor's pass interference penalty on 4th and 2
It was marginal, again depending probably on whether you are a Boise State fan or a Nevada fan.
Second-half time of possession: Nevada 21:53, Boise State 8:07.
Yeah, that's about how it felt. Even a two-deep defensive line will start feeling that after awhile.
Multiple missed tackles on Rishard Matthews's 44-yard TD run
Nevada's longest play of the night probably should have been one of the few that went for negative yardage. At least four Broncos had a shot to bring down Matthews - including a pair who would have had him behind the line of scrimmage - but that obviously wasn't meant to be.
Nevada made them. Boise State didn't.
Credit the Wolf Pack for being the better team in that second half. Their defense made some good adjustments to get pressure on Kellen Moore and take away Boise State's momentum. Their offense found a way to get rolling and take advantage of a seemingly immovable Bronco D. As much as it pains me to say so, the Nevada coaches looked really smart.
Can you think of other things that went wrong for Boise State against Nevada? Share your thoughts in the comments.