The Broncos bid adieu to the Western Athletic Conference (thank goodness no more WSN) and a handful of amazing seniors on Saturday night. They routed the Aggies in typical fashion, winning 50-14. Join me now after the jump as I break down my three stars and one goat of Boise State's win over Utah State.
Star No.3: The Fans
I must admit that I was incredibly worried after the tough loss last week. And after seeing the news I was more worried for Kyle Brotzman than anything else. The amount of stress, pain, regret, heartache - and all other painful adjectives - that he must have felt all week had to have been excruciating. I truly can not imagine what it must have been like.
A few days after the loss I joined a group on Facebook called "Bronco Nation Loves Kyle Brotzman". When I joined the group there were around 21,000 members. I was amazed at how many fans had come out to support our beloved kicker. Today when I checked back in on the group, it had doubled in size. Countless comments and pictures (like the one above) had been posted offering words of encouragement and forgiveness. Bronco Nation doesn't blame you for anything, Kyle. And that was evident on Saturday afternoon at Bronco Stadium.
Countless signs in support of Kyle were seen all over the stadium. When Kyle came out onto the field as a graduating senior, the fans roared and cheered as loud as I have ever heard them cheer before. When Kyle stepped out to take a field goal, and missed, the Bronco faithful cheered even louder. They sent the resounding message that this is just a game. It is a game we love, but it is not a game that defines us as fans, or the students who play it. Kudos to you, Bronco Nation, for handling the loss like a champ this week. And to those of you making threats and crying still, go crawl in a ditch. I dare say I am more proud to be a Bronco this week than ever before. Thank you, Bronco Nation, and congratulations on being Star No. 3 of Boise State's win over Utah State.
Star No.2: Kellen Moore QB
Kellen was his usual self on Saturday afternoon, minus the most amazing 12-yard run by a goofy quarterback that I have ever seen. I was so hoping he would pull out the pistols again after that run, unfortunately he didn't. Maybe he is saving his ammo for the inevitable smack down in the Vegas Bowl (hoping hoping hoping)? Kellen was 24-for-34 for 237 yards and three touchdowns. He was putting balls exactly where they needed to be for his receivers to get them, completing 70% of all his throws. Contrast those numbers to that of Diondre Borel who had four completions on the night. Ouch. Congratulations again, Kellen Moore, on being Star No. 2 of Boise State's win over Utah State.
Star No.1: The Seniors
I must say that I will probably miss this senior class more than any other in recent memory. With stars like Titus Young, Jeron Johnson, Austin Pettis, Jeremy Avery, Ryan Winterswyk, and Derrell Acrey, this is a class not soon to be forgotten. Acrey started the night off with a bang, intercepting a Diondre Borel pass and running in for an easy 6. The stadium was electric and it gave inspiration to all the other seniors to play extra hard. Jeremy Avery scored and Mike Coughlin marched the troops all the way down for another TD. This year's graduating class has suffered only a handful of losses and many wins. They enjoyed two BCS bowl victories and got to play for a future hall of fame coach. I know that we will have new guys stepping into new roles, but I truly am going to miss these seniors. They played lights out for years on end and truly deserve to be Star No. 1.
The Goat: The Fans
Yeah, that's right, the ceiling fan is back. Could I have picked the refs? Yep. Could I have picked the lack of a Utah State offense or defense? Yep. But the lack of fans in the stands takes the cake in my book. As of Saturday morning there were still 1,500 student tickets remaining! 1,500! I know that it's the holiday season and that things come up and people can't make it to all the games. Even I missed a game this year. It happens. But on the last game of the season, which also happens to be senior day, there is no reason that stadium shouldn't have been packed.
Something our critics have thrown in our face for a long time now is BSU not being able to sell out all their games. We have no problem when Oregon comes to town, or even Nevada for that matter. Sure if we were in the Big 12 it would be a lot easier to put fans in the stands knowing you had Oklahoma and Texas coming to town every other year. But in order to get to that point, we need to fill the stands today. Aren't student tickets free? Don't you get one just for being a student? Boise State currently enrolls around 20,000 students, so filling a small portion of the stadium should not be that difficult. Put on your snow pants and a scarf and support your team, no matter who they are playing. They could be playing the Little Sisters of the Poor, and it should still be a sell out crowd.
Forgive me if I'm wrong on this one, Bronco Nation. If I've offended anyone, my sincerest apologies. However, I want us to keep moving up, and I know that to do that, we have got to fill seats. If we have any dreams at all of adding 15,000 seats and having a $100 million expansion project then we have got to pretend Oregon is coming to town every week. I know we can do this, Bronco Nation. Let's make it happen.
Who were your stars and who was your goat? Who are you going to miss the most this year? If your name is Jesse Palmer you are probably going to miss Kellen Moore because apparently he thinks Kellen is a senior. Sound off!