Another exciting primetime game. Another thrilling Boise State win.
Boise State scored in the final two minutes on a TD pass from Kellen Moore to Austin Pettis for a 33-30 win over the Virginia Tech Hokies in a thrilling back-and-forth affair. What a game! Share your thoughts on the Broncos' big win in the comments, and join me after the jump for a recap of how it all went down. Much more analysis, celebrating, and fist pumps to come.
Update: Poll added below. More recap and analysis coming this morning.
What follows is a quarter-by-quarter, drive-by-drive breakdown of the game, courtesy of my nervous note-taking throughout the whole thing. Enjoy, or just scroll down to the comments to celebrate.
First Quarter: Boise State 17, Virginia Tech 0
- Brotzman 44-yard field goal
- Pettis TD pass from Moore
- Gallarda TD pass from Moore
Virginia Tech drive ... Hokies open with one of the least threatening fleaflickers you will see. Tyrod Taylor underthrows his receiver who does a terrible job tracking the ball in the air, and Jamar Taylor takes one for the team with a 15-yard pass interference penalty. Billy Winn falls on a fumbled snap by Taylor to end the drive.
Boise State's "drive" ... 3 plays for nothing much at all. After a first down rush loss, Kellen Moore threw short on his next two throws, not really giving Doug Martin a chance to get a first down on 3rd and long. Chalk it up to scripted playcalling, I guess.
Boise State's second drive ... A strong run by Martin on first down, leading to an easy play action TD pass to Pettis. Pretty easy to succeed on play action when Virginia Tech is loading up against the run as much as they are. Key to Boise State's drive was picking up 5 yards on first down. Don't get those 5 yards and that 2nd down play doesn't happen.
Boise State drive ... Two men moving at the same forced a 2nd 1st and 15, plus a sack
Notes: Billy Winn is eating people up ... Thomas Byrd is owning people up front ...You might want to block Austin Pettis on punt team and cover Austin Pettis inside the red zone ... Virginia Tech penalties - extending drives with running into kicker penalties, personal foul ... Jeremy Avery showed up with some big plays to get the Broncos into business. Quick play on the fly sweep and good decision up the middle on the Wild Avery.
Second quarter: Boise State 20, Virginia Tech 14
- Ryan Williams TD run
- Kyle Brotzman 47-yard FG (left hash)
- Ryan Williams TD catch from Tyrod Taylor
Virginia Tech drive ... Boise State's second-team defensive line in the game - they're good, but not Billy Winn good. Taylor picks up some yards with his feet and finally throws the ball downfield. I'm surprised BSU didn't spy Taylor on 3rd and 8 righ tafter the quarter. The 2nd and 14 penalty for illegal formation probably should have been declined by Boise State. Don't you take 3rd and 15 rather than 2nd and 15? If they decline that for 3rd down, chances are VT doesn't take a shot at the end zone on 3rd down.
Boise State drive ... It sure helps to have Virginia Tech kidk so far away from Titus Young that they kick out of bounds. Then the next play, Young strikes back for a big gainer - not sure how it happened thanks to ESPN's cameras. But I bet it looked 20 times worse in 3D! Moore to Hiwat didn't work on first down, D.J. Harper run didn't work on t2nd down, and the 3rd and long blitz had Kellen Moore make an iffy throw to Kyle Efaw for the failed conversion. Oh well. Kyle Brotzman made one from the left hash - and what a big one it was.
Virginia Tech drive ... Virginia Tech got great field position off a Brotzman pooch kickoff (leaving everyone asking, why?). Tyrod Taylor picks up a big 3rd down with a pass just inches away from George Iloka's coverage. A Bytron Hout injury that we never did confirm gave VT a first and goal and then the Bronco defensive line took over from there - FB dive for one yard, McClellin TFL, McClellin sack, and then VT misses a field goal.
Boise State drive ... Doug Martin fumble on 3rd and short, trying for extra yards. If Thomas Byrd had fallen on the recovery, BSU would have been fine.
Virginia Tech drive ... Tyrod Taylor has played much better in the 2nd quarter. He scrambles for a first down and scrambles again, causing Aaron Tevis to come up to stop him and Taylor dumps the ball over Tevis for an easy six. What is Boise State's strategy defending Taylor at this point? It doesn' Judging from the broadcast views, I would say that Boise State has chosen to take away Taylor's passing options rather than commit someone to spy on him. That would leave a lot of the responsibility for contain to t the defensive ends and maybe even keeping pressure at bay so that Taylor doesn't beat him with dscrambles. Obviously, he is beating them with scrambles, so you probably have to re-think that.
Notes: Boise State is definitely winning the starting average field position battle tonight ... Billy Winn a little quieter this quarter, probably because Virginia Tech is focusing on him up ftront ... Ryan Winterswyk has been quiet; injury-related? ...
Third Quarter: Virginia Tech 27, Boise State 26
- Ryan Williams TD run
- D.J. Harper TD run
- Jarrett Boykin TD catch from Tyrod Taylor
Boise State drive ... False start penalty put Broncos in trouble with 1st and 15 then 2nd and 14 and a 3rd and l8 that ended with a Virginia Tech PBU inteded for Pettis. Apart from Martin's good first run to start things off, a pretty disappointing drive, killed by the penalty (false start on Joe Kellogg, but might have been a Kellen Moore communication mistake).
Virginia Tech drive ... Broncos start off with a blitz, which is what Coach Pete said they would need to do more in the second half. On 3rd and t10, Broncos got good pressure with the front four and had zone behind, which made it easy to pick up a scrambling Taylor.
Boise State drive ... Boise State has another 2nd and long (18), and the drive falls apart when Kellen Moore fumbles by hitting Nate Potter on his release. Bronco linemen are not good at falling on fumbles. First Byrd, now Potter.
Virginia Tech drive ...The Hokies are starting to take it to the Broncos up front a little more. I imagine it is more that Boise State is not running on as much adrenaline as earlier rather than the Hokies wearing down the Bronco defense. There are far fewer Bronco linemen in the backfield than there were earlier. Of course, it doesn't help when fumbles flip the field.
Boise State drive ... Finally a Tyler Shoemaker sighting. Boise State is a much more dangerous offense on 3rd and short, although not necessarily with singleback dive plays. But oh. My. Goodness. D.J. Harper is an animal. Two broken tackles, outrunning the secondary, 71 yards. Amazing.
Virginia Tech drive ... I don't think Boise State's strategy to defense Taylor is the right one. On 1st down, Boise State brings the blitz, but Jarrell Root doesn't hold the edge at DE. But t hat's far from the worst part of this drive. Ebo Makinde runs into the VT kicker on a badly missed 51-yard attempt that would have given BSU great field position. Virginia Tech takes the 5 yards and goes for it on 4th down. Blitz, Brandyn Thompson bad coverage and tackling, touchdown. I know it's easy in hindsight, but shouldn't Thompson be covering tighter when he knows BSU is selling out on a blitz? I imagine he was a little gun shu since he got beat deep on 3rd down a couple plays before.
Notes: Heather Cox asked Coach Pete at halftime what the defense would do to defend Tyrod Taylor in the 2nd half. Pete said they were going to pressure him more, not put a spy on him. Interesting ... Thomas Byrd not having as good of a second and third quarter than his first quarter ... Kellen Moore is throwing off his back foot again. Do not want. ...Has Derrell Acrey played at all tonight? ... The epitome of hyperbole: The Sears tropy was in attendance at this game ... A lot of Bronco players have been cramping, but it didn't look like Brnel Myers' injury was a cramp. Looked to me like the trainers were looking at his ankle. Regardless, Matt Slater has done an okay job in his stead so far.
Fourth quarter: Boise State 33, Virginia Tech 30
- Virginia Tech FG
- Austin Pettis TD catch from Kellen Moore
Boise State drive ... Looks like the running game is in sync right now. Boise State has was able to stay in 2nd and manageable for the most part on that drive. Kellen Moore looked good when he had time on a rollout. Doug Martin is running hard. When the Broncos got inside the 20, they had a 2nd and 2 that turned into a 3rd and 6 Virginia Tech's John Graves had a TFL on a play where tugged pulling guard Joe Kellogg, which is a penalty), and Kellen Moore missed Kyle Efaw on a post pattern in the end zone. Speaking of missing things, Brotzman missed his field goal from just inside the left hash. This game is starting to feel a little like the Poinsettia Bowl - Virginia Tech scores late in the second quarter and Kyle Brotzman misses an important 4th quarter field goal.
Virginia Tech drive ...The Hokies get a freebie with a soft roughing the passer penalty on Chase Baker. That penalty puts Virginia Tech near midfield where Taylor picks up another r first with a pitch-and-catch with Jarrett Boykin who is having a big game. Boykin is pretty open, probably more of a busted coverage by Cedric Febis in underneath zone coverage than Jamaa Taylor being too soft. Nevertheless, you have to tackle the guy when he's in front of you, and Taylor didn't.. Good job by the Boise State defense to stiffen in the red zone, clogging up the run game on 1st down, Iloka stepping up to make a sure tackle on a screen on 2nd down, and Iloka breaking up a pass to the goalline on 3rd down. Virginia Tech's kicker makes a fourth quarter field goal.
Boise State drive ... Broncos start with a big 1st down completion to Shoemaker. On the ensuing play, Kellen Moore misses Pettis matchedup on a linebacker and Young streaking to the post with a defender trailing. Carmichael with a shoestring tackle on Avery to prevent a 1st down pickup and then Kellen Moore forces a pass into Shoemaker that gets broken up on 3rd. Great punt by Brotzman to pin the Hokies inside their 10-yard-line. Not that I forgive him.
Virginia Tech drive ... The Hokies grind away on the first three downs for a good 3rd and short pick up. A pass to Boykin in front of Taylor gave the Hokies another first. The Broncos stiffen on 1st and 2nd downs and BSU burns timeouts affer each to save clock. Smart move, and it would probably have been nice to have that third TO left (BSU used it on VT's 2-point conversion try). Great coverage by Jamar Taylor on the deep 3rd down throw to end the drive. Mitch Burroughs returning the punt? Eh, I would prefer to see Titus Young. I would definitely prefer not to see Jeremy Avery blocking people in theabeck on punt return coverage, even if the refs don't call it that way. Whew.
Boise State drive ... Gave Linehan is getting big minutes on this drive, picks up a nice 1st down right away. Austin Pettis was open on 2nd down, thanks to some pretty sweet blocking up front. Play action to Pettis! Great throw! Great catch! Boise State takes the lead.
Virginia Tech drive ... Wonderful play and coverage by Thompson on a 1st down deep pass. Thompason was all alone in coverage on that one. McClellin with a sack on Taylor. Great hustled by McClellin to work around the end for the takedown. Horrible throw by Taylor on 3rd down. He missed an open guy badly with no pressure whatsoever. On 4th and 11, Boykin dropped a bomb from Tyrod Taylor with Jamar Taylor in coverage. Yes.
Notes: Boise State's tackling is getting worse and worse as this game goes on. ... I hate that Boise State wasted that time out on VT's 2-point conversion try ... Jamar Taylor hasn't looked horrible, but it does seem like more and more balls are being caught in front of them ...
What did you think of the game? Did you think Boise State would pull it out? What players and moments stood out to you? Share your thoughts in the comments.