First, let me congratulate you on your victory. It was well deserved. You were the better team. I hope you go on to win the MNC.
Now, I'm going to say some things that not everyone is going to agree with but I'm trying to give an honest opinion. If you think I'm biased you are right, no fan can be unbiased by definition.
First of all, I was very impressed with Bronco Nation. You travel well and the Bronco fans I spoke to were universally nice folks. I hope that everyone was welcomed and treated with respect. If you were not, I'm very sorry, we have our share of jackasses. Please don't hold it against our reputation. I spoke to a quite a few of you and everyone was great in my eyes.
Games are won and lost on a few key plays. Here are the my keys of the game for Boise winning:
1. The punt block. I saw the guy who blocked the kick line up on the outside to block the VT's gunner and then he ran back inside on the end and was not blocked.
2. The 71 yard TD by Harper. Should have been tackled, two young LB's miss their tackles and the Free safety loses containment.
3. The 2nd and 3rd down play on VT'sdrive with 2:00 minutes left. Bothplays should have been right up the gut runs by a running back. VT could have gotten 40 seconds more burned off the clock with a running play. Plus, I thought Boise's line was tired and might have been susceptible. This one is up for debate. A first down would have completely iced the game so a pass might have been in order. I would have run the ball both plays.
4. Boise's final punt return. I was a marginal call on the block in the back. I watched the replay and if my team had been called for it, I would have been livid but in a close game, if it's too close to call, you don't call it. Then the returner rips off 25 yards. Huge play.
5. The PF called on the sideline against Bruce Taylor, VT's middle linebacker. Terrible call. Pettis was still up and inbounds. If he doesn't make the hit, there's no whistle, he may stay upright and keep going. He had to make that tackle regardless of what was happening. Also, it was a borderline play at the end of the game. You simply don't make these types of calls on to close to call plays. Same as #4 but in the opposite direction.
Here's my quarter by quarter mood chart:
1st Q: OMFG, we are embarrassing ourselves on national TV again.
2nd Q: Tyrod is a god.
3rd Q: I'm renaming my 12 year old daughter Tyrod. I hope she doesn't mind.
4th Q: Yes, No, Yes... OMFG.... we are doing it again. Total blackness, anger, murder ... Where's the whiskey?
Observations on the Big Picture:
1) On VT. Heart-breaking loss again. This is going to sting longer than the loss to U$C in 2006 (oh, according to the NCAA, we didn't lose that game but we didn't win it either. So did it every happen? I could have sworn I was there).
2) Kellen Moore is a very good QB. I got questions about his arm strength but he's savvy and smart. Pettis is a great receiver and player. The defensive line was awesome and manhandled VT'soffensive line. You're defensive backfield is a little shaky though. Against a passing team who can spread the field with 3 or 4 receivers, these guys are going to have their hands full.
3) Broncos now must root like hell for VT to win the rest of their games and vice versa. The general feeling I'm getting from the media is that some people remain unconvinced and that will only grow as the year progresses especially if two teams like Texas, Ohio State, Alabama or Florida has only one loss. Unfortunately, if Boise, Ohio State and Alabama finish undefeated, you're outside looking in. That sucks but it's the realistic expectations.
4) Peterson is a great coach. Very smart and a much better game tactician than Beamer. Beamer is going to take the conservative route most times. VT always starts season's badly and then gets better. Boise was ready to play.
5) If Boise does make it to the MNC game, Boise should be concerned about size and depth. The DB's are small and the SEC type type receivers are big and fast. Also, on the lines, a team like Alabama and Florida are 4 deep with huge blue chip linemen who can grind down Boises offensive anddefensive lines. Depth would become an issue in those types of games andthe SEC has huge depth. They are best paid players in college football ;-).
6) VT has a lot of work to do on their offensive line, special teams and defense. The defense is young and will get better under Bud Foster. The didn't look great this game, too many missed assignments and tackles. The punter is really slow and the place kicker had his issues. Then there is the perennial problem with the offensive line.
Good luck the rest of the way. I'm rooting for you to win them all and create a BCS mess. I love controversy especially were the BCS is concerned.