FORT COLLINS, CO - OCTOBER 15: Wide receiver Tyler Shoemaker #89 of the Boise State Broncos goes into the endzone for a first quarter touchdown reception ahead of Ezra Thompson #2 of the Colorado State Rams at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium on October 15, 2011 in Fort Collins, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Apart from a five-minute stretch in the second quarter when Boise State was overcome by benevolence and mercy and naps, the Broncos absolutely owned Colorado State on Saturday. It was ugly in a beautiful way. Doug Martin and Tyler Shoemaker had career days, Kellen Moore was NBA Jam levels of on fire, and the Bronco defense came to play. Game balls for everyone!
Join me after the jump as I hand out some postgame awards, and feel free to do the same in the comments.
Reader's choice award for player of the game
Midway through the first quarter, Doug Martin had 116 yards and two touchdowns, better numbers than he has had in all but one other full game this season. Many thanks to the hospitable Colorado State defense and that one safety who missed tackles out the wazzoo.
Reader's fourth-choice award for player of the game
He set a career best in receiving yards and came up with three of the game's biggest plays, yet Tyler Shoemaker only had 33 of the 700+ voters pick him for player of the game. Was it because 114 of his 180 receiving yards came with no defenders within 15 yards of him? Was it because his fake punt was too easy-looking? Is it because you guys love Doug Martin and Kellen Moore too much? Probably the latter.
Least creative sign of the game
Game ball for best big uglying
Charles Leno and Nate Potter
Boise State's offensive tackle tandem held NCAA-leading sackmeister Nordly Capi to zero sacks. Moore was pressured twice and sacked once, and quite obviously - judging by the scoreboard and the total yardage and the lack of grass stains - the Colorado State pass rush was a non-factor.
Game ball for most athletic play of the game
Shea McClellin INT
With apologies to Ebo Makinde's blitz-tackle-strip, Kellen Moore's one-yard scramble, and Doug Martin every time he touches the ball, I felt the most athletic play of the day came from Shea McClellin. The Bronco DPOY candidate went from pass rush to pass coverage in a split second after seeing the running back leak out of the backfield. Clark Superman timed his jump just right and came down with the pick. I pulled my groin just watching it (I was on an exercise ball at the time, but still).
Proof that God is a Bronco fan
Best-looking true freshman
The Broncos burned redshirts on Corey Bell and Hightower, so more highlights for us. Hightower especially looked like a future star with a pair of rattling tackles - one on a CSU receiver who dropped the ball in order to save himself and the other on a CSU running back who did not look both ways before crossing the Hightower tracks. More of this kid, please.
Game ball for most talking
Play-by-play man Todd Christensen
Somewhere in a Fort Collins Flying J, Christensen is still telling stories about the 1970 Oakland Raiders.
- Best performance in a Chase Baker role: Mike Atkinson. The Canadian Baconator filled in admirably for the injured Baker, and the Boise State defense gave up only 84 yards rushing to the Rams. Just 309 more yards and CSU would have matched the Broncos.
- Best Coach Pete birthday gift: Playing well in the second half. Petersen turned 47 years old on Thursday, and I wouldn't be surprised if all he asked for was no cheap garbage-time points by Colorado State. Happy birthday!
- Game ball for placekicking: No one. I am tempted to give it to Dan Goodale for going 9-for-9 on extra points, even though a few of them peaked at 12 yards off the ground.
- Game ball for best redemptive performance: Mitch Burroughs. Elder Burroughs fumbled away a Bronco drive late in the second quarter, and the Rams responded with their second straight touchdown. Did that bother me? Yes, I may have made a scene at my viewing party. But was I equally as stoked or more when he ran back a punt 64 yards? You bet.
- Obligatory gameball for near-perfection: Kellen Moore. Just your typical 300-yard, 4-touchdown day at the office.
- Biggest hit: Aaron Tevis. I believe that hit was a metaphor for the game.
What players, plays, and performances do you think deserve game balls? Share your thoughts in the comments.