BOISE, ID - OCTOBER 01: A general view of Bronco Stadium during the game between the Nevada Wolf Pack and the Boise State Broncos on October 1, 2011 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
This was the game many Boise fans had been awaiting for a very long time. Sweet, sweet revenge was the tone of our outing as the Broncos embarked on a journey of redemption on Saturday afternoon. Just one year prior, the Nevada Wolfpack had shattered our hopes of a BCS bowl through a series of unfortunate events. Though we still played in a bowl game, it was the meeting in Reno approximately 10 months ago that renewed a seemingly dwindling Western Athletic Conference Rivalry. Join me now after the jump as we celebrate our victory, and diagnose the three stars and one goat of Boise State's win over Nevada.
What started out as an overcast afternoon in Boise, Idaho, eventually became one of the hottest days in recent memory. Maybe that's just because I sat directly underneath the sun for about six hours, in the North Endzone, away from any hope of shade unless I wanted to go hang out with the Chicken and Cheese Pita crew underneath the bleachers. Although we walked away with a victory on Saturday afternoon, there was a very eerie presence throughout the stadium, or maybe that was just the inordinate amount of flags the prestigious WAC officiating crew threw against Boise State. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that was it. But in all seriousness, it was different watching Kellen throw for only 142 yards with two touchdowns and two picks. Or maybe it was the lack of the pick-master, Jerrell Gavins from the Bronco secondary. Or maybe the eeriness was caused by the incessant pacing of Chris Ault on the sidelines. Regardless of all the seemingly odd happenings on Saturday afternoon, the Broncos came away with a win, and became one step closer to an undefeated season and BCS bowl appearance. Join me now as we take a look at our stars, and the obvious goat from Saturday's meeting with the Nevada Wolfpack.
It seems to me like three stars is quickly becoming the Kellen, Doug, Gavins/Miller show. I don't want it to be so. I don't want three stars to be the same guys, week in and week out, even if it seems like they're the only logical choices. Three stars needs to be about players that had a positive impact on their team's achieving a victory. I feel these three players all had a positive impact on the Boise State victory on Saturday afternoon. Sure there are others, but these are the ones that stood out in my mind. Now let's celebrate.
The Mitch Burroughs Experience is back, ladies and gentlemen. Well, kind of. Or has it ever even left? A quick glance at Burroughs' stats would argue that the Experience is back. In 2010, Mitch had six receptions for 59 yards. So far through 2011, Burroughs the Elder has 21 receptions for 216 yards, playing a vital role in the Broncos receiving core. On Saturday, Mitch had five receptions for 34 yards. Yeah, yeah, I know he dropped a WIDE OPEN ball that would have been a score, but Mitch came through when we needed him and seemed to be a solid favorite for Kellen against Nevada. Mitch also had three punt returns for 69 yards. Congratulations, Mitch, on being Star No. 3 of Boise State's win over Nevada - and here's to hoping the experience never leaves; unless of course he starts dropping wide open balls more often - if that happens, the Experience can leave anytime he wants.
Runner Up for Star No. 3: Chris Potter walking around on the sidelines in skinny jeans and a long sleeve shirt under his jersey. Wow.
Star No. 2: J. C. Percy, Junior LB
J.C. Percy has had at least three tackles in every game so far this season. On Saturday afternoon he had four, and one interception. Not the most incredible performance we've ever had, but time and time again I found myself impressed with his presence on the field. He seemed to always be in the core of a tackle or making a big stop on the edge. Percy was flying around the field, truly establishing himself as a leader on the defense that only allowed 59 yards rushing to a team that previously averaged 285 yards rushing per game. Percy played a vital role in shutting down an offense that had previously been extremely high performing. Great job, J.C., and congratulations on being Star No. 2 of Boise State's win over Nevada.
Runner Up for Star No. 2: The Hamster masked man in the stands that braved the intense heat and showed his muscle hamster pride. Must have been a literal pool of sweat inside that outfit. Gross.
Doug Martin, or as CBS announcers like to call him, The Bulldozer (Mark Johnson frowns on your ridiculous nicknames, CBS) was a beast on Saturday afternoon. Too bad we don't give out stars for yards after contact, because that was the name of the game for Doug Martin vs Nevada. Time after time, Martin barrelled his way downfield, literally running through and over would-be defenders that got in his way. Doug finally got his first 100 yard rushing game of the season, ending the night at 126 yards on 21 carries. His best run of the game was actually called back because of a blue field penalty flag thrown by the WAC refs (just kidding, it was a hold, but it may as well have been something that ridiculous). Martin's legs are continually pumping and pushing for the extra yards, which is what makes him so hard to take down, and eventually earned him the nickname Bulldozer. Martin may not even hit 1,000 yards rushing on the season, but numbers truly can't sing the importance of Martin on the Boise State offense. He is a true leader, and an incredible football player. Congratulations, Doug, on being Star No. 1 of Boise State's win over Nevada.
Runner Up for Star No. 1: The Broncos walking out of the tunnell. Running out of the smoke is awesome enough, but walking out, arms linked, literally sends chills throughout my entire body. Freaking. Awesome.
The Goat: Penalties
My criteria for determining the Goat each week: what pissed me off and brought me to cursing more than anything else. Well, this was an easy one. Penalties. Boise got hit with the same amount of penalties, for approximately the same amount of yards that Nevada did, but ours sure seemed a lot worse. If the anger level of the North Endzone was any indiication of how poor some of the calls were, I imagine everyone - both home and at the stadium - were just as enraged. I can't even count how many facemasks and holds the refs missed on Saturday.
First off, let me say that I know the referees call what they see. Most of them do the best job they can every play, and none are perfect. I get that. But c'mon, man! That was awful! At one point, I saw Kirby Moore get tossed out of bounds, helmet coming off and all. The ref threw a flag, and I fully expected the call to be: "Excessive length of hair and fluidity on the offense, number 34." Okay, that might be an exaggeration. But in all seriousness, I haven't heard that many "boo's" in Bronco Stadium for several years.
Runner Up for The Goat: Nevada Fan Attendance - what were there, like a few dozen of them? We bring 10,000 to Reno and they can't even crack triple digits? Thats like looking at the upper tier of the student section in the 4th quarter. Oh snap.
Anyone else see C. Pot on the sidelines in the skinny jeans? Is Mitch Burroughs the real deal? Who were your stars, and who was your goat? Sound off, Bronco Nation!
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