Three stars and one goat of Boise State's win over UNLV

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 05: Jarrell Root #96 (C) of the Boise State Broncos gets his teammates pumped up before a game against the UNLV Rebels at Sam Boyd Stadium November 5, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Boise State won 48-21. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

"Siri, why does Boise State suck against Nevada teams so much?"

Dang. Only a web search. I was really hoping for something for witty than that. 

In all seriousness, we didn't "suck"...per se...however after a hard fought battle, the Broncos came away with another victory on Saturday night. The Broncos improved to 8-0 on the year and Kellen Moore became the winningest quarterback in NCAA history. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Texas. And yes, winningest is a word. Join me now after the jump as we discuss the three stars and one goat of Boise State's win over UNLV.

Well, it wasn't the "game of the century" or "one for the ages"; mostly because it consisted of more than field goals (whammy!), but it sure was a nail biter. The Broncos continued their streak of being relatively innefective in the state of Nevada, but escaped with the win despite the Rebels best efforts. With a final score of 48-21, the Broncos pushed through a dominating second half, and the Rebels simply couldn't keep up. 

 

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Star No. 3: D.J. Harper, Senior RB
Welcome back, D.J., or as CBS Sports announcers like to call him, D.J. Martin (Mark Johnson reincarnated?). How would that be? I mean seriously - a hybrid running back forged from the DNA of Doug Martin and D.J. Harper. Awesome. When Doug Martin went out early on in the game I began to hyperventilate. And then Coach Pete put in Harper, and I stopped hyperventilating. D.J.  has played a relatively small role so far this year for the Broncos with Martin handling most of the carries. However, Harper stepped up to the plate on Saturday and truly established a powerful run game for the Broncos offense. One that the Rebels defense simply could not handle. Harper ended the night with 109 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown. Hopefully Martin is back next week against TCU, but I sure wouldn't mind seeing Harper thrown into the mix a little more often. Congratulations, D.J. on being Star No. 3 of Boise State's win over UNLV. 

Runner Up for Star No. 3: Lee Hightower. That hit on their punt returner was bad in a really good way. Mmmm.

Star No. 2: Tyler Shoemaker, Senior WR
Okay...I will admit it. At one point in the game I was composing a very angry tweet directed at Shoe. Also, I never sent that tweet. Because just as I was finishing, Shoemaker caught a beautiful dime from Kellen over the middle and ran it in for an easy 6. Tweet deleted. That reception over the middle is exactly what Shoemaker needed. He needed a momentum shift, because let's be honest, he sucked before that. Shoemaker ended the night with 5 receptions for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, those numbers truly don't tell the story of the game for Shoemaker. He got off to an uncharacteristically slow start, dropping several extremely catchable balls from Kellen. It was frustrating and you could see the disappointment and doubt start to sink in. But Shoemaker bounced back and ended up having a fantastic night. Had he not, you know who my goat would have been. Shoe also had an awesome catch in the endzone, where the ball was bobbled several times by multiple players before he eventually made a great play and came down with it. The never give up attitutude that Coach Pete instills in these players is incredible, and I was incredibly pleased with Shoe's perseverance. Congratulations, Tyler, on being Star No. 2 of Boise State's win over UNLV.

Runner Up for Star No. 2: Byron Hout/Austin Pettis 2.0 (A.K.A. Matt Miller). That blocked punt was seriously amazing and Miller must have had glue on his gloves. Great night to the both of them. 

Star No. 1: Kellen Moore, Senior QB
Kellen isn't one to talk much about records and hype. However, I would venture that last night's record breaking win ranks among the fondest of his memories at Boise State. It's not every day that a memeber of your program breaks a record like Kellen did Saturday night. With his victory on Saturday, he passed Colt McCoy and became college football's all time winningest quarterback. With an unusually sluggish start, Kellen remained poised and ended the night with 5 touchdowns, for 219 yards and 0 interceptions. With the remaining schedule, Kellen could set a mark that may never be broken again by another player. Congratulations, Kellen on another impressive victory, record, and on being Star No. 1 of Boise State's win over UNLV.

Runner Up for Star No. 1: Tommy Smith. You know what you did, Tommy. Thanks.

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The Goat: Playing football in the state of Nevada
No problems with Nevada at home. And would probably beat UNLV by 60 at home. But for some reason we can't seem to perform in the state of Nevada. Is it the water? Is it the casinos? Or maybe it has something to do with the triple freaking option! Bahh! I don't know what it is with running quarterbacks in the state of Nevada, but we've got issues. One of the most heartbreaking losses in BSU history came at the hands of a dual threat quarterback, and Saturday night was another scare. 

The scoreboard doesn't tell the tale of how truly scary it was. I know we doubled their score, and almost broke 50 points, but we had a lot of breaks against the Rebels. Kudos to UNLV for playing their hearts out and treating this game like the Super Bowl. We most certainly did not. There was a noticeable lack of energy and it took several huge plays to shift the momentum and get our offense and defense in sync again. Does the Big East have any teams in Nevada? Oh, goody.

Runner Up for the Goat: LSU vs Alabama. Man that was boring. Please no rematch. Please.

Your Turn
Who were your stars and who was your goat? What is it about Nevada that has the Broncos in such a funk? Anyone else incredibly pumped for next week vs TCU? Hoping I get a good view of Patterson's infamous pants. Sound off, Bronco Nation!



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