Naming Three Stars is a hockey tradition that over the past few years has become a Bronco tradition. More info here if you are interested.
afternoon morning was a solid step away from mediocrity as the Boise State Broncos cruised past the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. The Broncos put together arguably the most complete football game they have played yet this season. The defense played well, the offense played well, and they all did it for just about the entire game. Sure there were mistakes, as there will always be, but Bronco fans should feel like Saturday was a step in the right direction. We got the victory, and we looked good doing it. All hail storm trooper uniforms!
On to the Stars!
Star No. 3: Freshman Players
It's no secret that the Broncos have been working furiously at replacing nearly an entire team of starters. Yes, we have lots of veteran talent that has experience starting. However, replacing the greatest quarterback in school history, a first round NFL running back, and an entire defensive line is no small task. There are various other positions throughout the offense and defense that also needed special attention as remarkable players parted ways and moved on to other journeys in life.
Someone had to fill those rolls. And in many instances, those roles were filled by young, freshman players. Some having red-shirted, and some coming straight out of high school. I have been continually impressed with our young players on this team throughout the season. Imagine your first collegiate athletic experience being held against a top 10 team, on the road, in a stadium nearly three times as big as the one you've been practicing in the past few months. From there, you go home to Bronco Stadium to play a Miami team and gain some much needed confidence and experience. Your next game is against another top 10 defense, and in a place where excellence is not just hoped for by everyone watching, but expected.
These young men have impressed me so much throughout these first few games. Saturday was no different. The Freshman stepped up and filled roles with confidence and strength. Darian Thompson, Dillon Lukehart, Tyler Gray, Jay Ajayi, Jack Fields, Shane Williams-Rhodes, Hayden Plinke (in spirit), Sam Ukwuachu, and Armand Nance all played a role in the Broncos 40-14 victory on Saturday morning. Forced fumbles, interceptions, fumble recoveries, yards on the ground, yards in the air, and 100% effort for 60 minutes.
Let's take a brief moment and celebrate the achievements of this younger generation and the positive and immediate impact that they have all had on our beloved Broncos. Bronco Nation, we have several wonderful years ahead of us. Congratulations, young bucks, on being Star No.3 of Boise State's win over Southern Miss.
Star No. 2: Kirby Moore
Oh, Kirby. It's good to have you back on the Stars post. With extreme offensive performances from the likes of Matt Miller, Jay Ajayi, Joe Southwick, and D.J. Harper, Kirby has flown quietly under the radar. Please tell Kellen that I'm sorry for ignoring you. <3
Kirby was quietly impressive on Saturday morning, hauling in his first TD catch of the season, as well as 4 other receptions.
5 REC., 61 YDS., 12.2 AVG., 27 LNG., 1 TD.
Kirby was Southwick's favorite target on the day, although 8 different receivers also made grabs through the air. On Kirby's TD catch, he was able to shake free a defender, and scamper into the corner of the endzone for his first score of the season. On Kirby's TD, Southwick said:
I didn't think he had moves like that.
Well, well, well, Mr. Southwick - never doubt a Moore. Congratulations, Kirby, on being Star No. 2 of Boise State's win over Southern Miss.
Star No. 1: Joe Southwick
Welcome back, Señor Southwick. It's good to have you back for the second week in a row.
Joe had another impressive offense performance on Saturday morning, and in my opinion was the best he's been all year. One thing I can say about Southwick is that he is constantly improving. He's learning lessons and improving as fast as is reasonable.
Did Joe make any mistakes on Saturday? Yep. He tossed a silly interception as he was flushed out of the pocket on the run. He tried to slide it over the top of a Southern Miss DB, and instead just slid it right to him. He'll learn from that mistake, though. That's one thing I love about Joe Southwick.
Although Southern Miss out-gained the Broncos in total yards, we still came away with the decisive victory, largely in part to solid offensive play from Joe Southwick.
18 CMP., 27 ATT., 195 YDS., 66.7 CMP%., 7.22 YPA., 33 LNG., 3 TD., 1 INT.
The numbers weren't perfect, but Joe helped get us the yards we needed and put us in a position to win. I found myself repeatedly pleased with the timing of his passes and the accuracy with which he threw them. There were several easy dropped balls by his receivers, which contributed to his efficiency rating. Those dropped balls were on the receivers, not on Southwick, and I feel confident
saying typing that.
Next week is a big game against long time "rival", Fresno State. I am sure Joe will be watching the tape, and taking the steps necessary to come out with an ever better offensive performance next week. Congratulations, Joe, on being Star No. 1 of Boise State's win over Southern Miss.
Before we proceed to the goat, take a glance at a highlight video of the game below. Consider yourself lucky if you didn't have to watch the actual full length"broadcast" (HINT: that was a teaser to the goat! Tehehe).
The Goat: Root Sports Network
I seem to recall having the same conversation about The Mountain in the past, and look what happened to them. Watch yourself, Root Sports, watch yourself.
I'm having a hard time deciding what was worse: the drunk cameramen, or the drunk announcers. At one point I heard J.C. Percy referred to as J.C. Perry. Also, Coach Pete evidently used to be a quarterback at Boise State and came back to coach at his alma mater. The announcers were atrocious and grossly inaccurate in just about everything they said. The cameramen obviously had no training in how to follow the person with the ball. On at least three separate occasions (likely more), the cameramen followed the wrong player or zoomed in at an inappropriate time. They were showing replays that had no relevance to what they were discussing, and overall, the production simply sucked.
There isn't much more to say than that. They were downright awful. Thankfully we don't have any games on Root Sports in the near future.
Who were your three stars? I don't even want to hear if you had anything else besides Root Sports as the goat. Sorry. Were you as impressed with the young guns and Joe as I was? Anyone else completely in love with storm trooper uniforms? Sound off in the comments!