Thought No. 1: The most unrecognized defense in America?
How's this for an amazing stat? Courtesy USA Today.
-- Boise State leads the Mountain West in scoring defense, rush defense, pass defense, total defense, pass-efficiency defense, red-zone defense and turnover margin -- and yet the Broncos have not had a Mountain West defensive player of the week honoree this season.
The whole is better than the sum of its parts? Not really. The parts are really good.
Thought No. 2: What are the biggest surprises/disappointments of the season?
I plan on expanding this into a bigger post (read: more words), but for now, here are my crib notes on what I didn't expect - good and bad - this season.
- Good: Boise State's defense, all of it
- Bad: Offensive line run blocking
- Good: Forcing turnovers
- Bad: Red zone problems
- Good: Jay Ajayi
- Bad: Special teams meltdown versus San Diego State
Thought No. 3: What will be the legacy of this year's freshman class?
The seniors have a chance to tie for the second-best career record in school history with 49 wins and four losses. What will we be saying about this year's freshman on Senior Day three years from now?
The freshman class already has two losses on their record, which is more than any freshman class has started with in almost five years. Then consider that they have three years ahead of Big East play, which figures to be more challenging week in and week out than the Mountain West. Could this class possibly end up with double-digit losses for the career? It's more likely that I come back to the OBNUG archives in 2015 and see what a dummy I was for even insinuating it.
Thought No. 4: Joe Southwick Thought of the Week
In the first quarter of last week's win over Hawaii, Joe Southwick threw incomplete to Dallas Burroughs, an incompletion that seemed like a perfect metaphor for Southwick's season of quarterback play. The play began with Southwick failing to read and react to a Hawaii blitz. He then avoided the rush with some slick mobility and broke free from the pocket to find a wide open receiver behind the defense. He woefully underthrew the receiver and almost got picked.
Recognition fail, daring escape, big play opportunity, near disaster.
Even his postgame interviews are becoming adventures. Why would he say something like this:
Boise State junior quarterback Joe Southwick raised some eyebrows Saturday when he said, without further explanation, that "sometimes it's almost easier playing on the road for us."
Joe Southwick = an enigma wrapped in an incompletion
Thought No. 5: When is a 49-14 win not a good game for the offense?
The normally polite USA Today put it all on the line in its weekly review of the Broncos. You scored 49 points against Hawaii but did not look good doing it? FEEL THE WRATH OF USA TODAY'S TEAM CAPSULES!
SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: The Broncos capitalized on five Hawaii turnovers last week to score 49 points, including a defensive touchdown, but the offense remains inconsistent. Junior wide receiver Aaron Burks became the first Bronco to accumulate 100 receiving yards in a game this season. Quarterback Joe Southwick tossed three touchdown passes, including two from within the red zone, which was a step in the right direction. But the up-and-down run game struggled against a porous Hawaii defense.
A couple of things:
1. The first 100-yard receiving game all season?!
2. Yeah, I pretty much agree with what they said.