This is how Idaho Vandals fans feel every day of the year, minus the bowl eligibility part. Terrible. But if football games were always won by the team that was "supposed to" win, then this wouldn’t be the greatest game on earth. We’d be talking about how we hung with Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl but ended up losing by 8. The greatest moments in sports happen when underdog teams or athletes beat hyped teams or people that are "supposed to" win. We just happened to be on the other end of the spectrum this past weekend. But look at the bright side Bronco faithful, at least we have someone in the new Big East to hate! Seriously...talk about lack of class. Watch a 230 lb. fullback take out our beloved 170 lb cornerback after the game is over. If that doesn’t make you hate SDSU, I don’t know what will.
Anyway, I can’t stand negativity. I have a hard time after games such as this, because as much as I want to critique and criticize, I realize that these are still kids, fighting for my alma mater tooth and nail, dealing with injuries they’ll deal with for life, and growing up and learning from their mistakes on the same great campus that I did. This is still a great team. I’ll still support them. Without further ado, let’s look at who deserves game balls this weekend, and I’ll try to refrain from negative-speak as much as possible (I’m sure we’ll have plenty in the comments section). Anyway, I’ll just try to forget that this game happened anyway. On to the game balls.
Game Ball for Best Representation of Boise State: Doug Martin
Wait, you thought this was just about current Boise State players? Too bad. Trivia Question: Who has the most rushing touchdowns in a half of football in the NFL? Answer: Doug Martin (with 4) ...tied with a few others. This past Sunday he was the first back in over 70 years in the NFL to have three rushing touchdowns over 45 yards in the same game. He finished the game against the Oakland Raiders in front of more than 60 friends and family members (Doug is from Stockton) with 4 touchdowns and a Buccaneers franchise record 251 yards on 25 carries (he also had 21 yards receiving on 4 catches). He has 486 yards rushing and receiving in the last two games. Way to represent, Doug.
Game Ball for Hard Nosed Football Playing: Dan Paul
Last week I was critiqued for not recognizing the effect of Dan Paul on our running game. While he has been securing pancake blocks all season long, he hasn’t gotten much recognition. The rest of the offensive line (and tight ends) haven’t been producing the most effective rushing attacks that we are used to, but Danimal is always blowing people up. Dan Paul caught a touchdown pass this last Saturday night, which is something he deserves for his week-in week-out bad-(bw)-ness. Oh how I long for the day when he has three touchdown receptions like he did against Nevada a few years back. Please make it happen in Reno, Dan.
Game Ball for Defensive POG: Demarcus Lawrence
Seven tackles, one sack. I think he’s the best player in the Bronco’s front six. And he’s only a sophomore. I don’t know what the suspension was about, but after the game it appeared he and Coach Pete were having a somber conversation while walking to the locker room. I think DL has learned from whatever mistake he made and earned his chops. He deserves a game ball for his play in this one.
Game Ball for Coaching: Pete Kwiatkowski
We have the number 8 scoring defense in the country with a defense that has a collection of freshman and sophomores who shouldn’t be good yet, and a few juniors and seniors who never seemed good enough before. They’ve been solid game in, game out. Yeah, there were some missed tackles Saturday night, but this unit held SDSU to basically one real drive and touchdown. Special teams caused the other two scores. Hats off to Coach K. He's doing things well.
Who else deserves a shout-out in this one? Do you like how SWR has become a larger part of the offense? Want Ajayi to get more shots? Should Matt Miller receive an automatic game ball after every game because he's that-good? Let your thoughts be known in the comments.
What was your excuse for the loss? Coach Petersen can't recruit quarterbacks or offensive coaches? Blasphemy I know, you said it, not me. Personally I think Southwick and Prince are the scapegoats. Could it be there is a mad case of the flu going through the Boise State campus? Strep throat? Bad juju from the creamsickle uniforms? Injuries players are playing through that we have no idea about? Early November Voodoo? Probability coming back around to bite us for all of our wins over teams expected to beat us? BCS expectation bad-luck? What do you think?