BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 15: D.J. Harper #7 of the Boise State Broncos slips while running the ball against the Miami University RedHawks at Bronco Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
Saturday was an eventful day in college football. Tyler Wilson pretty much throwing his entire team under the bus. USC losing to Standford...again. Utah Utes fans proving why they may be the most antsy in the entire NCAA (more details to follow). And the Boise State Broncos scoring offensive points and ripping the life out of another helpless MAC team.
Our fears have momentarily subsided after a much improved performance against the RedHawks. Sure they're a cupcake, but c'mon, even LSU has to schedule an Idaho sometimes. Join me now after the jump for the Three Stars and One Goat of Boise State's win over Miami (OH).
Naming Three Stars is a hockey tradition that over the past few years has also become a Bronco Tradition. More info here if you are interested.
Yay! I don't have to write about a loss! Sure we're talking about Miami (OH) here, so I didn't exactly expect a loss, but you can never be too careful [smirks devilishly and pulls up another article he's read several times before]. Miami (OH) really is no slouch, to their credit. The MAC has a history of potent passing attacks and Miami (OH) is no exception to the rule. Okay, enough with the (OH) after every Miami statement. I just don't think it is necessary to differentiate the two anymore. Especially considering what attendance looked like in the Hurricanes stadium yesterday. Makes the North endzone look like a sellout. Link! On to the Stars!
Star No. 3 - O Line, Star No. 2 - Joe Southwick, Star No. 1 - D.J. Harper
Star No. 3 - Offensive Line
Coming off the demoralizing defeat two weeks ago against Michigan State, one of my biggest concerns was the Boise State offensive line. Sure we've got loads of talent and veteran guys at the line. Names like Michael Ames, Joe Kellog, Matt Paradis, and Spencer Gerke are ones we've heard before. But the way that the Michigan State D-Line pushed us back over and over again was simply frightening. Granted they are a bunch of man-beasts that make the Miami D-Line look like a bunch of Tinkerbells. Regardless of the comparison, what we all witnessed was unsettling. The O-Line was unable to make holes for D.J. All of a sudden D.J. can no longer run, and college football as we know it is in shambles. Good thing we will at least be able to play a ranked team on September 20th in Bronco Stadium. Whew, sigh of relief.
We then woke up from that hazy nightmare and realized that our O-Line really is a bunch of studs. We remembered that D.J. Harper is an animal (and if Miami was unaware of that he sure did give them a rude awakening). We saw college football is not in shambles after all! Well, there is that whole BCS thing. We also witnessed BYU choke last night against Utah and likely drop that important little number in front of their name. Okay - so there is some good, and some bad - but let's focus on the positive here.
Our O-Line did great. I'm sure all those wind sprints and stadium steppers really helped "remind" them of their talent and awesomeness. I was so impressed with the way they stepped up and showed what they're really capable of. They shirked off the dreary drab of losing, and executed their jobs quite flawlessly. They protected our Quarterback, and they opened up holes for our ground game. Congratulations you bunch of big man studs, on being Star No. 3 of Boise State's win over Miami
Star No. 2 - Joe Southwick
Joe Southwick was an entirely new man last night. From his first play of the game, you could tell it was going to be different. Then he had to go and throw that pick in the redzone. "Patti! Bring in Patti! Joe just threw another pick!" Wait, wait, wait. Nobody said that. We all shook it off, as did Joe, and strapped in for an incredible offensive performance.
Joe finished the night 24 for 31, with 304 yards, and 77% pass efficiency. The O-Line gave him time to throw the ball and progress through his reads, which was one of my major concerns after Michigan State. He made good decisions, mostly, and led the Broncos up and down the field over and over again. Of course he had some help on the ground, but Joe was clearly the leader of that team. He was a captain of the offense Saturday night. He was so effective, in fact, at moving the ball, that Boise State never punted the entire game.
I think the loss against Michigan State took some pressure off him. Logically one might argue that it put more pressure on him, but I think he was finally able to just settle in and be Joe after the loss.
I was also impressed with Bronco fans rallying around Joe amidst his mistakes. He had a couple of blown passes and hasty decisions, but everyone around me continued to clap and yell encouraging remarks. There is no doubt that he is the leader of this team, and will be for some time.
Congratulations Joe, on being Star No. 2 of Boise State's win over Miami.
Star No. 1 - D.J. Harper
D.J. Freaking Harper. Wow. Talk about shutting down the naysayers and Bleacher Reporters of the world. This kid can run. I must admit that I thought Fields and Ajayi were close No. 2 backs that may eventually cut into some of Harper's playing time. It is quite obvious after Saturday's performance that D.J. is the solid No. 1.
Harper's stats from yesterday are as follows:
16 carries, 162 yards, 1 reception for 21 yards, 4 touchdowns, 10.1 average, total man-beast
And for any of you who may have not been able to watch the game, below is video highlights of D.J.'s performance, as well as post game press conference.
I loved the wildcat option from Potter. I thought it was going to be a dead play, but Potter pitched it at the perfect moment, and Harper ran it in for the score. I also loved Harper's diving catch in the South Endzone with two defenders on him. Beautiful. Not to mention Joe's throw was right on the money. I pretty much loved it all.
D.J. has been waiting for quite a while to step into this role, and it seems he is taking the opportunity seriously. I remember looking over at my wife on his last two touchdowns and smiling like a little kid. He was just plain fun to watch. The Backyardigans are also fun to watch, but D.J. took it to a whole new level on Saturday. Following in the footsteps of great running backs before him, D.J. has seized his chance and truly earned this shot.
Congratulations D.J., on being Star No. 1 of Boise State's win over Miami.
The Goat - BYU vs Utah Final Minutes
Never in the history of Three Stars have I chosen a Goat outside of the game the Broncos played. However, the Utes and Cougars made it really easy on me this morning. As I sat watching the BYU-Utah game last night, I took a poll on Twitter, asking the Twitterverse to tell me who was their Goat for the game. The unanimous answer: BYU-Utah, and specifically the Utah fans. Sure we had some little, itty-bitty goats in our game vs Miami. A pick in the redzone, and a dropped interception that would have gone to the house on the first play of the game, only to name a few. But c'mon, have you seen this video? The video is here.
Pretty crazy, right? Utah fans rush the field prematurely. Fans are taken off field and BYU tries field goal with one second left. Field goal is blocked but as play progresses, fans rush field again. Penalty is enforced on Utah and BYU gets another shot from 15 yards closer. To tie the game, the kick is up, and off the uprights. Fans rush field again. Wow.
It's pretty unfortunate that the Cougars had to go and blow their top 25 ranking before coming to Bronco Stadium next Thursday. I have a sneaky suspicion, however, that we won't have a problem getting up for the Cougs regardless of their ranking.
Congratulations to the two of you, on being the Goat of Boise State's win over Miami. And really the Goat of all college football on Saturday.
How did I do? Who were your stars? Would you have chosen a different goat? Anyone else predict Brian Douglas to get the hammer after laying the wood on a lowly RedHawk receiver? Anyone else have massive sunburns from that unforgiving heat? Sound off!