When I was asked to do a Monday morning recap of the game, I thought it would be more fun than this. While the game was entertaining to watch, it is never fun watching your team struggle on offense. However, there were definitely some positives that can be taken away from the game. Our extremely young team hung with one of the best teams in the country and almost beat them. There are good things coming for Boise State.
Here are your Game Balls for notable performances by Boise State players during the Michigan State game.
Game Ball for the first clip in the Hawaiian Highlight Reel: Jeremy Ioane
The highlights everyone expected have officially started. He played instinctively and was in prime position to pick an interception and take it to the house. The secondary as a whole played extremely well and made Andrew Maxwell look like a scrub. I now believe Jimmy Lake is the real deal and meant what he said about BSU getting a lot of interceptions this year.
Follow after the jump to see all of the Gameball-worthy performances.
Game Ball for Offensive Performance: Joe Southwick?!?!
What you say? "Joe Southwick is the worst quarterback in the history of Boise State. He sucks." Wait a second Bronco Nation. Here's why. Joe played better against a top ten defense in MSU than Kellen did against a top ten defense in his first season. He played much better than Zabransky or Tharp did their first game versus a top defense.The redzone interception? Go watch the play again.
Burroughs stops his route behind a defender. Burks(I think) runs into the corner in double coverage. Miller is running a slant on the bottom of the field behind the play. D.J. Harper gets bottled up by a linebacker. Joe throws a rope to an open Kirby Moore who is then knocked off his route by a MSU defender. I don't know how Joe should have known that before making the throw, but it really wasn't a bad decision. (And should have been a pass interference call.)
Our wide receivers were bottled up most of the night. Our running game couldn't get out of the back field. While Joe had a couple of throws that were a tad off, he made very good decisions in my opinion. He managed the game well and didn't force things. That is something to be very excited about as the season progresses. Also, he has got to be a great wingman (threw an incompletion just to help out a teammate, Mitch Burroughs (see below))
Game Ball for Best Spooning Technique: Mitch Burroughs
Upping Ian Johnson a notch (who needs to propose first?), Mitch goes straight for it all with the cheerleader on the sideline. Set up by a ball thrown away by Southwick, Burroughs takes advantage of his new-found location to get in prime spooning position with a hot member of the Boise cheer team.
Game Ball for Not Talking About You: Michael Frisina
Two field goals straight through the uprights...extra point good? These weren't even close either. All of the kicks were straight through the uprights. Hats off for not being something to talk about! Also, Matt Miller did a great job in getting the snaps down. Holder on field goals is a lot tougher than most people realize. He took a couple of high snaps and got them down good.
Game Ball for Freshman on Fire: Shane Williams-Rhodes, Jack Fields
The true freshman lit their redshirts aflame in the first game of the season. Jack fields only got one carry and took it two yards, which is about four yards further than most runs got all night. Shane Williams-Rhodes saw quite a bit of action, with three carries for 10 yards and 1 catch for 8. He did have a costly fumble (which I called before the game), but I think that a risk that the coaches wanted to take. He showed he is very dynamic and will make some team's poor defense look silly. Now that Jack Fields is playing this season for sure, he'll get more carries and develop into a very solid back. Did I miss anyone who burned shirts during this game?
Game Ball for Dink and Dunk: Kirby Moore
Boise couldn't get much going down field or out of the backfield, but Kirby was solid from the slot position. He was the only Bronco receiver to have over two catches (he had 6 for 52 yards). The Moore era isn't over, if Kirby has anything to say about it. He really looked like Southwick's go-to guy. The MSU corners did a great job in neutralizing Matt Miller and Mitch Burroughs. Kirby came through as a first-down machine.
Which game balls did I miss? Let me know below. Am I wrong about Joe, is he the worst quarterback ever? You are entitled to your wrong opinion. Feel free to express it, or anything else in the comments below.