What happens in Vegas evidently does not happen in Seattle. The Huskies of Washington put a royal thumping on our beloved Broncos. The no-huddle offense was executed by Price and Co. as perfectly as can be performed. The defense didn't step up, and the Broncos ultimately came away with the worst loss in Chris Petersen's history at Boise State (by a LONG shot). Join me now as we take a look at the Three Stars and One Goat of Boise State's loss to Washington.
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.
I believe that many fans have reached a crucial point in their fanness. This is where bandwagonners jump off, and where true fans look crazy. Which are you? The Broncos have not been handed a loss this downright embarrassing in a very long time. Twitter was rampant with some very tough words for Swick, Pete, and Prince last night, and I'm hoping that some people have calmed down a bit this morning. If you haven't, go watch the Sound of Music.
It's critical that we look for the silver lining, here. What exactly is a silver lining, you ask?
Noun. A hopeful or or comforting prospect in the midst of difficulty.
This is my attempt at the silver lining.
Star No. 3: Geraldo Boldewijn/Kirby Moore
Have I ever done a split star before? You bet your biscuit I haven't. But hey, I'm the boss here and I'm feeling sassy today. I really already had my first two stars picked, and kept going back and forth and back and forth and back and forth (you get the picture, right?) between Boldewijn and Moore. So they both got the nod. These two combined for more than half of the Broncos production through the air. Boldewijn had a career best 8 catches for 62 yards. And Moore pulled in 6 for 43 yards. What was most impressive was when these catches came. It seemed that they came up big in the moments when we needed them (sometimes - silver lining, people). I'm hoping that this is the season Boldewijn fans have been hoping for for four years now, and also a foreshadowing of how crucial Kirby can be to this team as well. Congratulations Kirby and Geraldo, on being Co-Star No.3.
Star No. 2: Aaron Baltazar
Aaron Baltazar is simply too good to be kept off the field. He's like a box of fruit roll-ups. What are you going to do, not eat them? Of course you will. In one sitting. Behind Jay Ajayi, Aaron Baltazar is the next best back on the team. And I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say he's not even that far behind Ajayi. Derrick Thomas did not make the trip to Seattle with the Broncos, so we knew the backup carries would come down to Field/Baltazar. Well, Baltazar stepped in when Ajayi's shoe popped off, and he definitely made the most of his time on the field. You've got to be pretty damn good to crack the two deep as a true freshman running back. You've got to be really damn good to do it when Jack Fields, Derrick Thomas, and Devan Demas are ahead of you (not to mention the others nipping at your heels).
10 car., 49 yds., 4.9 avg.
He was a great combination of a Doug Martin and Jeremy Avery. He was shifty yet also brought the bruising power of the Muscle Hamster. He legitimately looked like Ajayi's twin out there. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Sark. I have a sneaky suspicion that there are lots of Stars in your future. Congratulations on being Star No.2 of Boise State's loss to Washington.
Star No.1: Jay Ajayi
Jay Ajayi is as good as advertised. He impressed me the most, and this on a night where the offensive line wasn't doing him any favors (and neither was Southwick telegraphing every play before it transpired). Ajayi is the future of this program, and a first round draft pick in a few years. His fast, shifty, run-right-over-the-top-of-your-punk-a*# style of play is beautiful to watch. We haven't even scratched the surface of what he is capable of, and I'm guessing before this season is over he'll have broken Ian Johnson's single-season rushing record of 1,713 yards.
23 car., 93 yds., 4.0 avg., 18 lng.
Not his best average by any means, but he was the "every down" (almost) back that we needed when the rest of the offense wasn't moving the ball. I'm guessing Ajayi will be making a regular appearance on the Three Stars article, and that's just fine with me. Congratulations on being Star No.1 of Boise State's loss to Washington.
The Goat: Robert Prince
At this point, we have to call a spade a spade (I hate that saying). The play-calling last year was suspect to say the least. Many fans gave Prince a bit of a pass as a new Offensive Coordinator, and trying to fit a Joe Southwick into a Kellen Moore system. I think those passes are done. Why didn't Coach Pete step in when he saw us running the SAME 4 PLAYS over and over again. Give some credit to Washington Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox for having his boys ready, but even my wife could see the Broncos were running the same plays repeatedly.
Where was the Shane Williams-Rhodes fly-sweep? Where were the tight-end motions out of the back field? Where was the huddles? We are not Oregon. We do not run a no-huddle offense. I'm not opposed to doing it, but I am opposed with Joe Southwick behind center. He is not the right quarterback to be running that system. Our bread and butter is gone, and our playbook has been dumbed down to no more than a basic JV system.
I know I'm laying it on a bit thick, but I just can't see any other major hurdle that stymied our progress as much as Prince's play-calling did. I'm really hoping that Pete sees what happened and makes some major tweaks before upcoming games at Fresno, Utah State, and BYU. If we play how we did against Washington against those teams, we will lose. We will be looking at 4-loss season with those same plays every game. Yes, the cornerbacks were rough. Yes, the d-line was basically non-existent. But ultimately it comes down to this: we need to be Boise State. Last night was not Boise State football. Sorry Coach, but if this keeps up, there's going to be a lot of bahhhing in your future.
Am I being too rough on Prince? Am I making the silver lining too silvery? Sound off in the comments, Bronco Nation!