There was a lot to like about the Broncos' performance on Saturday, provided you looked really close. From the naked eye, Boise State's 20-7 win had all the makings of a droll, unappealing struggle, and that assessment would not have been all that far off. But droll, unappealing struggles have their merit, too.
Here are some of the highlights from the win:
Offensive MVP for 30 minutes or so: RB Ian Johnson
Ninety yards on nine carries and two TDs in the first half is mighty good, and we finally got to see some open-field bursts from Johnson. However, he does owe us a big thank you for creating an award that does not include any type of second-half performance.
Invisibility award of invisibleness: WR Julian Hawkins
Hawkins' final numbers on the night: 0 catches for 0 yards. We thought that he was going to become a bigger part of the offense and that maybe he and Moore were developing some chemistry (he had three catches in the opener). Our bad.
Austin Pettis was also considered for this award, but Pettis' fumble was not invisible at all. It was actually very noticeable and damaging.
Least informative injury update: David Augusto
As a sideline reporter, Augusto certain has the "sideline" part down pat, but not so much the "reporter" part. After cameras caught Derrell Acrey on the sideline in street clothes and crutches with a walking cast on his left ankle, Augusto updated Acrey's situation by letting everyone know that he was out for the game. When pressed for more news later in the fourth quarter, Augusto claimed he had no more information but that Acrey was definitely still out for the game.
Defensive MVP of underratedness: CB Brandyn Thompson
Not only did Thompson provide blanket coverage all night, he made perhaps the most important play of the game when he laid the wood to Bowling Green WR/QB Anthony Turner, ending Turner's night. He has filled Orlando Scandrick's spot admirably so far this season.
Comeback player of the week: OT Nate Potter
Potter's Bowling Green opponent, Diyral Briggs, was the nation's sack leader going into the game, and Potter kept him quiet all night. Throw in the fact that Potts was coming off arthroscopic knee surgery, and his blocking dominance was even more impressive. We will need him against Oregon.
Post-game snack of choice: Advil
There was some bruising going on Saturday night, and fortunately the Broncos were the bruisers rather than the bruisees. Bowling Green players were dropping like flies, and the hits kept coming all night long. Come to think of it, we're a little sore today after watching it all.
Players who deserve mentioning but for whom we do not have the time to think up awards: Ellis Powers, Jeron Johnson, Billy Winn, Chris O'Neill, Kellen Moore (because we can!)
And last but not least, we would be remiss if we failed to hold ourselves accountability with our weekly predictions. Here are the ones we so boldly chose on Friday, and yes, we're embarrassed about how shoddy they look today.
- Boise State’s screens will be practically indefensible ... um, not so much.
- Jeron Johnson will knock out a quarterback or two ... Johnson knocked people around and quarterbacks left the field, so we'll take credit for calling this one correct.
- Vinny Perretta will be more involved in the offense ... Relatively speaking, we might have been right, but we were expecting bigger and better things.
- A Bronco player will get seriously injured … Word's still out on Derrell Acrey, thanks to Augusto's reporting.
- Titus Young will fumble ... Young was suspended, and in so doing, fumbled away his chance at earning back our trust.
- The Bronco Stadium "orange-out" will actually make Bowling Green feel sort of at home ... we're not even sure what we meant by this.