Normally, we hand out game balls on the Monday following a Boise State win game, but this week it took us until Tuesday simply because we still feel like we're waking up from some wonderful dream.
Now that we've had time to sift through our feelings and pull out the most tangible thoughts that we could put into awards, we're ready to give out some game balls. As always, your feedback is much appreciated, provided it is positive and does not contain the words "dirty players."
Most important play we have already forgotten about
Kyle Brotzman's 51-yard field goal
Boise State's Brotzman got the Broncos on the board at the start of the second quarter with his gigantic boot, and it opened the door to a 24-poin outburst that really put the game out of reach. We mentioned earlier how it most likely inspired the team to go on the scoring binge that we all witnessed, but we didn't address what would have happened had Brotzman missed. Oregon had momentum at the time of Brotzman's FG, and the Ducks would have had prime field position and a chance to go up two scores if he had missed.
Also, now might be a good time to note that Brad Elkin should probably be taking Brotzman out to dinner every day this week for saving Elkin the hassle of punting at all on Saturday.
Offensive Player of the Game (a.k.a. the Kellen Moore Award)
One of the most interesting quotes in the fallout from the Oregon game has been that the Ducks simply didn't expect Moore to be as cool, calm, and confident as he was. They thought the Autzen Stadium crowd and the atmosphere would get to him. Ha! As if!
Moore's 386 yards and three touchdowns were remarkable considering the circumstances. Of course, with Moore, we may need to rethink our definition of the term "remarkable."
Comeback player of the week
Childs made Moore look good on multiple occasions, winning jump balls deep in the Oregon secondary. We didn't get our full allotment of Childs against Bowling Green, so it was very refreshing to see him flash his greatness against Oregon. Now back to that Macroeconomics paper, young man!
Best defensive player not to be flagged for unnecessary roughness
Mike T. Williams
The senior DE was solid toward the end of the game when the momentum was swinging the Ducks' way. Williams is very easily lost in the shuffle when Bronco fans discuss the defense, thanks to stars like Jeron Johnson, Ryan Winterswyk, Kyle Wilson, and Derrell Acrey. But Williams proved on Saturday that he will still be a force to be reckoned with throughout the rest of the season whether we remember to mention him or not.
Robb Akey memorial bad coaching decision award
Mike Bellotti kicking the extra point
Down 24 points in the fourth quarter, the Ducks scored a touchdown...and didn't go for two. Anyone with a fourth-grade education knows that eight times three is 24, but instead of making it a two score game, Oregon's Bellotti elected to keep it at three scores and virtually end any chance of a comeback. Let's get this guy a conversion chart, or at least an abacus. Good grief.
Most surprising performance
Boise State defensive tackles
We are really liking this mass substitution defensive tackle business. It works, and all the parts seem interchangeable enough that the Broncos rarely miss a beat. Billy Winn was excellent, Steven Reveles made some plays, and though they often lost the battle at the line of scrimmage, the D-line never quit fighting.
Greatest one-dimensional performance
Boise State offensive line
As troublesome as run blocking was on Saturday, the Bronco O-line sure handled the pass rush well. They gave Moore plenty of time to throw throughout the game, only surrendering pressure every now and then. What's more impressive is that pass blocking can sometimes be the hardest job in a loud stadium, especially out on the tackles. Kevin Sapien, Matt Slater, and Nate Potter deserve much respect for that.
Play of the game that gave us the most chills
Vinny Perretta's 73-yard TD catch
What an amazing play call. What an amazing throw. What amazing timing. The Perretta TD came at just the right moment for the Broncos, and it was so unsuspected (BSU had driven the ball throughout the game and had yet to hit on a big play) that we literally jumped out of our seat and spilled yogurt-covered raisins all over the floor. We ended up eating them anyway.
Ironic play of the game
Kellen Moore's fumbled snap following Kellen Moore's fake fumbled snap
The trick play with Moore faking a fumble worked perfectly in the first half, but his bad exchange with center Chris Thomas Byrd in the second half almost spelled Bronco doom. We didn't see the irony at the time in large part due to our hands covering our face.
Marty Tadman Award for Excellence in the field of Marty Tadman
The way we see things, Iloka is the heir apparent to Tadman. Who expected the true freshman to play virtually every defensive down against Oregon? We sure didn't. Yet Iloka proved that he could handle the responsibility. We like him because he is rangy, smart, and has a nose for the football.