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Game balls: don't tell Coach Pete we're doing this

Coach Pete might have you believe that no one deserves game balls this week for such a poor performance on Saturday. And as far as the offense goes, he might be right.

But we just can't help ourselves. There was still enough Bronco greatness to fill our Steno notepad, so you'll have to excuse us while we re-live the Southern Miss win for just another moment or two. Then we promise we'll move on. Maybe.

Bush Hamdan contribution award for not starting but contributing in other ways

Nate Potter's field goal block

Potter lost his starting left tackle job to Andrew Woodruff, but he made the most of his playing time on the field goal block team, which is home to many an underachieving tall person. Potter deflected Britt Barefoot's figgie attempt on Southern Miss' opening drive of the game to keep the Golden Eagles off the board.

Make-up gameball that's not as good as a defensive touchdown

Ryan Winterswyk

Winterswyk was robbed of a touchdown or a turnover or a safety when the officials ruled that USM quarterback Austin Davis had fallen on his own fumble at the Golden Eagle one yard line. At least that's the way the referee decided to call it in the spirit of keeping the game close at the cost of fairness.

Most inspired eye contact

Coach Pete

Rumor has it that he glared a hole right through a reporter who asked about fumbles in the postgame press conference. On second thought, Bronco administration, cancel our press pass. It is not worth risking our life to ask Coach Pete what his favorite color is.

Best run that didn't count but may end up in season-ending highlights package anyway

Jeremy Avery

Avery's 77-yard scamper in the third quarter was the type of play that fans have been waiting to see all season long. But not so fast, said Cory Yriarte. A holding penalty brought the play back, and the Bronco offense was never heard from again. Shhhh, no one needs to know that on the 2008 National Champion BSU Broncos highlight DVD.

Offensive player of the second quarter

(tie) Austin Pettis, Jeremy Childs, Jeremy Avery, Ian Johnson, Doug Martin, Kellen Moore

So many skill players looked so skilled in that second quarter that it was simply too hard to pick just one. So we chose six. The rushing of Avery, Johnson, and Martin kick-started the Broncos, and the TD catches by Pettis and Childs essentially put the game out of reach. Other than that, we're going to pretend like every other quarter never happened.

Bronco secondary stalwart of the week

Ellis Powers

We like that Powers, a converted linebacker playing safety, still thinks like a linebacker. He was solid again on Saturday, which runs his streak of solidness to five games. We particularly were pleased with how he took personal responsibility on stopping Austin Davis on several occasions. You hear that, Colin Kaepernick?