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Game balls: looking behind before looking ahead

The emotional change for Bronco Nation from a huge upset win over Oregon to a straight-up beatdown of Louisiana Tech has been quite interesting to experience. Last week, we were beside ourselves with joy and elation, so much so that we could hardly think straight. This week, we are happy and delighted but probably more anxious to get on to Southern Miss and the rest of the WAC schedule.

But before we do, there are some celebratory game balls to hand out. In addition to being celebratory, the game balls are also figurative. Sorry. The OBNUG budget is still a work in progress.

Play most likely to be used as a stereotype:


Perretta to Moore to O'Neill

As Boise State's second quarter trick play was happening, we could almost hear the collect voice of America crying out, "Look at the gimmicky offense the Broncos are using with much success. That is so like them!"

Really, the play was just a brilliant call at an opportune time. The Broncos had set up the fake sweep with real sweeps earlier in the game. The LaTech defense was playing aggressively and playing tight on Bronco wideouts. Kellen Moore is above reproach and essentially a perfect human being. It was the perfect storm. Let's celebrate it for the great play that it was and not excuse it as simply more Bronco flair.

Surest sign Derek Dooley does not believe in you:


Running the ball on 3rd and 10

In the waning moments of the second half with the score 21-3, Louisiana Tech had the ball at their own 40-yard line, facing a third and ten. Rather than air it out and try for a first down or a big gain, Dooley chose instead to run the ball, gain a yard, and punt. Taylor Bennett did not entirely disagree with that call.

Best impersonation of an actual tackling machine


Kyle Gingg

The senior linebacker was solid in run support all game long, finishing tied for the team lead in tackles. He may not be the flashiest or the most popular Bronco linebacker, but in our opinion, he has been the best so far out of the first four games. A healthy Derrell Acrey might say otherwise, but an invisible Dallas Dobbs, Tim Brady, and Aaron Tevis sure don't.

The next great Bronco quarterback as chosen by America


Kellen Moore

Reading through some recaps from last night's game, we couldn't help but notice how positive the reviews were for Moore's performance. People love his poise, his accuracy, his footwork. We're trying to rein in our jealousy.

By the way, Moore had a very quiet 325 yards passing last night. If America liked him against LaTech, just wait until they see him against the rest of the WAC.

Best use of Ian Johnson in a supportive role


(tie) Bryan Harsin and Kellen Moore

We would like to believe that Bronco offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin went to great lengths in order to involve Ian Johnson in the offense, but we get the feeling that Johnson's 100-yard receiving day was more likely due to the benevolence of Kellen Moore using him as a safety outlet.

Harsin does deserve credit for a brilliantly-timed screen pass on second and long that Johnson took 51-yards down near the goalline. And Moore deserves credit for going all Brett Favre and flicking a late pass over to Johnson in the flats for a big first down deep in their own territory. They'll share responsibility for the third catch.

Greatest non-scoring play of the night


Kyle Brotzman's 72-yard punt

We fistpump a lot of things, but last night may have been the first time that we fistpumped a punt. First, we nearly fistpumped when Brotzman rolled out to his right because we anticipated him running for the first down. False fistpump alarm. Then when he booted the ball on a line drive down the sideline, rolling to a stop inside the five yard line, we went ahead and completed the fistpump and even added a bassy "Oh Yeah." No word on how Brad Elkin reacted on the sideline.

The "Glad to know he's still on the team" award


Julian Hawkins

We knew all along that he was still on the team, but looking at his numbers from the past two games did make us a little wary. One catch, three yards versus Oregon. Nothing for no yards versus Bowling Green. So his two catches in the first quarter, one for a touchdown, let us breathe a big sigh of relief. Of course, he then went and didn't make a catch the rest of the game, so we might be giving him this award again in a couple weeks.

Person most likely to elicit a gushing OBNUG post


Mike T. Williams

If he's not careful, he's going to get the full treatment of heaping praise and borderline stalking sooner rather than later. He was superb again, and he is well on his way to first team All-WAC honors, especially once Karl Benson approves our request to be part of the All-WAC voting committee.

Photos courtesy of the Idaho Statesman, the Idaho Press-Tribune, and hotlinking