The Broncos took it to the Warriors on Friday night in ways that we hadn't seen since the Warriors took it to the Broncos last season. Speaking of last season, let's never speak of last season ever again. We certainly don't need to; we have bragging rights over Hawaii for the next year.
To say thank you for restoring order to our fragile, ethnocentric universe, we have some game balls to hand out. As always, the vote was decided tyranically by OBNUG's Kevan, sitting in his bedroom thinking up award-name non-sequiturs.
Defensive player of the game
(tie) the whole defense
What a dominating effort by the Bronco "D." Hawaii never really showed any signs of a coherent offense except for when they were catching deflected balls off of Bronco defenders' facemasks. If they could have done more of that, we might have had a game. Praise should go to the Bronco defensive line for creating pressure and closing off running lanes. The linebackers should get credit for keeping Inoke Funaki in check and tackling anything with legs and a ball. The secondary deserves recognition for shutting down the pass and for having Brandyn Thompson. Good job, all.
Best improvisational WR route
Pettis' touchdown catch was a thing of beauty, provided you think ad-lib wide receiver routes are beautiful. When Kellen Moore scrambled out of the pocket inside the red zone, Pettis took his five-to-ten yard curl route and slipped upfield between defenders. Moore hit him with a beautiful pass to give the Broncos a 24-7 lead and essentially put the game out of reach.
Worst cameo that would never end
Toward the start of the fourth quarter, fans watching on ESPN were treated to an interminably long sideline interview of Jared Zabransky. Rocking a black Boise State hate, a long-sleeved rugby polo underneath a North Face vest, and a beard that had just discovered the wonders of a Norelco beard and mustache trimmer, Zabransky talked through a series of Hawaii timeouts much to the enjoyment of everyone in the ESPN production booth. "Hey, we found this former BSU quarterback that we all recognize, and believe it or not, he has free time to talk to us. Let's throw him on air for 15 minutes. America will love that!"
If that's not enough, they brought Zabransky back a few plays later to have him dissect Idaho State's version of the Statue of Liberty. Good grief. He and Todd Harris needed to get a room.
Kellen Moore's new favorite receiver who's not really a receiver
The fullback had Moore's full attention Friday night, catching two passes, dropping a couple, and being thrown to a few more. It's as if Moore owed Brockel money or something.
Many of the throws were dump-offs after being flushed with pressure. But several other times, Moore simply preferred giving his fullback the lion's share of touches. Whom might Moore pick next week? Tackle-eligible Nate Potter, most likely.
The Inoke Funaki face
Was it just us or did Funaki not change facial expressions the entire game? Whether he was throwing out routes with fair consistency or throwing picks with fair consistency, he maintained the same look - a sort of bewildered/pensive/constipated deadpan.
Greg McMackin sure knows how to inspire his skill position players.
Worst pass of the night from a Boise State player
(tie) Tanyon Bissell, that one time Kevin Sapien tried blocking someone
We all remember Bissell's horribly botched pass attempt (Julian Hawkins is still running free somewhere in the Hawaii secondary), but Sapien's "ole" blocking technique was just as bad.
On a stretch play to the right, Sapien forgot to stretch, sending a free Hawaii defender into the backfield for an all-too-familiar Ian Johnson gain of zero. Sapien might consider sharing the award with his fellow linemates who themselves were also nominated in this category.
Ouch! My chest cavity! award
The BSU safety drilled a helpless (note: we did not say "defenseless," Oregon fans) Hawaii receiver along the sideline, forcing an incomplete pass and making our bones ache just a little. It was the first big hit in awhile for Johnson. And it was the first time we had ever fistpumped with a glass half full of chocolate milk. Both resulted in spills, ironically enough.
Fourth-down stand of the night
BSU's first-quarter stop in the Bronco red zone
Boise State is making fourth-down stands a regular occurrence. The Hawaii staff would have liked knowing this fact a little earlier. The Warriors went for it on fourth-and-one from inside the Broncos' 20-yard line, and they were predictably stuffed by an all-consuming duo of Mike T. Williams and Kyle Gingg. A touchdown on the drive could have seriously changed the game in Hawaii's favor. Or not. Their offense still wasn't that good.