Looking back on Saturday's 41-34 Bronco win over Nevada, we find ourselves wondering, "How in the world was that game 41-34?"
It's sort of a redundant question. We know how the game ended 41-34. We watched it. And then we memorized the box score.
But what we can't understand is how the Wolf Pack got so lucky. Two INTs for touchdowns? 34 points with only 140 yards rushing? Boise State had every right to blow Nevada out of the water, yet it never happened.
We chalk this one up to the football gods. They probably decreed in one of their secret football god summits that Boise State had to play a close game sooner or later, and those gods were intent on it happening in Reno against the Wolf Pack. All of which makes the Broncos' win that much more impressive. Not a single bounce went their way in the second half, and they still found a way to win.
We had an overwhelming feeling halfway through the second half that the Broncos weren't simply playing against Nevada. They were playing against those nasty football gods, against the law of averages, and against (dare we say it?) fate. Yet they still came away with a win. This was the "No-Way" Madden game, where the computer pulls out all the stops to make sure you can't win. But the Broncos did.
Alright, that's enough hyperbole. Here are some of our other observations from the Nevada-Boise State game, some of which are actually grounded in reality.
... seeing Ian Johnson take off on that 66-yard TD run was like seeing our best friend come back from a horribly long summer camp that we weren't invited to ... can we finally stop asking questions about the Boise State defense? ... Kellen Moore > Colin Kaepernick ... let's hope the WAC offensive player of the year voters see it that way .... Jeremy Childs: 3 catches for 16 yards and the Bronco offense didn't miss a beat ... that Ellis Powers guy sure can tackle ... George Iloka's first hit on Colin Kaepernick helped bring our blood pressure back to normal ... Nevada gave up on the run almost as fast as Boise State did ...
Running into the ground: the Nevada Wolf Pack story
For being the No. 1 rushing team in the country, Nevada sure did abandon the run early and often on Saturday. The Broncos would routinely shut down the Wolf Pack on first down, leading to Colin Kaepernick throwing up wings and prayers on second and third downs. The rushing numbers for Nevada don't even tell the whole story: 35 carries for 141 yards. If you take away Vai Taua's 31-yard TD run (his only big carry of the day) and Kaepernick's 24-yard scramble in the fourth quarter, the Wolf Pack would have gained fewer than 100 yards on the ground.
Amazing. Give Justin Wilcox a raise. Or a promotion. Or a free dinner at Chapala.
... Jeremy Avery might have set a record for biggest two-game disparity between rushing averages (14 ypc to 1.8 ypc) ... Kyle Wilson continues to be a threat on punt returns ... Kellen Moore's bomb on third-and-long to Vinny Perretta really changed the complexion of the first half ... Kaepernick sure didn't look like he knew what was going on for large portions of the game ... so much for that stellar Nevada offensive line ... seeing Jeron Johnson play on Saturday made us realize what we missed with him out last year ...
Kellen Moore's legend becomes more legendary
The freshman phenom had a remarkable first half, throwing for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns. Yet it was his resiliency in the second half that was just as impressive. After throwing three interceptions, Moore still had the moxie to rally his team to a much-needed 10 fourth quarter points, including a pretty TD lob to Austin Pettis. He had defenders in his face and at his feet all game long, and he still completed well over 50 percent of his passes. We are running out of adjectives to describe him. All we have left is "incongruous" and we're not sure what it means.
... Austin Pettis, Austin Pettis, Austin Pettis ... wonder if Nevada has any other receivers besides Marko Mitchell ... Bronco fans might not have outnumbered Nevada fans (barely, though), but they sure did outcheer them ... Vai Taua? Eh, whatever ...