The Broncos didn't need their running game against Utah State on Saturday. They didn't need a shutout from the defense or touchdowns from the special teams or even a penalty-free afternoon. All they needed, apparently, was Utah State on the schedule.
Obviously, it would have been nice to have all of those things: a running game, a (more) dominant defensive effort, extra touchdowns, and no penalties. But it was by no means necessary. The Aggies gave a fight for awhile, but Boise State put USU away like they have done to so many other teams over the years on the blue.
Here are some of our opinions and takes on what went down at Bronco Stadium on Saturday. Feel free to leave your own analysis in the comments.
Kellen Moore sure seems better than just a "freshman quarterback" ... was that Byron Hout we saw playing fullback on goalline? ... both of George Iloka's two interceptions were infinitely more difficult than the ones he has dropped throughout the year ... Bronco defensive line, you can come over to our house for dinner any time you want ... Okay, we'll give into peer pressure: the Boise State wide receivers were terrific ... that Diondre Borel was something, wasn't he? ... IT'S IDAHO WEEK!!!!!!!!! ... we hope Jarrell Root is okay ...
We were not told ahead of time that Saturday's game would be a Yellow Out
There have been plenty of games for the Broncos this season that were marred by penalties, but Saturday's game, in our opinion, takes the cake. Twenty-five total penalties between both teams? Twelve penalties for the Broncos for over 100 yards? More total penalty yardage than total rushing yardage? Incredible.
A lot of the blame lies with the sloppy play of Boise State's players. False starts and personal fouls are no one else's fault but their own. And we get that. We've been saying the same thing all week long. But as far as Saturday's game was concerned, a fair amount of responsibility is with those referees. They have to let the guys play. Football is not a place for ticky-tack fouls; that's what basketball is for. We would be fine if we never saw a WAC officiating crew again. Right, Karl Benson?
... that was a clinical opening drive by the Broncos ... why run when you can throw so well? ... seeing the Broncos defend Diondre Borel gives us confidence that Colin Kaepernick will have a long day in a couple of weeks ... IT'S IDAHO WEEK!!!!!!! ... Brent Guy would like to take back his comments about having "a team that can beat Boise State;" he was thinking of a different team ... Jeremy Avery had a rough day it seemed ... Doug Martin on defense turned out to be a good move ... man, Ellis Powers can tackle ... Kyle Gingg, too ...
Bronco defense is literally 20 players deep
The way that Boise State has crushed opponents on defense this season is remarkable, and it is even more so when you consider how many different players are making impacts. BSU goes five-deep at defensive end, five- or six-deep at defensive tackle, five-deep at linebacker, four-deep at safety, and four-deep at cornerback. Doug Martin appeared in dime packages on Saturday. Why? Why not.
The crazy part is how interchangeable each of the parts is to the Bronco "D." Consider this: Shea McClellin, a backup defensive end, leads the team in forced fumbles with three. Jamar Taylor, a true freshman defensive back, was a team captain against Utah State. Whatever defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox is doing, he's doing it right. And he'll probably have a head coaching job soon if he keeps it up.
... those were big forced fumbles by Winterwsyk, Bingham, and McClellin ... getting Austin Pettis the ball more often seems like a good idea ... we were impressed with the USU offensive line, mostly because we had no expectations ... great play-calling all game long by the Broncos ... didn't it seem like a "quiet" 362 yards passing for Kellen Moore? ... IT'S IDAHO WEEK!!!!! ... a beautiful out-and-up from Vinny Perretta ... we're pretty sure we saw the "Q" formation a lot more often than we wished ... might have been the first time all season that Kyle Brotzman was out-punted ...
Those pesky third downs sink Aggies again
Utah State came in as one of the worst teams in the country at converting third downs. The Broncos, obviously, are one of the best at stopping teams from converting. Ipso facto, USU didn't get very many first downs.
The Aggies finished 4-for-14 on third down conversions and 0-for-1 on fourth downs. Many of the big third down stops helped BSU stall drives or maintain momentum. With backup QB Sean Setzer in the game, Utah State was a little better at moving the ball, but still the Bronco defense was stout on third downs. We can hear Robb Akey throwing his hands up in bewilderment from here.