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Boise State turns it on late to beat Louisiana Tech, 45-35

The Broncos ran out to a 20-point halftime lead, gave back all but two of it, then added two fourth quarter scores to hang on to beat Louisiana Tech, 45-35 on Friday night.

Kellen Moore threw three TDs, Jeremy Avery had over 100 yards and fourth quarter score, and Boise State showed some second half moxie in moving to 9-0 on the season. How did the win sit with you? Happy with the outcome? Expected something different? Leave your comments below, and come back soon for some extra analysis.

Moore-to-Pettis couldn't have come at a better time

Kellen Moore's late fourth quarter TD pass to Austin Pettis was perhaps the game's biggest play, giving the Broncos some much-needed momentum (and points). Up until that point, the Bulldogs had outscored the Broncos 21-3 in the second half, Boise State was an anemic 2-for-6 on scoring TDs in the red zone, and Kyle Brotzman had just missed a gimme field goal from 31 yards out. It was as do or die as it gets for this Boise State team.

On 3rd and 7 from the 12, Moore hit Pettis on a post route for the score, and the subsequent two-point conversion gave the Broncos a 10-point lead and breathing room. Had Pettis not made the grab, Brotzman would have come on to make it a 5-point game, and LaTech would have got the ball with a chance to take the lead.

Moore-to-LaTech defensive back couldn't have come at a worse time

About the only thing that could have kept the Bulldogs in the game in the second half was a big play for a score. And it just so happens that is what the Broncos gave them on their first drive. With pressure in his face, Moore threw a long, fat ball to the far sideline that was picked off by LT's Josh Victorian and returned 76 yards for the score. Could Shoemaker have made a better play on the ball? I'm not one to judge. If Moore was trying to get rid of it, he should have made certain and put it in the seats.

Jeremy Avery turns Boise State's three-man RB platoon into a one-man show

Going into the game, there were rumors that Avery, Doug Martin, and Matt Kaiserman would each be featured prominently in the gameplan. Idaho Statesman FAIL. The final rushing numbers?

Avery 25 carries, 145 yards
Martin 4 carries, 2 yards
Kaiserman 2 carries, -1 yards

And Avery ended up doing what Avery does best: adding a long, late-game run to his 4.0-ypc evening. Avery's 43-yard scamper in which he broke tackles for one of the only times during the game made the margin three scores and essentially put the game on ice.

Were you one of the ones calling for Avery to give way to Martin or Kaiserman? It certainly was a surprise to see one Boise State back get the bulk of the carries for the first time all season, especially when the running game was so ineffective for most of the game, especially the first half. Could Martin have done any better?

It easily could have been 42-7 at halftime

The Broncos' red zone woes cost them a shot at putting this game out of reach before the halftime gun even sounded. If Boise State gets touchdowns on its two opening possessions rather than field goals, the score would have been 21-7 after the first. If the Broncos convert either of their two missed 3rd and 1 opportunities, they could have driven down for more TDs instead of punting. If Titus Young had landed a inch or two more inbounds on his sideline end zone grab, Boise State could have added another score instead of a missed Brotzman field goal (by the way, what's the point of having replay officials if they don't replay close calls like that?). I doubt a pick-six to start the second half would have inspired the Bulldogs as much if it only cut the score to 42-14.

Jekyll and Hyde defense picks a bad nationally-televised time to show up

The Bronco defense was a world-beater in the first half, forcing three-and-outs left and right. The Bulldogs' only TD drive was aided by a pass interference penalty on a possibly tipped pass and a third down penalty on Ryan Winterswyk for a "striking blow." LoserWACrefsayswhat?

In the second half, everything changed, and it changed in ways that it has probably never changed before in the history of football. Ross Jenkins, he of the bad quarterbacking, put on his best Terry Bradshaw impression, marching the Bulldogs up and down the field, and reaching the end zone three times in the second half. Ross. Jenkins. I don't even know where to begin with this one.

Were you happy with Boise State's defense? Reflecting back on the game, it didn't seem like the Broncos played that awful. They didn't allow any big plays. They didn't miss a ton of easy tackles. They just gave up yards and first downs, bending and eventually breaking. It makes quite a difference when you can't score TDs in the red zone but the other can.

Byron Hout making Byron Hout-like plays again

Watch out, bad WAC offensive lines.

Kyle Wilson looked like Kyle Wilson in the first half

The Bronco All-American had his best punt return of the season and his second INT. You can see just how dangerous he is on punt returns when teams actually kick to him. It sure made me feel better about his subpar returning season so far.

I shall now ignore his second half and the fact that he got outplayed by a tight end for a TD reception.

Avery breaks tackles, Richie Brockel destroys people

Avery's TD run in the fourth was a great individual effort, but man did he get a couple huge blocks. The first was a WR crackback that sent a LaTech defender flying. Was it Shoemaker with the block? Then, about 10 yards farther downfield, Brockel picked up a man and planted him on the ground. Absolutely loved it..

Other observations

  • Boise State's offensive line did not get much push at all tonight. The Broncos need to be better on 3rd and short, but they were facing one of the toughest defensive lines in the WAC.
  • There are so many good Bronco defensive linemen who can make plays. Tonight, at various times, it was Winterswyk, Chase Baker, Hout, Billy Winn ... the list goes on.
  • Thank goodness Dave Lamont only does college football games once in a blue moon.
  • Is Will Lawrence ever happy with a block he makes?
  • How about LaTech fumbling on its first two plays then almost throwing a pick on its fourth? WAC commissioner Karl Benson had to be proud.
  • All three of the Bulldogs' questionable players played, and they lost all-WAC safety Antonion Baker in the first half with a broken fibula. Why don't I remember him breaking his fibula? Am I supposed to believe that he got off the field on his own with a broken leg?
  • Winston Venable just keeps making plays.
  • I wonder if Titus Young has ever been hit so hard.
  • 700 comments on the Gamethread? I love you guys so much right now. Give yourselves a hand. You're incredible.
  • What did we all think of Tyler Shoemaker's night? He started off with several good catches, but in the second half, his egregious holding call negated a Titus Young touchdown (drive ended in field goal) and his drop in the end zone almost proved to be a killer (drive ended with Pettis' TD grab noted above).
  • I officially do not trust Kyle Brotzman. With anything. I'm not sure what it will take to earn back my trust.
  • Bring on the Vandals!