Boise State cruised to yet another dominating victory on Saturday night vs the Toledo Rockets. It wasn't exactly a nail-biter but proved once again how deep the Broncos can be on both sides of the ball. Join me now as I dissect the matchup and find the three stars and one goat of Boise State's win over Toledo.
Naming three stars of the game is a hockey tradition that Kevan asked me to bogart for Bronco games. More info here, if you're interested.
Star No. 3: Shea McClellin
The pride of Caldwell, Idaho. This is the second time this season that I've awarded Shea McClellin a spot in the three stars article, and rightfully so after his performance Saturday evening. I would venture to say that Leon Rice and the Boise State basketball squad could use McClellin's insane jumping abilities out on the hardwood. Listed only at 6'3", McClellin plays more like one of those huge walking trees in Lord of the RIngs. Last week vs New Mexico State McClellin jumped about 9 feet in the air to tip an NMSU pass that was in turn intercepted by Ryan Winterswyk. On Saturday night McClellin showed his vertical ability again, intercepting a Toledo pass and returning it for an easy six points. It was like someone gave him a double bounce on a trampoline as he vaulted into the air pulling down the ball. Then it was off to the races, and thankfully that race was only 36 yards or he may have lost.
With Winterswyk getting a lot of attention and being consistently double-teamed, McClellin is often left unguarded or mismatched, which helps create great opportunity for him to put pressure on whatever quarterback he faces. However, he may not get off so lucky in coming games if he keeps dominating the way he has through the first five.
Star No. 2: Kellen Moore
While McClellin may be an infrequent visitor to the "three stars" party, Kellen practically lives here. I'm pretty sure he's been here every game, and I'm going to go out on a limb here and say he won't be going anywhere anytime soon. My favorite Kellen moment of the night was not a perfect play action pass or scramble in the flat. No, my favorite Kellen play of the night had him nowhere near the ball at all. With Avery lined up in the wildcat, Kellen split out wide left lined up against one of the Toledo corners. The play went to the right, Avery scored (again), and Kellen didn't even move. However, after the play Kellen gave the most silly, shaggy haired smile he could muster to the corner opposing him. That Toledo corner then gave Kellen the bird. Kellen then smiled again and ran off the field. Beyond that, his stats were impressive as usual. 16/22 for 267 yards and three touchdowns. He completed nearly 73% of his passes and had his highest passer rating of the year at 219.67. He also rushed for six yards, also his best of the season.
Star No. 1: Jeremy Avery
Welcome back, Jeremy. Welcome back. I was more pleased with Jeremy's breakout game than I have been with almost any other performance this season. Coming off a 1,000+ yard rushing season in 2009, Jeremy lost his starting role to Doug Martin and D.J. Harper. With D.J. Harper now out with his annual ACL tear, Jeremy was vaulted back into the dynamic duo that is Boise State's running game. It would have been easy for any other 21 year old kid to drop his head and shut down mentally for the rest of the season. But not Jeremy. He took what he was given and turned seven touches into three touchdowns. That's almost six points every other time he touched the ball. That's more impressive than last year's Rose Bowl when I drank eight Dr. Peppers and ate an entire package of Oreos. He also had a clutch 26 yard reception that helped keep the momentum rolling and resulted in another TD carry for him a few plays later. He may not have the power of Doug, or the electricity of D.J., but what he does have is heart. And heart, Bronco Nation, is what earned Jeremy Avery Star No.1 of Boise State's win over Toledo.
The Goat: Toledo's offense
The Rockets offense has been awarded the Goat by disqualification. Because I was at the game Saturday night, I did not have the displeasure of seeing the WAC Sports Network completely destroy the broadcast like they did during the New Mexico State game. From what I've been told it was just as bad as the original. Rumor has it, Boiseans are holding a candle light vigil at the Dairy Queen on Franklin this week as they plead for a KTVB and Mark Johnson return to replace the WSN. We'll keep you posted.
On to the real Goat of the game. The Toledo defense may have given up 500 yards of offense to Boise State on Saturday, but the offense was just as bad. The Toledo offense has turned the ball over 14 times this season and have only been in the endzone for a total of 119 points. Compare that to Boise State's five total turnovers and 237 points scored this season.
The Toledo offense could simply not move the ball for the majority of the game on Saturday night. Other than a few plays, the Toledo offense was stuffed time and time again by the BSU defense. At one point I'm pretty sure McClellin, Winterswyk and Winn were our only down D-lineman and everyone else was playing corner or nickel. How is an offense supposed to handle a look like that? The Toledo offense may not be a prolific or explosive one, but their obvious struggle on Saturday night also showed how impressive Boise State's defense can be, especially on the rush, allowing only 65 total yards rushing on Saturday night. Unless Toledo can start to click on offense, they may just end up being the Goat of their remaining games this season.
Sound off in the comments and let us know what you thought of Saturday night's matchup. Who got your stars? Who was your goat? Anyone else unhappy about Michael "Canadian Bacon" Atkinson's indefinite suspension? For those of you who watched the game, just how bad was the WSN? And what what are we looking forward to next week vs San Jose State?