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Vegas Bowl BIFFF on Boise State versus Utah

We all saw the Boise State defense cram it down Utah's cram hole in the Las Vegas Bowl. But how bad was it really? Austin Pettis had his way with the Utah secondary. But to what extent?

BIFFF has the answers as well as some advanced stats from Boise State's MAACO Bowl win over the Utes. Join me after the jump for a rundown of what went down and a look inside the numbers.

The Bronco Institute of Football Facts and Figures (BIFFF)seeks to add context and numbers to Boise State statistics. Some of it is math, much of it is game charting, and the rest is pie charts.

The BIFFF Box Score 

Statistics Explanations
Final Score 3 26
Swing Points 3 0 Points on defense, special teams or drives < 25 yds
Turnovers 3 4
Total Yards 200 543
Net Yards 117 514 Yards on offense minus penalties
Wasted Yards 188 240 Yards on non-scoring drives (including penalties)
Yds on Scoring Drives 5 319 Yards on scoring drives (including penalties)
Passing Yards 93 341
Completions 10 29
Attempts 24 40
Yds per Attempt 3.9 8.5
Rushing Yards 107 202
Attempts 29 37
Average 3.7 5.5
Penalty Yards 83 29
Penalties 10 3
Average 8.3 9.7
Plays 53 77
Yds per Play 3.8 7.1
Run:Pass Ratio 29:24 37:40
Negative Plays 10 4 Plays that gained negative yardage
Third Down Conversion Pct 15% 44%
Conversions 2 8
Attempts 13 18
Avg Yards to go 13.5 6.5
Avg Field Position Utah 38 BSU 30
Average starting field position


  • That 3rd down average for Utah is just terrible. The Utes' two shortest 3rd downs were of 8 and 9 yards and didn't come until near the fourth quarter. Part of it was penalties, part of it was Boise State tackles-for-loss.
  • In a game involving seven turnovers and some of college football's best return men, you would think that there would have been more than three swing points (points on defense, special teams, or drives of less than 25 yards).
  • Fourth quarter time of possession: Utah 3:39, Boise State 11:21.
  • The yards Utah lost on penalties was nearly half its total offensive yardage.

The five most interesting stats from Boise State versus Utah


Combined points off turnovers: 3

There were seven total turnovers in the Vegas Bowl, and only one of them turned into points - a first quarter field goal from Utah's Joe Phillips following a Kellen Moore interception. The other turnovers had their drives end in missed field goal, punt, punt, downs, fumble, and missed field goal. Football traditionalists mourn.


Austin Pettis finished the game with seven straight successful completions from Kellen Moore

Starting with his fourth-down snag, Pettis rolled off seven consecutive successful plays, including five first downs and a touchdown. His last reception - a pass to himself - ended the string.


Terrance Cain's negative yardage nearly led Utah in rushing

Between sacks and read option plays gone awry, Cain had a rough night in the boxscore, losing 33 yards on six attempts. Utah's Eddie Wide was the team's leading rusher with 34 yards on six carries.


Only five of Utah's 200 yards led to points

Give credit to the Bronco defense for doing the best it could after being dealt a pretty awful hand. With Utah enjoying stellar field position all game (an average Ute drive started at their own 38-yard-line), the Broncos only allowed three points on a drive that lasted a total of three plays and five yards. (HT to Joe Phillips missing two field goals and the Utes coming up empty on a late fourth quarter drive)


The Bronco offense put up 499 yards in the final three quarters

Take away their first quarter performance (44 yards, fumble, INT), and the Bronco offense was just as good as usual - piling up 499 yards on an overmatched Utah defense. Plus, if two TD reversals go their way and Tyler Shoemaker catches that fourth quarter TD pass, the offense could have scored 41 points.

Note: Yardage totals in chart reflect drive totals, which include Utah penalty yardage. Hence why the total might not be 499.

Your turn

What stats stood out to you in this game? Impressed with the Boise State defense? Surprised no one could capitalize on turnovers? Think Utah was overrated? Share your thoughts in the comments.