Throughout the week, OBNUG is featuring favorite moments from the past year in Boise State football. Help decide the final countdown of BSU's top moments of 2010. Voting ends Thursday.
There comes a time in life, after many cracks at a certain endeavor, all with varying degrees of success and triumph, that you finish up one such attempt and say, "Damn I'm good!" Such was the case for the Boise State Broncos on the frigid night of Friday, November 19.
The pesky and perennially over-hyped Fresno State Bulldogs rolled into Bronco Stadium with high hopes of upsetting the nation's No. 4 team on The Blue. But it was more than that - with even a close win, Boise State would get dragged through the media gauntlet, accused of being overrated and unworthy of the lofty goal of a BCS bowl game. Anything less than a perfect performance would mean a certain drop in the all-important
beauty contest polls, and even that might not be enough.
The Broncos were due for a letdown. They hadn't had one yet and Fresno was a decent team with elevated talent and coaching. The situation was ripe for a sloppy game and an irreparable dent in Boise State's national perception. What would their focus level be? Could the defense stop a surging Robbie Rouse from running all over them? Would Winston Venable eat Ryan Colburn's lunch for a second year in a row? How fu manchu-like would Pat Hill's mustache be?
The answer to these questions was simple - Holy crap Boise State is really freaking good!
I know what a lot of you are thinking; there were plenty of other moments in the year that were more exciting, heart pounding, and intense. Moore to Pettis for the win against Virginia Tech, shutting up the drunks from Moscow, or the dubbing of Doug Martin as the Muscle Hamster all were some of them.
But I look at it this way: There is nothing better than a complete demolition of Fresno State.
It's in my blood and apparently it is in the blood of every single Bronco that took the field that night. Also, the level of execution and focus of the team was mind-boggling. The way they performed showed me so much more about the Broncos and the coaching staff than a game-winning drive ever could. It was not just a singular moment in time that captured my attention and put me in awe. No, the entire night had me collecting my jaw off of the floor.
Coach Petersen is a god. How else do you explain the magic that he is working in Southwestern Idaho? But how did he do it? Keeping the team loose is key. It helps them relax and be able to focus on the job ahead of them without any added pressure. When I saw a large group of muscular, handsome Boise State players run out onto the field for pre-game warm ups with no shirts on, I knew they were having fun. Relaxing no longer concerned me. It was freezing. I had a thick coat on and my wife was wearing approximately 17 layers in an attempt to stay warm. Not only were the bare-chested players hilarious to see, but they set the mood for the rest of the evening.
The orange jerseys were breath-taking - trust me, in person they really were. They helped make the night special, like a new ingredient on an already-existing, world famous dish.
Kick-off. The Broncos stuff everything the Bulldogs try on their first drive, forcing a 3-and-out. Kellen Moore directed the team to the Fresno 25 yard line before he was picked off. That was just about the only mistake made by Kellen and the rest of the team all night. A shaky first quarter would not deter Boise State or their Dork Assassin quarterback. He finished the night 27-for-38 for 333 yards and 4 TDs. Mr. Martin destroyed the Bulldog defense carrying the ball 24 times for 72 yards. What about the concern for Robbie Rouse? He could only muster 70 yards on 17 carries and no touchdowns. He was a complete non-factor until the final drive of the game, where he gained 39 of his total yards.
I do not wish to bore you with numbers. Do you remember the amazing plays by the team? Kellen Moore scrambles (Kellen scrambling?) for 11 yards and a first down after shaking off a sure sack. Austin Pettis sliding on his butt in the orange end zone, hauling in a beautiful pass for a touchdown. Titus Young constantly burning Desia Dunn and Isaiah Green for long ball after long ball. It was a textbook example of a spoil of riches. Everything went right for the Broncos, and the Bulldogs could do nothing. And yes, Ryan Colburn got his fill of Winston Venable and then some. The stadium remained full through the fourth quarter when the bandwaggoners would have left by halftime under normal circumstances. They just couldn't force themselves to go.
For fans and critics alike, the scene on the field was too captivating, too beautiful, and too enchanting to turn your eyes away. The Broncos held us hostage. It was a mesmerizing melody of execution and focus, harmonized by a perfect storm of pride, energy, and effort. It wasn't just a win, it was a victory. It silenced the critics for a night, raised the hopes and dreams of fans everywhere, and made us feel committed to the team in a way that had never been reached before.
That is why the November 19 bloodbath on The Blue was my favorite moment of a Boise State Bronco season filled with them.