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BIFFF on Boise State versus Utah State

The Boise State defense shut down the Utah State passing attack on Saturday. How bad was it? Bronco special teams owned the Aggies in all phases. Even the Kyle Brotzman phase?

To find out the answers, I consulted the BIFFF stats - OBNUG's advanced stats system using gamecharting, gamewatching, and formulas. Find out what went down in the Utah State game and feel free to share any stat observations you had. Join me after the jump.

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 14 50
Swing Points 0 15 Points on defense, special teams or drives < 25 yds
Turnovers 2 0
Total Yards 291 453
Net Yards 244 423 Yards on offense minus penalties
Wasted Yards 134 99 Yards on non-scoring drives (including penalties)
Yds on Scoring Drives 139 348 Yards on scoring drives (including penalties)
Passing Yards 41 251
Completions 4 25
Attempts 16 36
Yds per Attempt 2.6 7.0
Rushing Yards 250 202
Attempts 51 33
Average 4.9 6.1
Penalty Yards 47 30
Penalties 6 4
Average 7.8 7.5
Plays 67 69
Yds per Play 4.3 6.6
Run:Pass Ratio 51:16 37:32
Negative Plays 8 4 Plays that gained negative yardage
Third Down Conversion Pct 31% 55%
Conversions 5 6
Attempts 16 11
Avg Yards to go 7.9 6.4
Avg Field Position USU 26 BSU 33
Average starting field position


  • Boise State's first 15 points of the game were scored on swing points - Derrell Acrey's pick-six and a 20-yard drive for a TD following Mitch Burroughs' punt return. That many swing points in a game is rare for the Broncos, much less that many swing points in the first few minutes.
  • Utah State had the opposite of offensive balance: 51 runs to only 16 passes.
  • That said, the Aggies did out-rush the Broncos, so if that was their goal, then mission accomplished.
  • The Broncos ran for an average of six yards per carry as a team, which might seem unlikely considering Doug Martin only had 2.9 ypc. The difference was Titus Young (20 ypc) and Jeremy Avery (7.1 ypc).

The five most interesting stats from Boise State versus Utah State


Utah State was successful three times on 21 pass plays

Diondre Borel dropped back to pass 21 times. He threw incomplete 12 times. He was sacked five times. And one of his four completed passes did not gain enough yards to be considered successful.

A reminder: Successful plays are those that gain 50 percent of needed yards on 1st down, 75 percent of needed yards on 2nd down, or 100 percent of needed yards on 3rd or 4th down.


Utah State had three 3rd down conversions through three quarters, the Broncos had three conversions on one drive

The Aggies had a single conversion in each of the game's first three quarters, and that is no way to win a football game. Conversely, the Broncos - who finished with a 50-percent-plus conversion rate - had three on their 13-play, 57-yard drive to end the first half, including a 3rd-and-16 pickup and a 3rd-and-10.


Kyle Brotzman earned six points with special teams punting

Yes, Brotzman missed another field goal, but his punting was top-notch on Saturday. I've borrowed a special teams formula to help quantify overall special teams play (you can see the full breakdown here), and Brotzman's punts were good for six points, which is pretty stellar when it comes to punting. Overall, the Broncos had six points on special teams (plays can count for both positive and negative results). Utah State had -1.

Note: I totally understand those people who think the altruism toward Kyle Brotzman is a little misplaced considering he's a very shaky kicker right now. I'm just not too interested in having that discussion. The Broncos aren't really playing games that matter any more, so I have a hard time getting passionate about it.


Kellen Moore had a stretch of 27 passes in 34 plays

Included in the Broncos' pass-heavy afternoon were separate streaks of nine consecutive passes and 10 consecutive passes. Maybe Jesse Palmer got to Coach Pete and made him think that Moore was a senior. (HT: MKingery)


Boise State held onto its national lead in sacks per game

The Broncos finished with five sacks on Saturday (I credited Billy Winn with a sack on his first quarter takedown of Diondre Borel; play-by-play disagreed). And that number was good enough to improve their per-game average and keep their national lead.

The Broncos were 70th in the country last year in sacks per game with 1.79. They average 3.75 per game this season.

Your turn

What did you think of Boise State's defensive effort? Happy with Kyle Brotzman's punting? Surprised Kellen Moore got so many pass attempts? Share your thoughts in the comments.