Dear Boise fans,
Don’t worry; I’m not here to gloat.
I’m not here to say sorry either, although I do want to apologize for any negative interactions you might have had at the stadium or on the Twitter-sphere after the game. Every fan base has some knuckleheads; that game was an exorcism of sorts and I’m sure some people got carried away.
I have a few thoughts I’d like to share with you.
First of all, I feel for you. Ten months ago it was us getting blown out 50-19 by you Broncos. Those losses hurt. It makes you question everything you thought about your team.
Everything is okay, though. I still think USU and BSU are 1A and 1B in the conference; matchups like this make me wish there was a way to implement a NBA-style best-of-7 format in college football. As much fun as it is to annihilate San Jose, Fresno, New Mexico, Colorado State (BOOM roasted) every week…
The rest of the season for these two teams is like that general-credit art class that’s boring and pointless and so, so easy, but if you don’t focus then you’re going to fail it and kill your GPA. The Mountain West schedule is semantics, but its semantics that might bite us in the butt if we aren’t careful. (Sports are so stressful. Why do we do this to ourselves?)
Second of all, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? We’ve been talking ourselves into thinking we could beat Boise since last December, abandoned the idea when we failed to score an offensive touchdown against SUU, and then started talking ourselves into it again after wins over CSU and Fresno. But anyone that thought we would win like that should have the DEA knocking on their door. We knew we had to stop the run, get to Rypien and not make mistakes on offense. But… wow. Its not often a 30 point win feels like a fluke, but eight turnovers is not something you can plan for. It was so ridiculous it was comical.
Then it moved past comical, which I didn’t know was possible.
That was some Space Jam shiz going on there. It was a rare cosmic occurrence of USU playing out of its mind and Boise also playing out of its mind, but in the bad way.
That’s a different game if McNichols plays. There were multiple plays in the first quarter that I thought McWeapon would have gotten a first down or had potential for a long TD run, but Young was tackled for a loss or a short gain.
If Thompson makes the tackle on the screen play to LaJuan Hunt on third and long early in the first quarter, USU would’ve started with two three-and-outs and the game would’ve felt very different.
Or if Anderson had caught the deep throw to take a 10-7 lead on the next Boise drive immediately after we scored, the whole psychology of the game would have been different.
And the dropped passes? There were four? five? six? good passes that were dropped? And I’d have to go back and count, but if my memory serves me correctly at least two of the picks bounced off a receiver. Young fell down in the backfield on the first drive with 20 yards of open field in front of him. Hell, Deayon even dropped an interception. When does that happen? No Bronco played well.
All of that is to say: don’t panic, Boise fans. I think Harsin is one of the best coaches in the entire nation. If it takes Hail Mary passes and spiteful-deity, six-plus turnover games to beat your team, you’re in good hands. Don’t bail on Rypien, either. He’s going to be great still; to be honest, this is probably what should happen when you start a true freshman against a Division 1 opponent on the road. I don’t consider this game a reflection of his potential. Though it might feel like it (we had the same conversations with ourselves after 50-19) it’s not the end of the world or the program.
What about the Aggies?
Coach Wells was unwilling to say it, but I will: this was the biggest win in Utah State history. We’re going to need some help to get the G5 bid for a New Year’s bowl (Toledo? Smh) but we’ve got a shot. And despite our success the past few years (second most wins in the West behind Oregon and Boise) we haven’t been able to win the Mountain West. Last night was the kind of win that will keep the fan base energized for years.
And you know what else? We’ve got a dadgum rivalry now. I love it! Granted, it’s only one win, but there’s something there. Each team has recent losses to be pissed off about. There’s a little animosity, a little venom, from each side now. As a sports fan, it’s what you crave.
The game next year on the Blue will be must-see television.
Last night’s performance was legendary – it’s one we’ll tell our grandkids about. And the players. Oh, the players. Kent Myers, Hunter Sharp, LaJuan Hunt, Nick Vigil, Kyler Fackrell, on and on. If this were 3rd Century BC Greece, we’d probably write stories about these guys. They’re local heroes.
We’ve been living in Boise’s shadow for years; we’ve exorcised some demons and have the chance to build our own legacy now. For a fan base that hasn’t seen truly sustained success since Ricky Ricardo was cool, this is exhilarating.
Now, we hope and pray that our Aggies do what they’re supposed to do every game (I can’t imagine what Pepto-Bismol sales have been like in Boise the past 10 years; how do you handle that kind of pressure?) Here’s to hoping our boys don’t waste this opportunity. We want to know what it’s like to win championships. We want to know what it’s like to watch our team play in January.
We’ve spent years looking up to Boise State. I fully expect to see these two teams right back at it next year, and the year after and the year after that. But right now, in 2015, it’s our time.
Utah State, hey Aggies all the way! Go Aggies! Go Aggies! Hey, hey hey!
P.S. We host BYU the last game of the season. We’ll get some revenge for you.
- Thomas Sorenson (writer for CornerOnSports.com)