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Bullet points: thoughts on the Utah State win

Utah State v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

Here’s a little OBNUG tradition we've gotten away from and for that I apologize. Before looking ahead to this weekend's opponent, let's wrap up our previous contest with a nice little bow by throwing out some key observations about the contest and the season at-large. Each thought is denoted with a handy bullet point...hence the title.

  • We are ridiculously, stupidly, ludicrously deep at linebacker. Tanner Vallejo was out against Utah State, Martarano was limited, Vander Esch was dinged...and did anyone notice any marked dropoff? We’ll lose Weaver, Lee, and Vallejo at year’s end, and that’ll suck, but probably less now that we’ve seen how deep this LB rabbit hole goes.
  • We must keep Steve Caldwell at all costs. The Broncos lost 7 D-lineman to graduation or dismissal and are currently 12th in the country with 17 sacks. If you pro-rate this thing to account for the Broncos playing one less game than the national sack leaders, they're right at the top with 4.25 sacks per contest. The crazy thing is Caldwell has been doing this without getting terribly deep into the DL rotation. Lot of talent remains on the bench.
  • Defensive struggles aren’t that fun to watch, but you gain an appreciation for them after the fact. The Bronco D did work on Saturday night.
  • The defensive backs need some work with the JUGS machine. I believe I counted 4 dropped INTs on the evening. One was a likely pick-six, another would've taken 3 Aggie points off the board, and another would've ended the game. You're supposed to put Stickum on the gloves, fellas...not Stickabutter.
  • The targeting ejection of Jonathan Moxey was horse-BW and highlights the need for reform in this new-ish bylaw. The targeting rule was instituted to protect players and I think we can all get on board with that...but the mandatory ejection element has to measure intent somehow. I'm fine with penalizing teams for "unsafe" tackling technique, but an ejection should only be warranted if the tackler has ample opportunity to avoid helmet-to-helmet contact and does not. Moxey "went low" on the receiver and after he was already committed, the Aggie WR dipped his head into the path of Moxey's helmet. Unfortunately the Aggie was injured on the play which might have swayed the refs...or maybe it was a make good for a targeting ejection on an Aggie defender earlier in the game. At any rate, Moxey is now suspended for the first half of the UNM game because there is no common sense in this rule. #FreeMoxey
  • Rypien is slumping, but I'm not ready to call it a sophomore slump. Ryp hasn't looked terribly sharp the last 3 contests, but we all know what he is capable of and I don't see anything that doesn't look fixable. Consider the following:
  • The only area that really needs fixing there is completion percentage. Yardage is down, but yardage isn't as important a stat as we give it credit for...remember, Ryp had 500 passing yards against UNM a year ago but threw the ball 75 times—and we lost. He wasn't transcendent on Saturday night, but he still had a 63% completion percentage, 2 TDs and 0 INTs—and the TDs he did toss were pinpoint placement.
  • Do we ever return punts anymore? Are my memories of Tim Gilligan, Chris Carr, Kyle Wilson, and Marty Tadman clouded? I mean, we used to return punts, right?
  • That was the quietest 200+ all-purpose-yard game from Jeremy McNichols I can recall. The Cedrick Wilson TD bomb really shot up his receiving yardage and he was moving the chains in the 4th quarter on the ground, but his 4.4 YPC on the night was definitely surprising to me after halfback-diveapalooza. We were all sitting there grumbling about the offensive inefficiency and J-Mac still ends up with 200+ APY and MWC player of the week honors...what is life? Speaking of which, we love McNichols to death, but I'm starting to think he could use a few breaks. Let Mattison take a few swings, yeah?
  • The Moa Consrictor has now gone viral. David Moa has been killing it this year and currently has 5.5 sacks and 3 PBUs over the last three contests. More importantly, the "Moa Constrictor" nickname has taken hold and there's no turning back. The GENIUS moniker was even uttered by the ESPN2 crew on Saturday evening and despite what you may hear...was created out of whole cloth by yours truly. David might be unclear about its origin, but here is the PROOF.
  • We wanted a beatdown and got a slugfest, but was revenge any less sweet? 4-0 is 4-0.