Broncos 49, Lobos 21
Albuquerque—Stop 2 on the ‘Vengeance Is Ours’ Tour...aaaand we're off! Boise State elected to receive to start the game, and immediately went three and out. Okay. Not ideal. But on the first defensive possession, we found that a hero had finally made it home: Tanner Vallejo announced his return from a 1.5 game injury with a picture-perfect, 4 yard tackle for a loss and the Lobos were forced to punt.
Bronco ball. The offense struggled at first, but New Mexico came in with the assist. Boise State got back to back first downs on facemask pentalties, but then decided to help themselves once they crossed midfield. After a few first downs, Cedrick Wilson hauled in a pass from Rypien in the back corner of the end zone for 6!
New Mexico ball. Bronco poor eye discipline. New Mexico touchdown. It took four plays. (BW-ing triple option can actually just die, already!)
Bronco ball. McNichols reminded us all just how mortal we are, by comparison, with some tough, physical runs. However, after battering the Lobos with a few doses of the McWeapon, Rypien decided he'd waited long enough to take the top off of the defense and aired one out to Wilson. Again. Touchdown. Again.
On the ensuing NM possession, it appeared that the Broncos had recovered a botched New Mexico pitch, but on review it was ruled an illegal forward pass. Regardless, they were unable to convert and punted soon after.
After a few, picturesque, Sperbeck first downs, McNichols took the rock in from about the 10.
After getting the ball back, the Lobos did a couple of those stupid runs, where they get a bazillion yards at once. The Broncos were bailed out both times on excellent stops by corner, Raymond Ford, and the Lobos were eventually forced to punt.
The Broncos fairly immediately got things moving when Cedrick Wilson caught a ball, made a few defenders look stupid, and advanced it to just short of midfield. At this point, there were more than 10 minutes until halftime and Wilson already had 132 yards and 2 TDs. On the very next play, Rypien connected with Sperbeck for 54 yards and a score! And then Sperbeck and Wilson were both over the century mark before halftime.
After a quick Lobo three and out, the Broncos continued their offensive barrage and Cedrick Wilson snagged his 3rd TD...of the half!
The Lobos got the ball back and, thanks to yet another penalty (they had 9 by that point), and some heads up plays by the Bronco D, NM was backed up into a 3rd and 17 situation. The attempt at a 3rd down conversion was snuffed by a beautiful McCakskill sack, and the drive ended with another punt.
The Broncos immediately drove down the field on some hard runs by McNichols before Sperbeck caught another intermediate throw, shrugged off a defender, and took it to the house!
For those counting at home, that's 5 TDs for Brett Rypien and no interceptions...before halftime.
Broncos exorcised some serious demons in this game, and it. was. MAGICAL!
The Lobos got the ball back with little more than a minute until halftime, and ended the half with back to back hail marys--the latter of which was intercepted, by Raymond Ford, with no time left on the clock.
I will take halftime stats like that just any, old time.
New Mexico received to start the half, and their drive was ended with a severe murderizing of the Lobo quarterback, at the hands of a relentless Jabril Frazier.
On the ensuing Bronco drive, the ball just steadily moved down the field via a committee approach—even Sean Modster made an appearance—until McNichols put in another score from the ground, inside the 10.
With barely half of the third quarter over, Boise State started cycling backups into the game, getting the next generation of Broncos some excellent experience vs a demonic offense that they’ll see twice a season. It didn’t matter. The Lobos still couldn’t get a first. The Broncos got the ball back, and by the time there’s only a few seconds of the 3rd quarter left, Rypien exited the game, to be replaced by Thomas Stuart.
Rypien’s final stats: 21/28 for 391 yards and 5 TDs. 75% completion percentage. No picks. That’s acceptable, I suppose.
Tommy time started off with a 3 and out, but on the next Lobo possession, Chase Hatada got into the game at DT for the Broncos. He immediately made his presence felt with a couple of big stops. Kekoa Nawahine was also notably flying around. Sonotone Lui showed some flashes as well. We got to see a lot of the future of the Bronco defense in the final quarter of this game.
The Lobos offense, however, was able to finally grind their way to the end zone with about half of the 4th left.
The teams traded possessions before the Lobos got their second touchdown in garbage time, with 20 seconds left in the game. They were really gunning for that ultimate comeback. Or a moral victory. Or something.
That actually ended up being the final score. The key takeaway here is that not only did the Broncos get their offense going, in a big way, but they also seem to have finally cracked the code on the evil system that is the triple option offense.
Boise State moves to 5-0 on the season, and is now one of only two remaining teams that have yet to trail in a contest this year.
It seems as though Brett’s sophomore slump, if ever there truly even were one, is over. He played out of his mind tonight. If you saw him point to the sky after his first touchdown, it was in honor of his late grandmother who passed earlier in the week. Obviously, that’s a thing that’s much bigger than football, but as she had been a highly supportive figure of his football career, it makes sense that he would put forward a performance that would make her proud. Rest assured, Mr. Rypien, I’m sure she was, and then some. If you happen to read this, our condolences to you and your family.
As for the rest of the game, the final stats made it look MUCH closer than it actually was. Make no mistake, this was a beatdown. See the above, halftime stats for reference. Our defense continues to be elite, and our young guys made plays. The future looks bright, and revenge is sweet!