Boise State rolled the Hawaii Warriors on Saturday evening and thanks to an assist from this weekend’s opponent, UNLV, can again dream of a division title. Of course, this makes Friday’s matchup a tad more spooky, but we’ll discuss that later. For now, let’s unpack the island annihilation.
- Jonathan Moxey had one of the finest games of his career. He was in the receivers heads all night and separated the ball from aforementioned receivers with regularity. In short, he played like a senior—and I’m just coming to grips with how much we’re going to miss him next season.
- Boise State won the turnover battle (insert celebratory gif, but not one of David Bowie in Labyrinth)
- Tanner Vallejo was not on vacation. He led the team with 8 tackles (2 for loss) and generally looked like he was trying to send Hawaii ball-carriers into the “correct” timezone. Hell hath no fury like a Vallejo scorned.
- Speaking of hard hits—true freshman Deandre Pierce had a hit that made my teeth hurt and it had nothing to do with the fact I was working on a Bit-O-Honey from my kids' Halloween bag.
- Brett Rypien was magical. The true sophomore completed 18 of 22 passes (82%) for 338 yards and 4 scores and rushed for another TD on a naked bootleg. Rypien was crazy simpatico with Cedrick Wilson on the night and since the Wyoming loss, he's connected on 79% of his attempts, and is responsible for 8 TDs and no INTs. This is good.
- McNichols continues to McNichols. He had 153 yards against the Warriors in only 2 quarters of work and of course, scored 2 TDs (the best TD streak in the NCAA in the last decade). McNichols already has more carries this season (242) than he had all last year (240) and has already surpassed his 2015 yardage mark with AT LEAST 3 games left. Ajayi’s ridiculous 2014 All-Purpose yard mark is amazingly within reach. J-Mac is closing in on 1,800 APY.
- As good as the Boise State defense was on Saturday, there was one strange anomaly...every time backup RB Paul Harris touched the ball, he looked all world. Harris had not been the Warrior feature back this season and had yet to hit the century mark in a game, but apparently coated himself in Crisco, because when he had the ball, the Broncos could not tackle him and he finished with 145 yards on just 14 carries (a 10.4 YPC average). Go figure.
- Boise State finally pulled away from a team enough to give the youngsters an opportunity and overall, I'd say the future looks bright. Kekoa Nawahine (who didn't exclusively play in garbage-time) made some great plays and almost had the pick of the year. Chase Hatada batted a ball down at the LOS, Tyson Maeva made a few stops and Reid Harrison-Ducros provided some good coverage. These are youngsters that I would not tell to get off my lawn.
- The tight ends are back! The tight ends are back! Jake Roh had a 36-yard gainer and looks to be among the healthy-kneed individuals. Alec Dhaenens had a TD for the second straight game and Jake Knight de-cleated a hapless defender as a lead-blocker. Calooh! Callay!
- Third downs are important...both offensively and defensively. The Broncos converted 9-of-13 third downs on the evening and held the Warriors to just 6-of-14. Those kind of margins would have won us the Wyoming game, but there’s no use crying over spilled milk now that Wyoming lost to UNLV, right?