Final Score, 42-23 Cavaliers
In front of a crowd that was initially much bigger than the turnout for New Mexico, the Broncos received the opening kickoff and got off to a fast start. The offense, that had struggled a little in recent weeks with pass blocking and distributing the ball to players not named ‘Roh’ or ‘Wilson’ drove straight down the field for 80 yards in 3 minutes. Along the way, Brett Rypien amply demonstrated why he is a two time all-conference performance by making a variety of throws, as he deftly maneuvered the offense down the field. Unfortunately that was about the extent of the bright spots for the offense in this game. Well, and Wilson’s 209 receiving yards and a TD.
Following the score, the Bronco defense,started fast as well by forcing an abrupt 3-and-out. The stop featured Curtis Weaver and Jabril Frazier sharing the Cavaliers’ QB, Beckert, for a sack lunch. Unfortunately, the Broncos killed the resulting offensive position with a holding penalty and the Cavs got the ball back around midfield and scored in just a few plays. And then the defense also pretty much fell apart after that.
After trading possessions a few times, Virginia started moving the ball really well on what had been a very stout Boise State defense to begin the season. They implemented a new strategy:
Virginia seems to be trying to confuse the young Boise defense, putting them in positions to make quick decisions. TO BSU.— MWCConnection.com (@MWCConnection) September 23, 2017
...and it worked. After an 88-yard drive, a Hoos WR hauled in a highlight reel 30 yard catch to put Virginia on top.
The Broncos got the ball back, but after a failed fake punt on 4th down, the Cavs got the ball back in Bronco territory. They scored two plays later when Avery Williams slipped and fell down in coverage and a Cavalier bounded right into the end zone.
Luckily, immediately after the kick return, the Bronco offense decided to wake up and plowed straight down the field for 65 yards. The Broncos capped the drive with a score using, again, the wildest of Wildcat formations—giving the ball to TE, Jake Roh to punch it in.
The Cavaliers got the ball to start the second half and promptly scored on a 64 yard deep throw from Beckert to Levrone. In double coverage.
After trading a few possessions, the Bronco defense let a Cav running back leak out of the left side and house a run for 56 yards on the first play of a drive.
Boise State was unable to get anything going on their next possession, and the ensuing drive from Virginia resulted in a one-yard TD plunge by Ellis.
The Broncos were able to add some meaningless points to the board at the end of the game with a safety they forced on a bobbled punt by the Hoos’ punter. Cedrick Wilson and Cozart also connected for a 40 yard TD in garbage time, but it was too little, too late.
The story of this game was confused defense, dropped passes by the boatload (again by anyone NOT name ‘Roh’ or ‘Wilson’...and I guess ‘Richardson’ about half the time), and holding penalties on special teams. As a whole, this STILL doesn’t technically de-rail the goals of this Boise State team though. They can still “Win the conference and a bowl game while demonstrating academic excellence”. At this point though, the worst loss on The Blue since 2001 is going sting for a while. An ugly loss, but the Broncos will be back in action in Provo on the 6th, after a bye that will certainly be filled with a great deal of introspection.
See you there.