Final Score: Boise State 49, AFA 30
Due to the world presently being a little upside down (or should I say...inverted?) the Broncos faced off in front of a crowd of...not many people at all, to take on the Air Force Academy Falcons in Colorado Springs.
Shortly before kickoff, Boise State confirmed that Hank Bachmeier would be unable to play in tonight’s game. All eyes then turned to USC transfer, and former 4-star recruit, Jack Sears. He was able to start things off on an extremely high note on the very first play of the game. He arced a nearly perfect pass over the top of the entire Air Force defense into the waiting arms of waiting CT Thomas. CT took the ball the rest of the way in for a 75 yard score, just 10 seconds into the game.
Boise State 7, AFA 0
Unfortunately, a feature of playing the Falcons is that #$@* triple option offense they run. It had a pretty good start too, by its standards. Unfortunately. Two chunk plays, one for 26 and another for 18 yards, jumpstarted a drive that ended up in the end zone on a seven yard run eight plays later.
Boise State 7, AFA 7
Aaaand then they did it again. Six plays, 87 yards, and still zero pass attempts for Air Force as they stumbled into the end zone for another six.
Boise State 7, AFA 14
Before even the start of the second quarter, the Broncos were down one George Holani, who took a helmet to a bare knee.
The Broncos were able to stabilize, calm down, and Sears engineered a fruitful 10 play, 78 yard drive. Holani replacement, Andrew Van Buren, finished it off with a 4 yard plunge into the end zone.
Boise State 14, AFA 14
The ensuing Air Force drive was a bit bittersweet. On the plus side, it seemed the Boise State defense was able to get some cohesion and started slowing down the Falcon offense. They successfully held them to a field goal after an 11 play, 51 yard drive. On the extreme downside, Broncos defensive end Demetri Washington got his knee rolled up on and was carted off the field with what appeared to be a serious knee injury.
Boise State 14, AFA 17
The Broncos started their next drive 64 yards out from the end zone and just methodically worked their way down the field. A nice mix of run and pass, including some fun work for tight end, Riley Smith, on a 20 yard run play ended in six more points for the Broncos. The drive was again capped by a one yard Andrew Van Buren plunge into the end zone.
Boise State 21, AFA 17
Continuing the aggressive tradition of trying (and succeeding for the last two years running!) to score in the final minute of the first half of road games, the Broncos got the ball after finally forcing an Air Force punt with less than two minutes to halftime. It took them five plays and 35 seconds to move the ball 63 yards into the end zone. There was some controversy on the final play as an Air Force defender appeared to push Octavius Evans out of bounds before he came back in for a wide open touchdown catch. After a review it was determined that there was no camera angle that could prove the defender didn’t push him out, and the touchdown stood.
Boise State 28, AFA 17
Coming out of the break, it seemed neither the Broncos nor the Falcons wanted to take control as they exchanged several punts before anything exciting happened. On the plus side, that meant the Bronco defense was starting to click. Finally, the Broncos took advantage of a possession and marched 78 yards down the field to get into the end zone yet again. The score came on an absolutely phenomenal dime from Sears, perfectly squeezed between CT Thomas and the sideline just outside of the endzone. CT grabbed it and waltzed in for another six.
Boise State 35, AFA 17
Blah, blah...another boring, plodding, triple option drive for the Falcons. 12 plays, 75 yards. TD. Whatever.
Boise State 35, AFA 24
...but THEN!...then it was time for an Avery Williams special. And special it was! He fielded the kickoff from Air Force and weaved his way through all the defenders to break free for an 88 yard score.
Boise State 42, AFA 24
The Broncos decided to buzz the tower again later in the fourth quarter after the defense forced another punt. Jack Sears engineered a 63 yard drive on six plays that initially appeared to have been capped off with a Cade Fennegan run for six. I say ‘appeared’ because if he didn’t make it in—debatable—it was only just barely. Which is too bad. It would have been cool for the guy just a few months removed from a church mission in Argentina to get the score. Regardless, Sears plowed forward into the end zone on a keeper one play after the review.
Boise State 49, AFA 24
12 plays, 80 yards. Another Air Force touchdown. Meh.
Two point conversion failed. Ha!
Boise State 49, AFA 30
And that would be game! Once the defense settled in, this was really quite an impressive showing for Boise State. The Broncos were able to overcome the absences of Hank Bachmeier and JL Skinner, as well as the in-game losses of Demetri Washington, Scale Igehion, and George Holani to beat their sometimes-nemesis—on the road, mind you—by three scores.
We’ll have to keep a keen eye out for any developments relating to the health of missing players, because we’ll need everyone on deck for what appears to be a potent BYU team next week. Barring an unthinkable loss to Western Kentucky, the Broncos will be welcoming the highest ranked team to ever play them in Albertson’s Stadium history. The Cougars are currently ranked 11th.
Until then, we hope everyone has a great Halloween, full highlights can be found here, and...
(Also, yes. I am aware that Top Gun is actually about NAVY pilots, but still...we don't play NAVY, so I wasn't going to NOT take the opportunity to make Top Gun jokes)