Well kids, the first game is in the books and if you braved the scorching Boise temperatures and made it to the Blue you witnessed a very impressive showing by the newly reloaded Broncos, easily beating the Weber St. Wildcats 56-7 in a game where had Chris Petersen not been such a "nice guy" and called off the dogs before halftime, the Broncos could've hung 90 on the scoreboard. Taylor Tharp was lookin' Sharp as he connected on 14 passes out of 19 attempts and netted over 180 yards through the air and led BSU's first team offense down the field eight seperate times for scores. The defining moment of the evening—the one that has all Boise State fans licking their collective chops was when Tharp dropped back, got drilled and planted in the turf...but not before unloading a perfectly thrown 53-yard TD strike to True Freshman Titus Young. I, for one, breathed a sigh of relief to see that the oft-analyzed Tharp indeed had "big play" ability and looked crisp in his debut as the starter. Tharp was accurate, made safe throws and aired them out when he needed to.
Freshman ruled the day as true freshman Titus Young, DJ Harper, Austin Pettis, Brad Elkin and Brandyn Thompson all saw fairly significant playing time. Titus Young looks like the real deal as he took a reverse 23 yards on his first touch of the game and then on the next drive outstripped the Wildcat defenders for the most exciting passing TD of the night. Running back DJ Harper also looks like he's gonna be a good one as he showed Ian Johnson-like patience in reading his blocks and displayed his tough running as he broke several tackles on a 10-yard TD scamper. WR Austin Pettis has sticky hands and pulled in some nice passes over the middle from Tharp. CB Brandyn Thompson played mostly on special teams but looked good in with the 2nd team D as well. True frosh punter Brad Elkin didn't get much work in and didn't quite find his rhythm yet, but his punts weren't terrible and everyone knows that when he gets down division 1 game tempo he will be a good one.
Redshirt freshman Jeremy Avery is going to be a total stud. The little guy can move. Deep in the Bronco's own territory, Avery came in for Johnson and proceeded to take his first handoff 50 yards in what looked like he would go all the way. The backfield is absolutely stacked with Avery, Johnson and Harper and should have no trouble moving the ball on anyone this year. Johnson, by the way played all of a quarter and a half of ball, but seemed to knock the rust off quickly rushing for 128 yards on 18 carries and garnering 3 touchdowns. Johnson chipped away on every run he had, quietly gaining 5-6 yards each time before following an amazing Richie Brockel block around the left side for a too-easy 56 yard TD.
The Defense looks amazing. Yeah, yeah...we were playing "lowly" Weber State, but our Secondary made former SEC QB Jimmy Barnes (who was listed as 6'5", 230 lbs., but didn't look an ounce under 270) look downright awful all night. In fact, Weber State scarcely had any first downs or yardage before halftime (49-0, at that point, BTW) Marty Tadman showed why he is an SI.com All-America pick as he was all over any pass that came his direction, and Orlando Scandrick and Kyle Wilson locked down their sides of the field amazingly well.
Wilson and Tadman also showed that the punt return game may have a bright future too as both took a Wildcat punt over 60 yards and nearly scored both times. Wilson directed blockers on his punt return as he nearly took it to the house, eventually outrunning his blocks and being forced out at about the 10 yard line.
I know that you can't ever tell a whole lot about a team when they open against a 1-AA squad, but if last year's perfect season is any indicator (when BSU beatdown Sac St. 45-0) we should be in fairly good shape. The game wasn't sloppy, the starters and newcomers looked incredibly crisp for the first outing and the offense and defense seemed to be firing on all cylinders.
Next week, Boise State tries to get the BCS road-game monkey off their backs as they travel to Seattle to take on the UW Huskies. Without having to reallly open up the playbook last night, the Broncos may have some big surprises in store for the Dawgs..and I'd wager our running game will be a big factor in this one.
Here is a link to a nice slideshow of the game put together by BoiseStatefans.com
Pic at top of article from boisestatefans.com