Ian Johnson decided to find his groove again on a perfect night. Not only had Johnson been ceremoniously promised to gain 150 yards and 3 TDs by O-lineman Jeff Cavender, but the Broncos needed Johnson to find his '06 form in a tough ESPN contest against Southern Miss. Well, Ian got his yards (191 all-purpose) and his TDs (3, exactly) and helped the Broncos defeat the Golden Eagles 38-16 on national TV and in front of a blue and orange crowd.
Taylor Tharp had his best game of the year with over 300 yards passing, 2 TDs and 1 INT. Tharp found Titus Young on a long strike, found Jeremy Childs and Vinny Peretta a few more times and dumped off nifty passes Johnson all night when he felt pressure from the USM D. The outlet pass to Johnson seems to be a new concept on the Bronco offense, but one that worked extremely well and bailed Tharp out of trouble. Johnson looked great in the open field (80 yards on 3 receptions) and Tharp was able to escape the pressure without taking a sack or trying to run.
The Bronco D looked good again on Thursday, shutting down USM's stud RB Damion Fletcher and allowing only minimal gains through the air. Marty Tadman and Jeron Johnson laid some big hits on the Eagles ball carriers all night from the safety position and Orlando Scandrick and Kyle Wilson did a nice job containing the speedy receivers of Southern Miss. Kyle Gingg had a nice game from his linebacker position with several nice tackles for loss.
Tadman finally broke out a bit on his punt returns, giving Boise State good field position all night and Rashaun Scott got the Broncos near the 50 every time he returned a kick it seemed. The Bronco crowd was loud and rowdy all night and helped the defense confuse the Golden Eagles every series.
All in all, a very impressive win for the Broncos. The Golden Eagles were a good team that just flat got outplayed and outcoached on Thursday night. Johnson and the Broncos look to be peaking at the right time with WAC conference play right around the corner. Hal "the Towel" Mumme brings his New Mexico State Aggies and their "air raid" onto the blue for a Sunday night matchup on October 7. If the Broncos keep their foot on the gas this year, the Aggies should be an easy win. I think that Johnson will carve up the weak run defense of the Aggies all night and our improved secondary won't allow Chase Holbrook to nickel and dime us to death.
Broncos are rollin' now. Next game= BSU 42, NMSU 20