I decided not to blog the UNR/BSU game yesterday...as I, like other Bronco faithful was in a bit of a daze. Apart from being worn out physically...my vocal chords weren't feeling too swell. I'm sure that many a Bronco walked around Monday morning in a bit of a haze...wandering aimlessly...muttering "Kaepernick" softly under their breath. Well, today I feel more refreshed and am able to look back on Sunday night's crazy game with a little more insight.
First off, let me say that this was probably the greatest game ever on the blue—eclipsing the 2004 BYU squeaker and the 2005 Idaho game where BSU turned a 21-21 tie into a 70-35 beatdown in what seemed like 5 minutes. It was as exciting and nerve-wracking as they come...watching Boise State survive Nevada's mind-boggling offensive display in 4 OTs as LB Tim Brady sacked freshman QB Colin Kaepernick as the Wolf Pack tried to convert a two-point conversion (which, by rule they had to attempt). The Broncos and the Wolf Pack combined for almost 1300 yards of offense, and put up a final score of 69-67, which resembled a basketball score, and also, incidentally was the most points scored in a NCAA Division 1-A game since they started keeping track sometime in the '30s.
Secondly, let me say that it was the most PATHETIC display of defense by either team that I think I've ever seen. The conundrum here being that as memorable as the game was, I am sure both teams would rather forget it. The Broncos, who prior to this game had the 3rd ranked defense in the country and hadn't allowed a hundred yard rusher all year long—inexplicably gave up nearly 400 yards on the ground. 400!
Now, I won't take anything away from the Wolf Pack...they seemed to have largely outschemed us offensively and our D looked confused, sluggish and worn out all night. Maybe the Broncos were overly confident after last week's demolition of NMSU? Maybe the Broncos were not expecting a fight from the Wolf Pack after 7 straight years of domination? Who knows? All I know is that the Wolf Pack offense came to play this time around—and our defense did not. Fortunately for Bronco Nation...OUR offense decided to play—and the Nevada D took a cue from ours and decided to stay on the bus.
Tharp looked darn good once again throwing 4 TDs and only one pick. Ian continued his all-purpose attack, garnering WAC player of the week honors for his 205 rushing yards and 50+ receiving yards (and 3 TDs), and Jeremy Childs had another outstanding game. We even saw some old-skool Bronco trickeration in the form of a fake fieldgoald TD strike and the Bronco special teams came up with another big block, this time, a Nevada PAT. After the game, we learned that Vinny Perretta is out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury and Jeron Johson didn't start again because of a nagging hammy injury.
The only real analysis I have is that I HOPE sincerely that this defensive outing was a total anomaly, and that a hard week of practice and some refocusing will cure all ills. If the same defensive effort is put forth in coming weeks...I can honestly see BSU picking up 1 or 2 more losses. That said, as well as our offense is playing right now...any aforementioned losses would be by likely final scores of 50-45 or some such. Get cracking Broncos and look ahead to La Tech...while the rest of Bronco Nation breathes a sigh of relief at Sunday's slugfest.
Oh and by the way, nice game, Nevada. Respect has been regained and I am looking forward to the next few years of the rivalry. And big props to Bronco Nation for getting NOI-ZEE! Loudest I've ever heard Bronco Stadium at the end there.