Photo by Joe Jaszewski/Statesman
The Kellen Moore era has begun in earnest and it looks like it may be soon joining other well-known eras such as the paleozoic and mesozoic. Moore looked freakin' great against a game ISU team, but obviously will really show his mettle in the upcoming weeks. Moore's 274 yard, 2 TD day was the best debut we've witnessed in quite some time...let alone from a freshman. Kellen looked poised, confident and showed a great touch when it came to nickel and diming or dropping 80 yard TD bombs. Moore finished the night with no turnovers and a passer rating of well over 200 in the 49-7 drubbing of the Bengals—Nice.
A few notables sat the game out and will be key returners for Bowling Green (who gave our SOS a boost yesterday by beating a possibly overrated, but still solid #25 Pitt team). Ryan Winterswyk was conspicuously absent at DE, but was filled in for nicely by future star Jarrell Root. Winterswyk has a bit of a knee tweak and may not be a go for the game against the Falcons on the 13th, but "should" be back for the Oregon game (keep your fingers nicely crossed). Kyle Gingg was also absent last night with a minor injury...he is more likely to be healthy for the BGSU tussle, but was not overly missed against ISU as Derrell Acrey recorded 14 tackles and freshman Aaron Tevis recorded 8, a tipped pass and two sacks.
No cause for alarm
Many fans are a little worried about inconsistent line play in the first game...mainly due to the fact that the offense didn't get rolling until nearly the 2nd quarter and the fact that the running game never fully took flight. Let me address those concerns thusly: It was the first FREAKIN' GAME! Let's all take a step back and look at the big picture. Boise State was about half a yard from posting the exact same score against Idaho State last night as they did against Weber State in the 2007 opener. Boise State's O-line is extremely young and untested...were missing behemoth Nate Potter and still allowed a single sack and sprung the runners for some big gainers. I personally thought that the run-blocking last night was not as good as the pass-blocking...but it was nothing terrible...the interior line wasn't opening huge holes, but Kellen stayed relatively pressure free and the run game looked like it could've really taken off if given more time. Also, Doug Martin and DJ Harper played extremely sparingly last night. The D-line looked pretty good...good pressure...a lot of sacks...and if you take out one lackluster drive pretty much shut down the ISU offense entirely. More perspective: In 2006 (considered by some to have been a "pretty good year") Ian Johnson had 89 rushing yards in the opener against Sacramento State. Last night? 87 yards. We're fine, Chicken Little.
Could be cleaner
As I said before, this was the first real live football a lot of these guys have played in months and for a lot of them, the first real live college football of their careers. There were some mistakes made—fumbles, pass interference, missed blocks and poor pursuit angles...but all-in-all this was a solid outing all around. Any mistakes made seemed to be atoned for later on and that is all you can ask of our athletes. Two oddly familiar looking fumbles by Titus Young were atoned for by two beautiful TDs, and bad field position for the Broncos (yep, fumbles) gave way to great defensive stands. Linebackers and secondary played very well...missed tackles were at a minimum and the one long drive given up by the D seemed to be due more to some poor pursuit angles than poor tackling like last year. The D-line was getting a good push, but will need to seal off the ends a bit better...Winterswyk will help with this immensely.
Richie Brockel did his best Mike Alstott impression on two goal line runs. Freshman Tyler Shoemaker from Mountain View showed the coaches that putting him on scholly last week was the right move by hauling in two nice TDs. Derrell Acrey wasn't "supposed" to start this one, but did...led the team in tackles with 14 and looked grrrreat. Jeron Johnson showed that you better think twice before running into him head-on...he isn't going to slow down. Ian Johnson blocked a punt...really. Aaron Tevis is a Colt Brooks clone...and he's only a frosh. One bright spot for the Bengals was their place kicker...he was kicking the crap outta that ball last night. Never got to see our new look kick return team because the balls were sailing out of the endzone.
Kellen gets Helmet Sticker
Photo by Joe Jaszewski/Statesman