Photo by IPT/Greg Kreller
While the Boise State win on Saturday may not have set the nation abuzz like, say, Missouri's demolition of Nevada or BYU's ridiculous beatdown of UCLA, it was not without it's merits. Boise State played a pretty good Bowling Green team and dominated them... far more than the final score indicated.
The Boise State defense was on their game once again, swarming to the ball, pressuring the QB and locking down receivers. The Bronco defense definitely look like they have largely fixed the mistakes of last season and have only given up 7 points in the first two contests of the year. If I were to pick a low point of the game for the D it would be getting fooled on a 4th and goal were the Falcon receiver got it way too easy. Of course, another low point could be that the Falcons were even that close to the endzone anyway after the Bronco D allowed Bowling Green into the redzone following a pass interference call on 3rd and long. The call looked a little suspect, but nonetheless. The Broncos collected 3 turnovers on Saturday and will need to maintain that level of production in Eugene this weekend. Ellis Powers played like a man possessed, Jeron Johnson continued his torrid pace, and Ryan Winterswyk was back in action (though somewhat quiet on the evening). Billy Winn looks like he will be hard to keep off the field as he made his presence known several times during the game. Derrell "hard luck" Acrey was injured in the game...no telling how bad (thanks, Augusto).
The Bronco offense was the other big story from Saturday night. They came out with their hair on fire behind an 11 for 11 start by Kellen Moore. The Broncos were spreading the ball well, flummoxing the Falcon defense en route to a 20-0 halftime score. Then the second half happened. No telling exactly what the issue was, but the Broncos seemed to be flat and confused and did not score again on the night. Thankfully, the Bronco defense was on top of things allowing only one Falcon score in the 4th quarter of play...but clearly, the Bronco offense will need a MUCH better performance at Autzen. The offense in the second half seemed far too cutesy and far too sloppy. Drives were killed by penalties, drops and abandoning a run game that had been very productive in the first half. Also slowing the Bronco offense a bit was the absence of Titus Young, who was serving a (hopefully) one game suspension. Young's ability to stretch the field was sorely missed as the Falcons took away the dink and dunk passing game that Moore had exploited in the first half. The Falcons offense was also on the field longer in the second half which kept the Bronco offense from getting much rhythm back. The sour taste that many felt after the game was certainly due to the yawn-inducing second half offensive effort...the only real detractor of the evening.
The bottom line is that the Bronco offense needs to keep pace with the defense. The defense has been showing an intensity and focus that I haven't seen since 2006 (so far), and the offense, though young, needs to match it. The playcalling has been okay and Moore has run the offense incredibly well for a frosh...but the Bronco receivers need to gain the confidence of Moore and the Bronco run game needs to pick up the production a bit. The O-line play was actually a pleasant surprise...they kept Moore relatively safe and opened some decent running lanes. Mentally, the O-line has a little ways to go. All in all, a very dominant game by the Broncos...they shut down the vaunted spread offense of the Falcons and showed that they can score at will...unfortunately their will was missing in Saturday's second half. We'll give them a 2-quarter mulligan this time...but things need to be fixed by Saturday...you already know that.
Special Teams—B (you can't run into the kicker, IJ)
Derrell Acrey's injury—D
Titus Young's absence—F
Idaho losing to WMU—A+
Photo by IPT/Greg Kreller