Boise/Nevada Game; Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Winning, no matter what it looks like is a win. Nobody can take it away—the score is the final and ultimate adjudicator. A blowout counts the same as winning by a last-second field goal.

The first two games this season likely spoiled fans—and the Broncos as well. (Beat Troy 52 – 20 and Connecticut 62 – 7.) Those first two games likely did more harm to the Broncos than good. Teams only learn through trial and adversity.

No Regret Brett And Crew

Against Nevada, quarterback, Brett Rypien, put together an incredible second-half performance. Brett was 28 for 38 on the night but most importantly, 14 for 16 in the second half. The two incompletions were throws in the hands of receivers. One caromed into the air and intercepted.

The TD pass to CT Thomas was uncanny. Normally when the replay is shown and slowed down the small window you thought was there was not so small after all. But even in a slow-motion replay, the Rypien toss to Thomas squeezed through a crack in a mostly closed window.

Also, CT’s catch on a fourth and eight in the final period was magic. (CT, Caught That.)

AJ Richardson continues to amaze. He made another impossible catch. The ball seems like it falls into a well when it drops over his shoulder. (AJ, Always Jammin’.)

Brett appears not to be bothered by interceptions. He keeps on slinging.

Done With The Run?

The running game continues to puzzle and confound. It is difficult to recall any time in Bronco history the running attack has been so lackluster.

Running back Alexander Mattison has yet to be turned loose. He averages 3.9 yards per carry and his longest gain is 35 yards.

Mattison seems to do a lot of dancing when he is handed the ball. Sometimes you just have to take it to the tackler. Dancing has its place but most of the time it’s not on the field.

Robert Mahone came in during the second half and looked effective. In the future, perhaps more will be seen from him.

The Bronco running game produced 209 yards against Nevada, however, 88 of them came from John Hightower’s jet sweep. Without that run, the Broncos averaged a bit more than three yards per carry. (Does DJ Harper have any eligibility remaining?)

D Was Delightful

The defense saved the Bronco’s bacon.

The 99-yard interception and return for a TD by Tyler Horton was poetry. Not only was it a good run but the defensive players made some good blocks. (I got an idea; have those guys play both ways.)

Hand it to the Nevada blockers, they did a formidable job of protecting the gimpy Ty Gangi. Yet, enough pressure was applied to lessen his throwing accuracy. That guy is all grit and guts.

The Bronco defense did a good job in containing the run game and disrupting the passing attack.

Last week, it was allowing a 72 yard run for a TD. This week, two of Nevada’s three TDs came on a 50-yard short pass and a burst up the middle and then another on a 21-yard burst—up the middle. Hardly anyone touched the runners on each TD.

Those are mental mistakes. The defense is so aggressive, at times they overreact.

Time To Get Mean

The Broncos now enter the second half of the season. Hopefully, it is better than the first half. There is every reasonable expectation they should win them all.

Adversity has been experienced. The biggest adversity they must overcome is to turn the Broncos into a lean mean running machine. The Broncos cannot play quality and winning football on the strength of Rypien’s arm alone.


About Kenton Lewis

Kenton Lewis
Kenton lives in Boise. He is the former publisher of the Boise State sports site, Smurf Turf; writing exclusively about Broncos football and basketball. He is also a novelist and short story writer.

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