Photo via Pam Davis

Boise State/BYU; Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Taquitos or Steak

Any time a team leaves the stadium with a win in their rear view mirror it is a good thing. Taquitos from under a heat lamp at Jackson’s or a steak from Ruth’s Chris; hunger has been satisfied.

The Broncos walked away with a W and a load of taquitos in their gut. BYU walked away with only the thought of the odor of a char-grilled steak looking for a resting place somewhere between the parietal lobes and hippocampus. (Sounds so much more clinical than mere fantasy.)

You can fantasize about steak or eat some taquitos.

Fourth and Long

Woody Hayes used to say, when you throw a pass, three things happen and two of them are bad.
Something interesting happened on the sidelines during a timeout in the second half. The Broncos faced a fourth and 11 on the BYU 42.

Brett Rypien pleaded a case with head coach Bryan Harsin like a sleazy criminal defense attorney in the courthouse parking lot.

Guess what? You’re client got the max. Rypien tossed a ball to the goal line into double coverage. It fell incomplete. Cougar ball on the 42. Of the two bad things that can happen when you pass, even an interception would have been better.

The conversation between Harsin and Rypien after that play would be worth gold.

What happened? The Cougars moved the ball to within field goal range—it’s now 21-16. Suddenly, the game is a blown coverage or missed tackle from a heartbreak.

Three Yards and a Cloud of Rubber Granules

It’s been a long time since the days of three yards and a cloud of dust. The dust has been replaced by recycled rubber tires chewed into pellets.

The principles of consistent positive run plays of three yards or more remain as true today as it did when first outlined by Woody Hayes over six decades ago.

Thus, the 8-minute 16 play drive in the third quarter was platinum; football at it’s very best. Good play calls followed by good execution.

Long Game Wrong Game

It may have looked like BYU took the long passing game away from the Broncos. That said, it seems as though Rypien and his sure-handed go-tos were not on the same page.

It seems as if that is something that may have been noticed early. Although CT Thomas pulled in a long toss early, that was about it.

Rypien tossed one interception; it happens. He picked out the perfect open window but left the throw about a yard too low. Normally, he threads the needle.

A couple long passes fell to the turf like a duck full of buckshot. Boise receivers either pulled up short or were breaking in the opposite direction. On the other hand, Rypien might have thrown wrong.

Mattison and Mahone; Dial M for Mayhem

Both Alexander Mattison and Robert Mahone played an impressive game. What they couldn’t run around, they ran through.

Statistically, this was not a great game for Alexander Mattison but it was a great game for Alexander Mattison. He took it to the BYU defense. Some of those hits he laid on the BYU defense could be felt back in Provo.

Mattison had 89 yards in 25 carries. He also caught 5 balls for another 40 yards. He scored 1.5 touchdowns; the other .5 goes to John Malchon who shoved Mattison into the end zone.

Robert Mahone is playing like a guy who wants more snaps. He ran the ball 5 times for 24 yards and made 3 catches for 17. And they came when really needed.

Runners have to know if the blocking ain’t there, you got to do it on your own. When the offensive linemen see that, they dig a little deeper.

The Horton Touch

It very possibly may be that a player like Tyler Horton will never play on The Blue again. He has a special knack; no, it’s a skill. If it’s seen again, it is because he personally passed it on. (Is that a little over the top? Probably but it’s the way I feel right now.)

Tyler Horton should be allowed to take the Thrown of Chaos home and set it in his living room. Not really, I can’t think of any decor it would go with. (Said by a guy who has a 19th-century Scandinavian secretary’s desk next to a 1960s WT Grant’s bookcase.)

Horton not only caused the fumble that may have been a TD for BYU but recovered it too. That WAS the game, my friends.


About 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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