As the season reaches the midway mark, it is time to reflect on how the Broncos have performed and what to expect for the second half.
What started with an explosive beginning turned into sloppy mediocre performance. After the Broncos began the first two games against Troy and UConn for a combined score of 118-27, they appeared to be making another great run.
Unfortunately, they began unravelling. After the first two dominant performances, the Broncos went 2-2 in their next four games, with a losses at Oklahoma State and at home to San Diego State.
To make matters worse, Oklahoma State started 3-0 and made the loss seem like it came against a good team. The cowboys are now 4-3 and look to be a bottom performer in the Big XII.
The loss to San Diego State stung a little more. That took the Broncos out of first place in the Mountain division. Rypien threw not just his first, but also his second interceptions after going 140+ attempts without any in the previous four games.
The wins against Wyoming and Nevada were not enough to provide overwhelming confidence for Bronco Nation.
Coming away with a win from Laramie and Reno can always be difficult, but some sloppy play has really put into question the execution and the game plans. Bronco Nation is wondering if the boys in blue really are “livin’ on a prayer.”
Things learned from the first half:
- John Hightower is the human blur. This guy is crazy fast!
- Defense is still the Broncos’ strongest side of the ball.
- The turnover “gimmicks” like the throne are getting old, but if it remains, there should be a permanent sign that reads “RESERVED FOR TYLER HORTON” placed on it.
- Day games bring big crowds, but bad performances. They should be banned.
After a hopefully forgettable first half, Boise State will turn their attention to the second half of their schedule with very little margin for error.
Luckily, only two of the remaining six games are on the road. That means Bronco Nation will get to see action at home for four more regular season games.
The Broncos begin the second half with Colorado State and Air Force. This may be just what the doctor ordered. After an incredibly sloppy game against Nevada, the Broncos need a few games to tighten things up and build confidence.
Both the Rams and Falcons are struggling. Colorado State started 1-4 and Air Force is sitting at 2-4 currently.
Now the Broncos need to treat each game as an important one, regardless of their opponents’ struggles. Boise State cannot sleep on these games. They need to show up and execute at a high level (something Bronco Nation hasn’t seen lately).
The CSU & AFA games should gear the Broncos up for some tough games against BYU, Fresno State and Utah State (with New Mexico thrown in).
BYU finally decided to switch quarterbacks to their freshman, Zach Wilson, and now they should be taken seriously. The Cougars have more energy now that they can trust their passer.
Fresno State will likely bring their grudge from losing the 2017 Mountain West championship game. The Bulldogs are 5-1 and ESPN’s FPI gives Boise State only a 53.7% chance to win.
Utah State is probably the most surprising. Currently, at the top of the Mountain division, the Aggies look practically unstoppable with Jordan Love leading the way. Matt Wells has done a fantastic job coaching this team up. The Broncos absolutely have to win this one if there is hope of making it to the MW championship this year.
Fortunately, all three of those games are at home. Bronco Nation will need to show up loud and proud to make home-field advantage useful.
Things to look for in the second half:
- Brett Rypien will break the record for pass yards in the Mountain West. (Rypien only needs 959 more yards to pass SDSU’s Ryan Lindley).
- A 3-3 all-time tie with Air Force will be broken, hopefully in the Broncos’ favor.
- Three Friday night games (Colorado State, Fresno State, & New Mexico).
- A very cold, very high stakes, last game of the regular season against a very good Utah State.
- Mountain West Championship
- Bowl Game (Things have to go very wrong for UCF or USF to not make the NY6 Fiesta Bowl, so BSU can hope for another Las Vegas Bowl).