Saturday night as the Broncos were doing a good job taking apart the Colorado State defense, the television commentators were busy speculating about what the Boise State offense needs in order to be more like they were in the past. The thoughts were that the ground game was fine, but the passing attack is where BSU needed the most help.
This led one announcer to claim, “I don’t see an Austin Pettis out there, a wide receiver who you know can beat his guy play-in and play-out.” He would go on to say, “Miller is good, but he doesn’t have that same athleticism.” The talk would continue for the next few minutes explaining that the Broncos just don’t have explosiveness anywhere in the receiving corps.
Meanwhile Matt Miller was quietly, effectively, methodically doing his thing on the field. As if on cue, Miller grabbed a 14-yard pass, and then two plays after that he broke open past the Rams secondary and caught a 44-yard touchdown. To which the announcer quickly added, “I apologize Mr. Miller, completely, profusely, I meant no harm in my comment, it wasn’t a fair comment, you are a great receiver, and you just got behind the secondary much like Mr. Pettis did.” His broadcasting partner then chimed in, “and speaking of Pettis… that reception is his 229th of his career, that ties Austin Pettis for the most all-time in school history.”
Video via Calvin Zito
On the next drive for the Broncos, facing 2nd and 5 at their own 25, Grant Hedrick rolled left and connected with Miller once again. This time it was for 37-yards, and another Bronco first down. It was also a new team record for all-time receptions with 230. Miller was given a nice round of applause by the fans, and the announcer mentioned it briefly as the game continued on.
Now, before anyone think this is a criticism of the television announcers or their thoughts on Matt Miller—it isn’t. This is simply an illustration of who Matt Miller is. He is a player that day-in, and day-out, quietly and efficiently dismantles defenses with little pomp and circumstance. He is many times overlooked, and yet his pass patterns are text book, his hands are as sticky as a kid eating a Popsicle.
Miller’s craftiness as a receiver is camouflaged by a blue collar work-ethic that doesn’t pound its chest, and for this reason people sometimes forget about him, or at the very least, don’t give him the credit he deserves. But, Miller probably wouldn’t have it any other way. The hard-working wide receiver from Helena, Montana, just keeps producing. He doesn’t demands the spotlight or credit for himself, and his example is louder than any words could ever speak.
Give it up for Matt Miller! One of the best careers in school history, and it’s far from over. pic.twitter.com/67KhCtFlyK
— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) September 7, 2014
Since his redshirt freshman season in 2011, Matt Miller has been a potent offensive weapon. According to BroncoSports.com, he tied for the most receptions on the team in 2011 (62), and finished second in reception yards (679). During his sophomore campaign of 2012, he led the team in all three major receiving categories with 66 catches for 769 yards and five touchdowns.
Miller was also a shining star in the midst of a disappointing 2013 season. However, because of everything that happened many people forget just how good his performance was. As a junior he took it to a new level with 88 receptions accounting for 1,140 yards and 12 touchdowns. So far this season he has continued his effective ways with 14 catches for 235 yards in just two games. He is currently on pace to gain more than 1,400 yards in 2014, and as noted earlier, he is now the Boise State Broncos all-time receptions leader with 230 career grabs.
Matt Miller is a great example of what Boise State football should be all about. His hard work, dedication and humility are matched only by his desire to compete, his technique and his effectiveness. The announcers Saturday night were correct stating that Miller is no Austin Pettis. But that’s the point, he doesn’t have to be. He simply needs to continue to be Matt Miller.
You know, Matt Miller, the all-time career receptions leader for Boise State.