Sunday Quarterbacking; A Critical Analysis of The Boise State/UCONN Game

Photo via Pam Davis

It is difficult to recall a Boise State team who appears so diversely talented and rich in depth. It could not be more apparent than the last two games, Troy and Connecticut.

For the second week in a row, Boise did more than dominate; they obliterated.

The Run Game

Saturday night nine players crossed the line of scrimmage carrying the football. The surprise was Khalil Shakir. We thought of him as a receiver or return specialists—and so did UCONN. He ran the ball twice for 39 yards.

Alexander Mattison turned in a 115-yard game. He was followed by freshman Andrew Van Buran with 75 rushing yards.

Everyone who ran the ball looked solid. A lot of yards came after contact. As impressive at the running game looked, it has yet to really reach full bloom.


As much can be said about the receiving corps. Ten different receivers made catches.

Last week, it looked as if Sean Modster had separated himself from the heard but this week John Hightower looked exceptional. John hauled in 5 passes one for a TD to go along with another he rushed for.

Modster still led the pack with six catches. He seems to be establishing himself as the clutch receiver.

Just when you thought AJ Richardson had faded into ranks he ripped off a 74-yard reception for a TD; most of the yards after the catch. He’s kind of like the guy who the teacher thinks is sleeping in class but when he’s called upon he has all the correct answers.

The Defense

The Broncos sent only one player to the Throne of Chaos.

We were all concerned that Avery Williams might not play this week because of leaving the game last week with an injury. He returned for an interception. He was not used on kick or punt returns.

The interception by Avery was the only turnover, although, there were some near picks.

The Bronco tackles once again rattled bones and loosened fillings but there were no fumbles. The only thing I can figure is that the Husky coaches had subliminal messages masked in the music they listened to, “I will not fumble. I will not fumble, I will not fumble. Fumblers will be executed. Fumblers will be executed, Fumblers will be executed.”

The defense does not show any determinable weakness at this time. Linemen stand their ground, linebackers fill the gaps, and backs stay with their assignment.


Quarterback Brett Rypien is performing as good as the Broncos have ever had; this includes Sir Kellen Moore. He’s completing over 73% of his passes with seven TDs and no interceptions. The only sack was the first snap of the season. Thus far, no interceptions.

He could be on track for a 4,000-yard passing year.

Chase Cord looked as if need be, he could step in as a starter. He’s tough. He took an out of bounds late hit that may have sent lesser mortals to the dressing room, instead, he took the next snap.

It was also good to see Jaylon Henderson enter the game. Frankly, given his role (mop up), he looked confident and poised.


Of course, when a quarterback doesn’t get sacked and all running backs have positive yardage, it is the offensive line that should take a bow.

There is some incredible one on one blocking by the offensive line. Blitzes are being picked up. It seems like this is a well disciplined and coached unit.

Mr. Critical

Let’s see where can I be critical? Haden Hoggath missed a 44-yard field goal but UCONN called a timeout just before the snap. He nailed it on the second try. (I had to come up with something.)

The announcers apparently are not history majors. One of them made mention that the Boise State backfield sounded presidential; Andrew Van Buran referring to Martin Van Buran and Alexander Mattison referring to—James Madison?

And Buster Bronco can’t do push-ups for squat.


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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