A crowd of 35,358 fans were on hand late Saturday night in Bronco Stadium to witness Boise State’s domination of Conference USA’s Southern Miss in nonconference action. The Broncos got off to a slow start as the Golden Eagles held Boise State to two 3-and-outs and sacked Broncos QB Joe Southwick twice in the first quarter that ended with Broncos up 7 after a TD by WR Shane Williams-Rhodes.
Kicker Dan Goodale added a 33 yard field goal at the beginning of the second quarter to get the Broncos off and running, up 10-0. He was 2-2 for the night. In fact, the Broncos special teams played a big role all evening: they blocked two field goals and forced a fumble recovery that continually sapped the momentum from the Golden Eagles. WR Dallas Burroughs had two kickoff returns that averaged 20 yards each. All that helped the Broncos go in at halftime up 30-7 and contributed with a shut out the Golden Eagles in the last three quarters of play.
Southern Miss had their chances. They received the ball to start the second half but the Golden Eagles never really threatened. QB Allan was 18 of 30 through the air for 143 yards and a TD, but he was sacked once and threw 2 interceptions. Broncos QB Joe Southwick, in contrast, seemed to be in complete control after the rocky start in first quarter. He ended his night halfway into the third quarter after completing 19 of 23 passes for 268 yards and 3 TD’s. The fourth quarter began with the Broncos up 47-7 and backup QB Grant Hedrick at the helm. By then head coach Chris Peterson had already been emptying the Broncos bench. Besides Hedrick, QB Nick Patty was in the rotation along with a lot of players who were eager for some playing time.
Offensively, two of Southwick’s TD passes went to WR Matt Miller and WR Geraldo Boldewijn who each had over 100 yards receiving for the evening. But the offense had a lot of help on the ground with RB’s Jay Ajayi, Jack Fields, and Aaron Baltazar. Ajayi rushed 14 times for 83 yards averaging 5.9 yards a carry and Boise State rolled up 545 total yards on offense with seven different players scoring touchdowns.
What was equally impressive was the Broncos defense. It was led by senior DE Demarcus Lawrence who set the example for the young defensive players with 5 tackles and a sack. Lawrence also blocked two Southern Miss field goal attempts. Downfield, safety Darian Thompson and cornerback Bryan Douglas each picked off two Southern Miss passes. The collected power of the defense chalked up four sacks and held the Golden Eagles to 266 total yards.
Next up for the Broncos is a bye week before a road trip to Logan, UT on October 12 take on the Utah State Aggies.