Sheryl Crow once sang that a "change could do you good."
For Boise State football, no truer words have ever been spoken.
It all started in week three against Idaho State. The Broncos were rolling along nicely, when all of a sudden, quarterback Ryan Finley hurt his ankle in the first quarter. Despite the Broncos winning big 52-0, some Boise State fans probably wondered, "What are we gonna do now?"
The answer was right on their team's bench.
That answer was Brett Rypien.
Since Rypien took over as the starting quarterback, the Broncos have beaten their opponents 56-14, 55-0 and 41-10. The true freshman has been almost flawless, throwing for 1,057 yards, 7 touchdowns and 1 pick. He has made his coaches and fans believe that this team is capable of heading to another big bowl game.
Coach Bryan Harsin told the Idaho Statesman on October 5th that Rypien has improved immensely since camp.
"He’s just come a long ways from where he was in fall camp, even mechanically," Harsin said. "Just more throws, more opportunities to hear the same coaching points, more reps. As far as his play, yeah, we hoped for that. We hope that for every one of our quarterbacks, but he’s done a nice job. We’ve always felt like his preparation habits have been very, very good. ... He’s throwing the ball really well. Physically, he has just gotten better. That’s what you’re seeing out there, the ball coming out of his hand — he’s more consistent with his mechanics. That’s showing up."
Is is he next Jared Zabransky or Kellen Moore?
Well, those comparisons are unrealistic at this stage of the game, but he's definitely having Bronco Nation thinking big. Right now, they are putting up pretty huge numbers-averaging 40 points a game, which is 28th in the nation right now. Their passing game is also getting high marks, with an average of almost 289 yards a game.
Rypien's winning pedigree runs in the family. His uncle, Mark Rypien was a two-time Pro Bowler and was the starting quarterback of the 1991 Washington Redskins team that won the Super Bowl. He is also related to former NHL players Rick Rypien and Shane Churla.
Yeah, this kid has athletic written all over him.
His offensive coordinator, Eliah Drinkwitz told the Idaho Statesman the kid is all business.
"He’s very matter of fact," Drinkwitz said. "He wants to know the information. We talk through every decision he made the previous drive — what he was seeing, what I was seeing. He doesn’t need a lot of cheerleading. He just needs information."
And that's pretty much a coaches dream. For his players to run the system the way they see fit-without much instruction or coddling. Rypien is proving to be a guy that Bryan Harsin can count on and get the ball in the end zone. Last week, against Colorado State, Rypien only threw for 1 TD and 1 pick, but he still went 22 for 35 with 339 yards and even a rushing touchdown. So even when it looks like he's had an average game, he's still had a good game.
Rypien is playing with a pretty solid offense this year. Thomas Sperbeck has had an outstanding 2015 campaign, with 526 yards receiving and 5 touchdowns. And his running back is a multi purpose back. Not only is Jeremy McNichols tearing it up with 12 rushing TD's this year, but he is also contributing on the receiving corps, nabbing 2 touchdowns and 196 yards.
The kid will get a big challenge this week when Boise State travels to Logan to battle Utah State. Playing against the Aggies will not be easy, as Utah State has the 30th ranked defense in the country. Giving up just 19 points a game, the defense will be looking to blitz Rypien often and early.
In the end, Rypien and Boise State should be fine, and beat the Aggies 41-10. With games coming up against Wyoming, UNLV, New Mexico, Air Force and San Jose State, Boise State should win the rest of the way, and could be in contention for another Fiesta Bowl or other big bowl coming up.
It's up to Brett Rypien to get them there.