Everything pointed toward a huge weekend for Boise State: a national radio host visiting Boise, a rare afternoon game, a packed house, and one of the biggest recruiting weekends in recent memory. The Broncos had a chance to prove that they were a force in the Mountain West and weren’t going anywhere in the near future. Boise State responded with one of their worst offensive showings in more than a decade. Let’s revisit my key points from the preview:
Which team is healthier?
The Broncos received a nice surprise when Tyler Horton started. However, the Broncos were without other major contributors David Moa, Deandre Pierce, and Jordan Happle. The fact of the matter is, these injuries had no impact on the game. The Broncos were outplayed and out-coached in all facets of the game.
Can the offensive line continue to improve?
Nope! The offensive line had another terrible showing on Saturday. Rypien was getting pressured on every down, and there were no holes in the running game. Boise State has really struggled on the right side of the line; for some reason, the coaches have been hesitant to make changes. Brad Bedell has had a tenuous run as the offensive coordinator of the Broncos. His unit will need to make significant progress, or his job might be in jeopardy.
Can the Broncos prevent big plays?
The defense was great, but they did allow a 72 yard touchdown run. These big plays have been the only glaring flaw for an otherwise solid unit. The defense did what they needed to do for the Broncos to come away with a win, but the offense fell short.
Can the Broncos be consistent on special teams?
Nope. The Broncos struggled again on special teams: a missed PAT, a fumbled snap by punter, Quinn Skillin, and multiple penalties. Special teams was once again a major factor for the Broncos and not in a good way.
Rypien returned to his early 2017 form. He had multiple opportunities to make an impact, but he consistently missed receivers. The underthrown, deep ball to John Hightower in the third quarter was a miss on a sure fire touchdown. The missed throw to Cartrell Thomas on the final drive was also surprising. Ultimately, this falls on the offensive line. They have done an awful job protecting Rypien, who has been hit countless times the past three games. The Broncos need to make some significant changes before they head to Reno next week.
Broncos -15, yeah that was bad...
Boise State 38- San Diego State 13. I don’t know what to say, I was very wrong. I thought Rypien was past the inconsistent phase of his career and that he could overcome an shaky offensive line. I could not have been more wrong.