The regular season is behind us, and the most important game of the Mountain West season took place under interesting conditions. The Bulldogs were able to avenge their earlier loss to Boise State and win the game that matters most. Let’s tackle the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Mountain West Championship Game.
Jeff Tedford is the best coach in the Mountain West. Anyone who questioned the Bulldogs hiring him needs to eat crow. Their staff will be tested next year, as they have some important pieces to replace.
A Total Team Effort
I was trying to think of some individuals I could recognize for Fresno, but there were not many that stood out. The best player in this game was wearing blue and orange. However, Fresno State had a better all around performance, in large part because of their special teams. Their punters and kickers managed to do their job; it was the difference in the game.
40 carries for 200 yards. It was a Herculean effort by Mattison. He did everything he could to help the Broncos, including returning to a game when he had no business doing so. Mattison is likely headed toward a bright future in the NFL.
Boise’s Passing Attack
I’m going to sound like a broken record, but Rypien really struggled in the elements. He relies heavily on the vertical passing game and working the sideline, both of which are difficult to begin with. The Broncos struggled to make adjustments, and the quick passes to AJ Richardson were not very effective. I found it interesting that Boise State did not try to get Hightower and Thomas involved in the screen game.
Boise Special Teams
Do I even need to say anything? I have heard all kinds of excuses for the blocked PAT and none of them really matter. Great football teams don’t make those kind of mistakes. Boise State was a train wreck on special teams all season; it was just a matter of time before it came back to haunt them. Unfortunately for the Broncos, that time just happened to cost them a championship.
I was there; it was cold and miserable. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the players. As bad as it was, it didn’t cost either team the game. If the Broncos could have finished drives or made a PAT, the outcome would have been different.
What were your good, bad, and ugly moments of the Mountain West Championship? Stay tuned as bowl coverage ramps up!