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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Boise State vs. Colorado State

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The Game of the Year in the Mountain West?

Colorado State Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Welcome to the fifth edition fo “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” During the offseason I will be featuring some of the most important games of the 2017 Mountain West season. This week we will be featuring my pick for 2017 Mountain West game of the year, Boise State vs. Colorado State.

The Good:

Alexander Mattison

Mattison had one of the most impressive rushing performances I have ever seen. The 26 yard run at the end of the first half gave Boise State hope. The run showed Mattison’s vision and ability to make a cut and break tackles.

Mattison, who fought injuries all year long looked healthy and determined. His 70 yard touchdown run at the beginning of the third quarter was a thing of beauty.

Boise State had absolutely no chance to win this game without Mattison. He finished the game with 23 carries for 242 yards and 3 touchdowns. Mattison also contributed in the passing game with 3 receptions for 44 yards including an important first down late in the game.

Brett Rypien

Rypien had to step up this game, his best wide receiver Cedrick Wilson was obviously hobbled and dropped a few crucial passes. Rypien was forced to look outside of his comfort zone, he completed passes to seven different receivers. Rypien had been searching for his shining moment in his Boise State career and this game may have been it. His last two drives were a thing of beauty.

Michael Gallup

Gallup was a force in the first half. He was catching the ball at will and looked unguardable. Then the second half came and for some reason it felt like Stevens went long stretches without targeting Gallup. Gallup’s touchdown on the fade route at the end of the first quarter displayed the mismatch he provided against BSU.

Dalyn Dawkins

Dawkins was a workhorse this game. Boise State had no answer for Dawkins who had 32 carries for 161 yards and 4 catches for 67 yards. 228 yards of total offense, that is a pretty dynamic game. It is crazy to think that the running back on the other side had more yards. Dawkins was limited with an injury at the end of the game and that may have been the difference.

Joel Velazquez

This onside kick….

Need I say more?

The Bad:

Missed Opportunities by Both Teams

Boise State was down 35-10 late in the first half and that score would have been much different if two plays went differently.

Play #1

An interception by Kekoa Nawahine is returned for a touchdown. The play was negated by a careless roughing the passer penalty on Jabril Frazier. This played would have made the game 21-10, but instead the Rams marched the ball down the field and made it 28-3.

Play #2

Kekaua Kaniho dropped a surefire pick six. The end of the drive resulted in a touchdown for the Rams. At this point, it felt like the Rams were meant to win this game.

The Rams Kick a Field Goal From the One

With 10:50 left in the fourth quarter, the Rams had a chance to put the Broncos on the ropes. Instead of punching the ball in, the Rams kicked a field goal from the one to extend their lead to 45-38. The Broncos had no answer for the Rams running game, yet Bobo decided to go for a field goal. I’m going to be honest, this decision had me scratching my head.

The Ugly:

Defense

Where was the defense? The Broncos entered this game with one of the best defenses in the county and the Rams had absolutely no issue carving them up. A solid defensive line was pushed around by the Rams who had no issue running the ball. The Rams finished the game with 261 yards on the ground and had another 309 in the air. The Rams offensive line did a nice job opening holes for the running backs and protecting Stevens, who was only sacked twice on 45 drop backs.

Early in the game the Rams looked prepared for everything the Broncos were throwing at them. The Broncos had a difficult time establishing the run game and Rypien was having a difficult time finding open receivers. The Rams looked like a far superior team for a quarter and a half, Things changed halfway through the second quarter when Alexander Mattison caught fire and the Broncos offensive line started to figure things out. The running game started to open things up for Rypien and we officially had a shootout. The Rams defense had absolutely no answer for Mattison. It it did help that the Rams were missing tackles in the backfield, those missed tackles resulted in two touchdowns for Mattison.

In the end, this is one of the most entertaining football games I’ve had the pleasure of watching. It was a tale of two halves and it felt like both teams lost their identity at times. Thank you for reading and be sure to tune in next week as I will be covering one of the best rivalries in the Mountain West UNLV vs. Nevada.