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Final Verdict: Boise State @ Oklahoma State

The Broncos can’t overcome poor play on special teams

NCAA Football: Boise State at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos dropped their first game of the year in Stillwater with a 44-21 loss. They were manhandled up front, and special teams continued to be a major question mark. Let’s revisit the keys to the game:

Can the Broncos bottle up Hill and rattle Cornelius?

Until the fourth quarter, the Broncos did a decent job on Hill. The Broncos defense looked battered and beaten in the fourth quarter. Hill finished the game with 123 yards on 15 carries. His biggest run of the game was a 53 yard carry in the fourth quarter,

Cornelius was impressive. He did not kill the Broncos with his arm, completing 15 of 26 passing attempts for 243 yards. His biggest impact came in the running game, where BSU was surprised with his ability to run the ball.

Will the Broncos be at full strength?

The answer to this question is simple. No. Do I think it impacted the result of the game? No. The Broncos were without star corner Tyler Horton and receiver Octavius Evans. David Moa did see limited action. The Broncos need to use this bye week to get healthy and work on their block schemes.

Will Rypien rise to the occasion?

Rypien was, again, impressive. However, it is never a good sign when the quarterback has to throw the ball 56 times. Rypien finished the game completing 39 passes for 380 yards. He has been everything Bronco Nation hoped he would be. The offensive line, not so much.

Is this a must win game?

To make the playoff? Yes. To make the NY6? No. Houston lost their game to Texas Tech. The Broncos will need UCF and USF to drop a game. (They play each other.) Boise State also has the opportunity to get some good wins in November.

Alexander Mattison needs to have a huge game

The offensive line gave Mattison little chance to be effective. He had very little success in the running game, finishing with 53 yards on 14 carries. As a team, the Broncos had 34 yards on 31 carries. That won’t win many games.

Pick up the pace

I thought the Broncos needed to play fast to win this game. They took a completely different approach. The Broncos huddled the majority of the game and burned a lot of clock. It seemed like a smart approach when they took the lead in the second quarter. However, it wasn’t very effective when they fell behind.

Side note

The Broncos were absolutely dominated on special teams: two blocked punts that cost the team 14 points and a missed chip shot of a field goal. You can’t have those kind of mistakes against opponents like Oklahoma State.

Vegas Line

Started Cowboys -3.5, ended up Broncos -1. Yeah, they didn’t even get close to that. I Hope you didn’t put money on Boise State.

My Prediction

Boise State 42, Oklahoma State 38

I didn’t anticipate the awful special teams performance. The Cowboys were clearly the better team. This bye week comes at a great time for the Broncos as they begin their conference slate. I anticipate BSU emphasizing special teams and blocking. I expect future opponents to use the Oklahoma State blueprint and blitz the Broncos a lot.