The Broncos welcomed the Connecticut Huskies to Albertsons Stadium for their first home game of the year. The Broncos started the season off with a bang after travelling to Alabama and defeating the Troy Trojans 56-20. Did the Broncos send another early season statement? Or did they take a step back? I was in attendance; here is my perspective from the game.
Can Rypien keep it up?
The simple answer to this question is yes. He looked sharp, and the deep ball was on point. Rypien finished the game 21 out of 28 for 362 yards. He did all of this while only throwing one pass in the second half. That one pass was a 74 yard touchdown to AJ Richardson. Ryp has looked like an elite quarterback the first two games. Can he do it next week against Oklahoma State?
Can the Broncos establish the run game?
The Broncos struggled to run the ball against a stout, Troy defensive front. This was not the case against the Huskies. The Broncos finished the game with 400 yards rushing on 45 attempts. Boise State averaged 8.9 yards per carry and had seven players with more than 30 yards rushing, led by Alexander Mattison who had 115 yards on only 11 carries.
Can the Broncos contain Pindell?
Pindell looked like a stud against UCF in week one. Against the Knights, Pindell had over 400 yards of total offense. Against the Broncos, he had only 111 yards of total offense. Pindell was a non-factor in this game. The Broncos closed the pocket quickly and had a linebacker spy on Pindell throughout the game.
Can special teams bounce back?
Special teams did not play much of a role in this game, which is generally a good thing. Hoggarth made both of his field goal attempts for the Broncos including a career long of 44 yards. Boise State did not allow the Huskies to do much in the return game. The Huskies did not register a punt return and had only two kickoff returns despite the Broncos kicking the ball off ten times.
Can the Broncos get healthy?
The answer to this question remains to be seen. As I watched warm-ups, Evans looked explosive. My guess is that he could have gone if he was needed. Moa was also in uniform, but he was noticeably limping and had a large brace on his knee. Starting linebacker Tyson Maeva was also missing against the Huskies. Harsin said he “wasn’t needed.” I have no idea what this means.
Game day atmosphere
There was a different feeling in the air at this game. The student section was packed, and they were rowdy, something that was missing the past few seasons. The crowd was loud and rowdy; it was a fun time. The Broncos also introduced some new pregame festivities on the practice field. My kids had a great time on the inflatables and the rock climbing wall.
The Broncos covered this by half time and nearly doubled the spread.
Boise State 52, Connecticut 10
The Broncos won 62-7 and it honestly didn’t feel that close. The Huskies are bad. Really bad...Connecticut coach Randy Edsall gave the Broncos a compliment that left the fan base smiling:
UConn coach Randy Edsall on BSU vs. UCF (via AP): "I think that Boise State is a little bit better and a little bit ahead of Central Florida right now. Defensively, I think Boise State is outstanding."— Chadd Cripe (@chaddcripe) September 9, 2018
The Broncos will have their biggest test of the season in week three when they travel to Stillwater to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Cowboys are coming off of a drubbing of South Alabama. Stay tuned for my preview on Friday.