Well, there is a first time for everything. Broncos fans learned this, as they were left with coal in their stockings the day after Christmas. Also, Nevada ended the bowl season for the Mountain West and looked to salvage a winning bowl record for the conference. Let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly moments of the third bowl week.
I am all for protecting players and avoiding injuries, but we all know this canceled game could have been avoided.
A Win is a Win
It wasn’t pretty, but the Wolf Pack left Arizona with a win over a solid Arkansas State team. Nevada was beaten in almost every aspect of the game, but they managed to come away with the victory. McLane Mannix was missed. It will also be interesting to see if Nevada can replace Ty Gangi at quarterback. Nevada’s win also secured a winning bowl season for the Mountain West. The conference had its strongest season in recent memory with three ten-win teams.
Slow Starts for the Broncos
There isn’t much tape to break down from a ten minute game, but the Broncos started off slow with some silly mistakes. Brett Rypien was sacked by his own lineman at one point, and Alexander Mattison tripped over a lineman as well. The Broncos definitely have some kinks to work out heading into next season. It will be interesting to see what kind of tweaks they make on the offensive side of the ball with a new quarterback.
Nevada’s Run Game
The Wolf Pack struggled to establish the run game. Their star running back Toa Taua carried the ball 22 times for only 56 yards. The Wolf Pack will have plenty of kinks to work out on offense next year, as the Wolf Pack have to replace some key contributors.
The Weather in Dallas/Canceling of a Bowl Game
The weather in Dallas was a nightmare the day after Christmas. Torrential downpours and lightning led to the cancellation of the First Responders Bowl, which was to feature Boise State against Boston College. The two teams made it through ten minutes of action, but the game was ruled a no contest. Not only did the game get canceled, many Bronco players, media, and coaches had their flights canceled. I feel terrible for the players, fans, and families that made the trip to Dallas. They are likely out of thousands of dollars in travel expenses, but at least their tickets are getting refunded.
Always Have a Plan B
ESPN knew this was a possibility. Why didn’t they delay or move the game?
Stay tuned, as next week’s edition will feature the best and worst moments of the 2018 season for the Mountain West.