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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Fresno State @ Boise State (Round One)

A series with four games in two years. What sets this game apart?

NCAA Football: Fresno State at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Four games in two years; the results split down the middle. Boise State and Fresno State has developed into the best football rivalry in the Mountain West, and it may not be changing any time soon. This week, we will look back at their first match-up this season and the impact it had on the Mountain West Championship. Let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly moments of Fresno State-Boise State (round one).

The Good:

Rypien to Shakir

This was one of the most impressive throws that Rypien had in his four year career, and it was to a true freshman. The Broncos were in desperate need of a deep ball, and they had to do it without their best deep threat in John Hightower, who was out with an injury. Unfortunately, this play resulted in arm injury that ended Shakir’s season.

Alexander Mattison

Mattison didn’t have any breakaway runs, but he pounded the Bulldogs into oblivion in the second. Mattison finished the game with 30 carries for 148 yards and two touchdowns. This wasn’t a flashy performance by any stretch of the imagination, but Mattsion consistently got five to six yards per rush. It allowed the team to wear down the Bulldog defense and grind out the clock.

Marcus McMaryion

When I look back on the career of McMaryion, one word comes to mind: “reliable.” He doesn’t make mistakes, and he converts in big moments. Similar to Mattison’s performance, there wasn’t a lot of glitz and glamour from McMaryion, but he got the job done. He had a solid performance in round one, completing 24 of 35 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown.

The Bad:

Fresno State’s Run Game

It was the most inconsistent unit on the team all year, and the lack of an explosive run game was a noticeable hindrance for the Bulldogs. Fresno State did have runs of 26, 22, and 17 yards, but their other 25 carries combined for 42 yards.

The Ugly:

Fresno State’s Defensive Line in the Second Half

This was the game where it looked like Boise State’s offensive line finally got it together. They were able to assert their will against the Bulldogs in the second half. The Broncos were able to control the clock by running the ball and gave Rypien plenty of time in passing situations.

While we all know how the Mountain West Championship game went (see here), this game still played a major role in shaping the race for the Mountain Division. A Bronco loss likely would have placed Utah State in the championship game.

What were your good, bad, and ugly moments of this game? Stay tuned, as next week I will be covering the Utah State-Boise State game.