It was an interesting game Friday night in Boise. For the most part, it was a sloppy game with some poor tackling and far too many penalties. But the Broncos were able to walk away with a fairly easy win that gave some younger players an opportunity for playing time. The Broncos are officially a quarter of the way through the season and will play their first conference game Friday night when they host Air Force. Let’s revisit my keys to the game and see how they turned out for the Broncos.
Can the Broncos finish drives?
Boise State was much better in this area, they only left ten points on the board and manged to not turn the ball over in Portland State territory. There were still some issues with protection and Hank holding on to the ball too long. Air Force has a vicious defense and will blitz plenty, I expect a lot of quick passes Friday night.
Will the defense come out strong?
Nope. Boise State gave up all ten points in the first quarter and they were fortunate that it wasn’t more. The Broncos have given up 38 of their 48 points allowed in the first quarter. This is a problem that needs to be addressed before the Air Force game. You don’t want to get behind to a Falcons squad that controls the clock.
Will the Broncos dominate like they should?
Sort of. The game plan seemed to be getting Hank more comfortable in the pocket. Boise State was running the ball well, but abandoned the running game after the first quarter. I’m guessing this was part of the plan. However, you can’t be too upset about a 35 point victory no matter who the opponent is.
Will injuries continue to pile up?
It didn’t seem like the Broncos suffered any in game injuries. CT Thomas returned to the lineup and scored two touchdowns. The biggest news of the game was the injury to left tackle Ezra Cleveland who was seen in a walking boot before the game. The Broncos have one more game before a bye week. Health issues will continue to be an issues as the season progresses.
Will the Broncos play it safe?
Sort of. Boise State clearly had a plan of trying to get Hank Bachmeier more comfortable in the pocket and making throws down the field. The underneath passes were there all game, but they were largely ignored for a more aggressive approach, I expect a quicker passing attack on Friday night.
My Prediction: I predicted 45-17 and the Broncos won 45-10. I finally made a decent prediction.
Now onto some fun stats:
- Curtis Weaver is projected to have 24 sacks through 12 games, 26 through 13 games, 28 through 14 games. I see lots of double teams coming his way. Boise State also faces some run heavy teams where these numbers will likely take a significant hit. But another double digit sack season should be a lock.
- Bachmeier is on pace for 3708 passing yards. That number would bump up to 4326 yards in a 14 game season.
- Boise State may not finish the regular season with a 1,000 yard rusher. But George Holani and Robert Mahone could both reach the milestone if the Broncos play 14 games.
Stay tuned, Boise State takes on an improve Air Force squad Friday night. This game could go a long way to determining who will represent the Mountain Division in the conference championship game.