For the last few weeks, I have been taking a look back at some of the greatest games in Mountain West history. This week, I decided to go with a game that was little more recent. I have been following Boise State football since I began attending the university in 2005. I have watched and attended nearly every game since. I will say, this was the craziest game I have ever watched, and that includes the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. With that being said, let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly moments of Boise State’s 2017 showdown against Colorado State.
2017 was one of the most puzzling years I have ever seen from a Boise State quarterback. Rypien was forced to share time with graduate transfer Montell Cozart and over the course of the year dealt with inconsistent play. This was the game where Rypien really took the reigns and showed that he was ready to lead this team to a championship. Rypien had command of the offense over the course of the game and never wavered regardless of the deficit. Rypien finished the game completing 23 of 43 passes for 331 yards and four touchdowns. Rypien connected with seven different receivers, and none of those receivers had more than 73 yards.
Much like Rypien, Mattison was inconsistent over the course of the 2017 season. Much of that can be attributed to an inexperienced offensive line. But this was the breakout game, the game where Boise State fans knew they had another NFL running back. Mattison was absolutely electric in this game. He carried the ball 23 times for 242 yards and three touchdowns. This one was a beauty.
Dawkins was a workhorse this game. The Broncos had a hard time containing Dawkins, who was able to break a ton of tackles. Dawkins finished the game with 32 carries for 161 yards. He left the game with a late injury, and his backup was responsible for the late fumble that sealed the victory for Boise State.
Gallup deserves to be in the “Good” category. He finished the game with 11 catches for 102 yards and one touchdown. However, Boise State did an excellent job of limiting Gallup’s touches down the field and finishing tackles once the ball was in his hand. Any time you can limit a player like Gallup to less than ten yards per catch, you have to feel pretty good.
The Best Onside Kick I Have Ever Seen
I feel like this is one of those plays where words don’t really do it justice, you have to see it.
At least the pass defense was only “bad” and not “ugly.” Both quarterbacks finished with over 300 yards passing, but Boise State’s play in the secondary was much better in the second half. There were over 1200 yards of total offense in this game. I’m sure both defensive coordinators were unhappy at the end.
Colorado State’s Execution
When I go back and watch this game, I remember thinking how foolish it was for Colorado State to kick a field goal from the Boise State one yard line. Ultimately, that decision may have cost the Rams the game. Boise State had most of the momentum at that point, and Colorado State could have mad a comeback nearly impossible with a touchdown. There was also the unsportsmanlike conduct by Shun Johnson that eventually resulted in Boise State scoring a touchdown that cut the Colorado State lead to 52-45.
There were 571 yards rushing this game and the triple option was not involved. I’m not sure if this was a result of terrible preparation on the defensive side of the ball or masterful blocking by the offensive line. To be honest, it was probably both. Boise State does not get run over like that very often.
28-3 and 35-10 leads
Colorado State blew a 28-3 lead. Those words have become very popular among Boise State fans. Colorado State had two different 25 point leads late in the first half, and we all know the final result of the game. I remember how close I was to turning this one off. I’m not sure if I have ever been so frustrated by a first half performance.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Next week, we will be going back in time and recapping a 2005 game between BYU and TCU.