It wasn’t always pretty, but the defense stepped up when it needed to and Boise State got a solid outing from Hank Bachmeier and Khalil Shakir. The Broncos opened league play with a comfortable (I wouldn’t call it convincing) 27-3 victory over Utah State Saturday morning. All three aspects of the game were solid, but there was room for improvement in every aspect of the game. Let’s see how all three phases of the game went for Boise State:
The Broncos were out gained by a few yards, but they did a much better job of finishing drives than the Aggies. Hank Bachmeier was solid over the course of the game, there were some dropped passes by his receivers that didn’t help his final numbers. The biggest surprise of the game was his impact in the running game. Bachmeier’s 44 yards rushing was a huge boost to an offense that has struggled on the ground.
The play calling was the most creative we have seen to this point. Wide receivers had 10 carries with mixed success. But offensive coordinator Tim Plough did show a willingness to make adjustments and look for ways to compensate for the struggling offensive line. Khalil Shakir was great once again with another 100 yard receiving performance. But there are still a lot of issues with this side of the ball. The offensive line has to find a way to open up holes for the run game and protect Bachmeier. The Broncos will need to put up more points if they are going to win the conference and beat the Wolf Pack next week.
It was the worst first half shutout I have ever seen, but hey it was a shutout. The Broncos gave up 317 yards to the Aggies in the first half. But some timely turnovers and a blocked field goal contributed to one of the most unsatisfying 10-0 leads I have ever seen.
For the second straight week, the defense made great adjustments at the half. The defense is making great strides, led by JL Skinner with 13 tackles. We saw some new faces with three true freshman playing snaps on the defensive side of the ball. The Broncos have only give up three points over the last six quarters.
Special Teams: B+
Joel Velazquez was great again, pinning the Aggies deep in their own territory. Jonah Dalmas made two of three field goal attempts. But the return game has struggled since Stefan Cobbs went down with an injury against UTEP. Cobbs dressed but did not see action, hopefully he will be ready to go against Nevada this weekend.
How did you feel the Broncos performed Saturday morning? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.