It may not have started during its scheduled time, but the much-anticipated showdown between Boise State and UCF did not disappoint. The Broncos ran out to a quick 21-0 lead, but a dropped interception by safety Tyreque Jones resulted in a UCF touchdown and a 24-14 halftime score. UCF made some excellent second-half adjustments and thoroughly dominated Boise State in the second half resulting in a 36-31 loss for the Broncos. Let’s take a look at how each unit performed for Boise State.
Offensive Grade: D
The offense came out roaring. Hank Bachmeier had excellent control of the offense and the UCF defense could not keep up with Boise State’s wide receivers. Bachmeier’s first nine completions were to nine different receivers. The Bronco offense started to sputter late in the first half, and it continued into the third quarter when the Broncos failed to gain a first down.
In the third quarter, the Broncos were insistent on running the ball. This really took Bachmeier and the Boise State receivers out of the rhythm they had gotten into early in the game. Look, the play calling was awful and it put the defense in a tough situation. They finally let Hank loose in the fourth quarter and the offense started moving the ball. But a bad decision that resulted in a Bachmeier interception was too much for the Broncos to overcome.
Many of the glaring deficiencies that Boise State had last year, were still apparent. The offensive line struggled at times, they can’t run the ball without George Holani, and Hank Bachmeier still tries to do too much at times. But, there were some good things to take away from this game. Bachmeir did an excellent job spreading the ball around and Stefan Cobbs looks like he is ready to be a legit number two receiver.
Defensive Grade: C
The much hyped defensive line struggled in a big way. UCF was able to run the ball at will the entire game and they gave Gabriel way too much time to operate in the pocket. UCF rushed for 255 yards and honestly, they probably should have run the ball more. Kekaula Kaniho and the linebacker crew struggled for much of the night, they couldn’t keep up with UCF’s secondary receivers and struggled to make tackles in space.
The bright spot on defense was the play of the secondary. JL Skinner and Tyreque Jones had excellent performances at safety and Tyric LeBeauf had two interceptions, one that he returned 100 yards for a touchdown. I am confident that the defense will work through these issues before league play starts, but Oklahoma State in two weeks could be rough.
Special Teams Grade: B
If it wasn’t for the botched punt snap, this unit would have received an A. Joel Velazquez averaged over 50 yards per punt and Jonah Dalmas made all of his kicks. There were not a lot of opportunities for returns. Overall, I thought this unit did a really solid job.
One of the things that has made Boise State great over the years is their ability to make adjustments during games. This staff was outcoached and they embraced that after the game. This staff is young and is going to improve over the year. But Plough and his offensive staff need to adjust to what the defense is giving them. The underneath passing game was there the whole night. But an insistence on running the ball on first and second down put Bachmeier in a tough position much of the night.
Next Up: September 10th vs. UTEP 7:30 on FS1
What were your takeaways from last night’s game? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.