It doesn’t matter how you get a win.
This is not a beauty pageant.
Boise State started out strong, jumping to an early lead as the defense held Air Force to negative yardage through the first quarter.
Jonah Dalmas was the player of the game, making each of his four field goal attempts and accounting for 13 of Boise State’s 19 points.
As expected, the Falcons didn’t roll over and fought back in the second half to make it tight in the fourth quarter.
After limiting QB Taylen Green’s focus to passing the ball, he got his chance to seal the win on 3rd and 11 with minimal time remaining. A read option play gave Green the opportunity to stride his way to the line of gain and carry defenders along the way.
1st Quarter (5:22) - 1-yard run by RB Ashton Jeanty (Dalmas PAT)
Boise State 7 - Air Force 0
1st Quarter (2:45) - 42-yard field goal by K Jonah Dalmas
Boise State 10 - Air Force 0
2nd Quarter (13:35) - 29-yard field goal by K Jonah Dalmas
Boise State 13 - Air Force 0
2nd Quarter (10:28) - 51-yard field goal by K Jonah Dalmas
Boise State 16 - Air Force 0
2nd Quarter (6:48) - 15-yard run by QB Haaziq Daniels (Dapore PAT)
Boise State 16 - Air Force 7
2nd Quarter (1:53) - 39-yard field goal by K Jonah Dalmas
Boise State 19 - Air Force 7
4th Quarter (9:50) - 3-yard run by RB Brad Roberts (Dapore PAT)
Boise State 19 - Air Force 14
BOISE STATE BRONCOS 19 - AIR FORCE FALCONS 14
- Boise State’s defense is legit, no qualms about it. Holding Air Force to less than 200 yards on the ground is staggering considering the Falcons average 336 yards, number one in the nation.
- Nickel Tyreque Jones played out of his mind in the first quarter, suffocating Air Force with smart and physical plays that forced back-to-back punts.
- Linebacker Ezekiel Noa came up with the biggest defensive play of the game, putting a hand up and deflecting a Daniels pass on 4th and 13 in the red zone with two minutes to go.
- Edge rusher Demitri Washington was the only Bronco to make his way to the quarterback, registering two sacks and one quarterback hurry.
- A common theme, QB Taylen Green continues to improve in the passing game and looks more comfortable in the pocket. This was Green’s first collegiate game with over 200 passing yards.
- The one turnover that was committed by the Broncos was on an unfortunate hit against wide receiver Stefan Cobbs that popped the ball into the air, allowing a Falcon to swoop in and make the pick.
- The running game was clicking in the first half despite the absence of running back George Holani. This dissipated in the second half when fellow running back Ashton Jeanty did not make an appearance due to some type of injury. The trio of Tyler Crowe, Elelyon Noa and Kaden Dudley were called upon to carry the rock to the finish line and, to their credit, they did not put the Broncos in any difficult situation by way of turnovers or big losses.
- The wide receivers did their part in limited opportunities with redshirt freshman Eric McAlister converting the longest play of the day for the Broncos via a 44-yard reception.
- Tight end Tyneil Hopper nearly found his way into the endzone for the first time this season, but replay showed that he stepped out inside the one-yard line.
- Special teams gave the Broncos a lifeline in Air Force territory when they couldn’t make their way to paid dirt. Kicker Jonah Dalmas has now made eight field goals in the last two games.
- Penalties nearly cost Boise State the win as countless procedural penalties put the Broncos behind the sticks early in drives. Right guard Garrett Curran had a string of mishaps and played a bit too long after the whistle blew. You love a guy that imposes physicality, but the mistakes need to be cleaned up. This includes a befuddling penalty in the fourth quarter when Boise State had two players wearing number seven on the field at the same time. Instead of Air Force punting, this coaching oversight gave the Falcons a fresh set of downs.
Boise State has completed the toughest three-game stretch they will face in the Mountain West this season. Most, including myself, thought after the UTEP debacle that the Broncos would be lucky to win two of these three games. It goes to show that this team is united and, because of that, they now have complete control over the conference destiny.
Wyoming beat Utah State in Bridger’s Battle, keeping themselves within one game of Boise State. Colorado State is still technically in the race as they are 2-1 in conference play, but they have faced three of the lesser teams in the Mountain West this year. Everyone else in the Mountain Division has two or more losses and would need chaos to ensue.
Boise State will host Colorado State on Saturday, October 29th. Even though it may not make a huge difference this week, keep a watchful eye on the health of both George Holani and Ashton Jeanty.
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