For every rise...there is a fall.
In Greek mythology, the story of Icarus comes to mind.
“Don’t fly too close to the sun”.
Boise State has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the last century and managed to never lower their standards.
Mountain West conference championship.
Contention for a New Year’s Six bowl.
While those are lofty, it is what makes Boise State unique and one of a kind. In the Harsin years, there were blips of mediocrity with unexpected losses expected annually. However, the Broncos were still top of the conference and maintained their brand nationally.
Here is a recap of the night that changed Boise State in the present and what still lies ahead.
1st Quarter (6:57) - 24-yard field goal by Jonah Dalmas
Boise State 3 - UTEP 0
2nd Quarter (13:35) - 35-yard field goal by Gavin Baechle
Boise State 3 - UTEP 3
2nd Quarter (2:10) - 42-yard pass from QB Gavin Hardison to WR Jeremiah Ballard (Baechle PAT)
Boise State 3 - UTEP 10
3rd Quarter (13:01) - 15-yard pass from QB Hank Bachmeier to WR Stefan Cobbs (Dalmas PAT)
Boise State 10 - UTEP 10
3rd Quarter (3:01) - 25-yard field goal by Gavin Baechle
Boise State 10 - UTEP 13
3rd Quarter (1:01) - 47-yard punt return by Marcus Bellon (Baechle PAT)
Boise State 10 - UTEP 20
4th Quarter (4:25) - 3-yard run by Reynaldo Flores (Baechle PAT)
Boise State 10 - UTEP 27
BOISE STATE BRONCOS 10 - UTEP MINERS 27
For this recap, I’m not going to brief each unit via bullet points for the Broncos because this game encompasses something bigger.
The Broncos didn’t reach the 100-yard mark via the run and the pass. 93 passing yards and 84 rushing yards. This is against a team that, just last week, lost by 17 to the New Mexico Lobos. Outside of the opening drives in the 1st half and 2nd half, the offense looked sluggish, uninspired, and anemic. The spirit of past Bronco offenses was revived, however brief, when Bachmeier and company went light speed to open the second half as they drove down to the endzone with relative ease.
As Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone in “The Godfather: Part 3” so eloquently put it, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”.
One stat sums it up best.
True freshman Aussie punter James Ferguson-Reynolds punted SIX times.
The defense did their best, trying to keep the game within reach despite receiving no help on the other side of the ball. However, if you believe that you have to be perfect for all 60 minutes in order to have a CHANCE to win a game, then you will take bigger gambles that leave you vulnerable. In the second half, UTEP did what Boise State had done to opponents over the last 20 years.
They ran the ball down the Broncos’ throats.
They outhustled those donning the blue and orange.
They were physically more dominant up front.
They repeatedly punched Boise State in the mouth as they marched down the field.
The feeling of any comeback was squeezed out with every snap.
The unrealistic results that the Bronco defense had produced over the first three weeks were just that.
They can’t slug out a win 9-6.
Everyone, from the fans to the staff to the players, want and need a competent offense.
As Bronco Nation sat in silence, dumbfounded by what they had just watched over the last three hours, many voiced outrage over the offense on postgame shows such as Bronco Nation News, hosted by BJ Rains, and KBOI’s Post-Game Call-In Show featuring Mike Prater and John Mallory. Prater, a longtime figure in Boise sports media, called for Tim Plough to be removed from the coaching staff. Others echoed that same sentiment.
Fast-forward to Saturday afternoon and the Twitter machine within the Boise community blew up.
“Andy Avalos relieves offensive coordinator Tim Plough of his duties”.
Despite calls for a change, many, including myself, thought that Plough would retain his position at least until the bye week. I do think, in the end, it was the right call with what has transpired not only this season, but last year as well. That is not to say that Tim Plough is a bad guy or not a good leader. In his pressers, he was honest, forthcoming, and spoke about life in a refreshing way. The locker room spoke highly of him and he was a team player.
Unfortunately, this is a business where results matter and if you have a coordinator title, you are the first one saddled with blame. I have no doubt that Plough will positively influence many young men in the future and that he will find his footing once again. I and all of Bronco Nation wish him good luck in his future endeavors and still consider him part of the Bronco family.
With this departure, Avalos, by some miracle, convinced senior offensive analyst and former Boise State head coach Dirk Koetter to take over as the offensive coordinator for the rest of the season. Koetter’s resume is certainly overqualified for this type of position, but with his son, wide receiver Davis Koetter, on the team, he may have felt that this is an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
There were no other staff changes and Andy Avalos will meet with the media today, September 25th, at 1:00 (Mountain Time). Jay Tust and KTVB regularly have the presser livestreamed if you want to tune in.
Boise State will return home with a daunting three-game stretch ahead that will define this season. The Broncos will take on San Diego State (2-2) on Friday, September 30th, at 6:00 (Mountain Time).
Look for a preview to be published on Thursday and if there is any other breaking news or new information to talk about, we will make sure to have it here at the Mountain West Connection.
What are your thoughts on the Boise State - UTEP result and the firing of offensive coordinator Tim Plough?
Leave your comments down below.