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Boise State Dismantled by Oregon State in Season Opener

After all the praise and high remarks in fall camp, the Broncos’ performance was an absolute dud.

NCAA Football: Boise State at Oregon State Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Well then.

After a below-standard season in 2021, Boise State was looking to start 2022 on the right foot with a win against a PAC-12 opponent on the road. Quarterback Hank Bachmeier was supposed to lead the offense back to “The Standard” of offensive firepower. The defense and, specifically, the secondary, was marked as the best position group on the team heading into Corvallis. Special teams wasn’t even discussed as it appeared to be reliable and ready.

Throw all of that out the window.

I watched this game a second time in its entirety to truly grasp...what happened.


The Broncos received the opening kick and decided to throw the ball three straight times, nearly getting intercepted on the third throw. Running back George Holani didn’t get a single touch.

It’s early.

A delay of game penalty on true freshman punter James Ferguson-Reynolds led to a short 34-yard punt that set up the Beavers in good field position.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 0

Two decent offensive plays by OSU set them up for third and short before they went for the long ball and nearly capitalized. Caleb Biggers was burned on the route, but was fortunate see the ball hit the ground.

Fourth down.

A sign of aggression and confidence, the Beavers elected to go for it. With great offensive line push, they converted and continued to drive down the field until they hit the BSU 31-yard line.

Linebacker Ezekiel Noa punched out the ball on a run by Deshaun Fenwick and Biggers recovered it, reverting momentum back to the Broncos (briefly).

Broncos 0 - Beavers 0

George Holani gets his first touch of the game, followed by a nice 22-yard gain via the air from Bachmeier to Holani on a check-down throw.

The Broncos are past midfield for the first time in 2022.

Going no-huddle, Bachmeier looked for a big chunk play and targeted wide receiver Stefan Cobbs. Only trouble was that Cobbs wasn’t looking for the ball and that there was double coverage where he was.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 0

Credit to the Bronco defense, they stiffened up and prevented the Beavers from mounting a meaningful drive.

A quick three and out.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 0

Two consecutive runs by Holani lead to only five yards. Spoiler alert, the offensive line couldn’t get any push for the running backs to be successful throughout all four quarters.

Going for another sizable yardage play, Bachmeier dropped back and slung a 30-yard pass attempt. However, the ball flew over wide receiver Latrell Caples head and fell into the arms of Beaver Jaydon Grant.

Back-to-back interceptions.


Broncos 0 - Beavers 0

Oregon State didn’t waste optimal starting field position, only taking two pass plays for 53 yards to get into the endzone. Tight end Luke Musgrave found his way to open space between Biggers and nickel Tyreque Jones as quarterback Chance Nolan placed the ball beautifully.

The PAT was good.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 7 (1st Q, 6:18)

A designed QB-run out wide for Bachmeier on the first play of the drive signaled that the offense and Tim Plough were reaching for straws after three possessions. True freshman running back Ashton Jeanty got his first touch as a Bronco, going for three yards.

A check down throw to Billy Bowens way behind the line of gain forces the Broncos to punt yet again.

A 40-yard punt gives the Beavers the ball at the OSU 40.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 7

During this drive, we learned that Bronco cornerback Markel Reed was in the medical tent and appeared unlikely to return to the game.

Not good.

Oregon State picked up a third-and-medium that set up a deep shot to Tyjon Lindsey for a 47-yard receiving touchdown.

Tyreque Jones was the closest defender on the play-action pass and had a chance to bring Lindsey down, but a missed shoulder-high tackle let Lindsey duck and coast into the endzone.

The PAT was good.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 14 (1st Q, 1:15)

On the ensuing kickoff, Stefan Cobbs dropped the ball along the goal line and was only able to make it out to the BSU seven yard line.

Compounding mistakes.

Feeling the pressure of being down two scores, offensive coordinator Tim Plough elected to run George Holani up the middle twice, losing four yards in total.

Before they could snap it on third down, the clock hit zeros on a disastrous first quarter.


New quarter, new game plan... right?

A third straight run for Holani that lost yardage.

Three plays.

Three negative runs.

Loses five yards.

Another Aussie punt.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 14

Oregon State committed a drive-killing personal foul in BSU territory that gave the Broncos a lifeline.

A solid punt pinned the Broncos at their own 10.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 14

In the shadow of their own endzone, a short four-yard reception to Caples gives the Broncos a small dose of confidence.

On the very next play, the pocket closed in on Bachmeier and it looked like a Beaver got a hand on the ball. A fumble recovered by Oregon State at the BSU six yard line.

Six possessions.

Three turnovers.

Nightmare fuel.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 14

Somehow, the Boise State defense didn’t break and managed to hold the Beavers to a field goal. A Tyreque Jones tackle stopped Swiss army knife Jack Colletto from finding paid-dirt.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 17 (2nd Q, 10:28)

Out of the commercial break, ESPN panned to Hank Bachmeier wearing a hat and headset.

After maintaining the starting quarterback spot for the last four years, Bachmeier was benched.

Redshirt freshman and athletic freak Taylen Green had his helmet on and ready to play the first meaningful snaps of his college career.

More on this later.

On the field, Green ran the ball twice and threw it twice, though both attempts were incompletions.

Another BSU punt, but under an entirely different circumstance.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 17

Two positive plays by the Bronco defense led to a tip drill where JL Skinner snatched the ball for an interception that set up the offense in the red zone.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 17

Taylen Green is still out there.

After a completion for no yards, Green found Holani for a 13-yard gain to extend the drive.

1st and goal.

On a sweep play, Ashton Jeanty looked to fight for the goal line, but a Beaver put his helmet on the ball and knocked it out.

OSU ball.

Turnover number four.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 17

Starting at their own two, Nolan beat the secondary on another play-action pass with a terrific deep ball to Anthony Gould for 74 yards.

Two plays later, Deshaun Fenwick ran his way into the endzone to further the gap on a 12-yard rush.

The PAT was good.

A potential 14-point swing from a doable 17-7 deficit to a daunting 24-0 hole.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 24 (2nd Q, 3:11)

A nice mix of pass and run plays allowed Taylen Green and the Broncos to drive down the field and infiltrate the red zone with 53 seconds remaining.

A sense of urgency was needed if the Broncos were to go for seven, but anything on the scoreboard would be positive.

After a throw-away, Boise State trotted out kicker and 2021 Lou Groza semifinalist Jonah Dalmas to get the Broncos on the board before intermission.

A 32-yard attempt from the right hash, Dalmas pushed it right.

With the proverbial cherry on top to end the half, the Broncos had turned a night of optimism into consternation.



On the opening kickoff the second half, the bad juju that was hitting the Broncos struck again. Sophomore wide receiver and Boise native Austin Bolt went down in a heap and immediately had his leg put in an air cast. After the game, we learned that he had broken his leg and will be out for the rest of the season

On the drive, Chance Nolan threw the ball away, but not with enough strength as Caleb Biggers stayed in bounds and picked it off.

Broncos 0 - Beavers 24

Despite starting at the OSU 25, the Broncos couldn’t muster any meaningful progress. Head coach Andy Avalos sent out Dalmas for a 45-yard field goal from the left hash.

This time, he nailed it and put the Broncos on the board.

Broncos 3 - Beavers 24 (3rd Q, 12:22)

After a good run by Trey Lowe, the Beavers got stuck in neutral and were forced to punt despite being in Bronco territory.

Broncos 3 - Beavers 24

The downside of putting in a young quarterback is that a drive can absolutely go nowhere.

This drive exemplified that with one run for no yards and two incompletions.

Another punt for Ferguson-Reynolds.

Broncos 3 - Beavers 24

A trick-play involving a double-pass gained 41 yards for the Beavers and placed the offense at the two yard line.

However, three straight penalties prevented Oregon State from adding seven to their score.

Head coach Jonathan Smith settled for the field goal to bring their lead back to 24.

Broncos 3 - Beavers 27 (3rd Q, 3:26)

Out of everything that happened Saturday night, what Taylen Green did this drive was the biggest positive.

After a short run by Jeanty, Plough called for a pass play.

Green looked downfield, saw nothing available, and took off.

After evading the pressure in the pocket, he was off to the races and he managed to outrun four Beavers pursuing him down the sideline.

A 74-yard rushing touchdown from a Boise State quarterback.

That is why people have been clamoring for him to receive more playing time, even if it is just within special packages designed for him.

Broncos 10 - Beavers 27 (3rd Q, 2:10)

The Boise State defense, despite being on the field more than expected, stepped up once again and forced the Beavers to punt.

Broncos 10 - Beavers 27

After a Latrell Caples rush for five yards, the clock hit triple zeros.


A defensive pass interference call followed by a pair of solid gains put the Broncos on the other side of the 50.

A long throw by Green was underthrown, but Jeanty came back to the ball and made a great catch despite being interfered with and set up Boise State inside the five.

The next play, Green kept the ball on a read option and powered his way into the endzone to keep the Broncos alive.

Broncos 17 - Beavers 27 (4th Q, 13:05)

Within striking distance, the Broncos needed one more stop if they were going to make this comeback a possible reality.

Two plays, two stops.

3rd & 10.

Initially, it looked as though the Broncos got the pivotal stop they needed.

The officials saw it differently, calling pass interference on Tyric LeBeauf.

Not dead yet, but that was a crucial call.

Another third down.

Another opportunity.

Enter Jack Colletto.

The Beaver Swiss army knife found a hole and took it to the house on a 41-yard run that would all but seal it.

The PAT was good.

Broncos 17 - Beavers 34 (4th Q, 11:26)

On the first play of the Broncos’ response, Taylen Green threw the ball into double-coverage and was intercepted by Alex Austin.

The nail in the coffin.

Broncos 17 - Beavers 34

A time-consuming drive by Oregon State, the Beavers drove all the way down to the BSU 27 before missing on a 47-yard field goal attempt.

The drive still ate up over five minutes of clock.

Broncos 17 - Beavers 34

The final drive of the game for the Broncos, it was one of the best they produced. Though it was against backups, Green managed the offense with a mix of run and pass plays, leading them to the Oregon State six-yard line.

A sack by Ryan Cooper Jr. forced the Broncos to go for three with 40 seconds left.

Dalmas missed the 32-yard attempt, encapsulating everything that had gone wrong in Corvallis.

Broncos 17 - Beavers 34

One kneel-down and Oregon State chalked up their first win of the season while the Broncos had more questions than answers.




  • The quarterback spot is up for grabs. That shouldn’t be something that happens after week one, but it is and Andy Avalos has a huge decision to make prior to their trip to New Mexico.
  • The offensive line was pushed around and didn’t give the running backs any chance to establish the ground game, only amounting 25 yards on 17 carries. I will say that the pass protection did look better. The loss of RG Ben Dooley didn’t help, but the athleticism of Green allows the offensive line to not become as isolated.
  • The defensive line didn’t register a single sack through 60 minutes. With Matlock, Tarlas, Washington and others, the pass rush needs to be more effective.
  • The linebackers actually did a solid job. D.J. Schramm had 11 tackles and Ezekiel Noa looked faster than he did in 2021.
  • The secondary was underwhelming. Plenty of deep balls were converted and the speed of Oregon State’s receivers burned the Broncos.
  • Special teams was, frankly, a lot worse than expected. Dalmas missing two field goals, Ferguson-Reynolds averaging 37 yards per punt and Cobbs dropping a kick return can’t happen going forward. With the turmoil on offense, special teams cannot be a deficiency.
  • Two interceptions and a forced fumble would seem like a result-defining stat in most games, but when your offense gives the ball away five times, it unfortunately gets overlooked.
  • Offensive coordinator Tim Plough’s playcalling was as questionable as it was in 2021, which is not a good sign considering he has special analyst Dirk Koetter at his disposal.


Boise State has a short week as they travel to Albuquerque to take on the New Mexico Lobos on Friday. UNM won their season opener against FCS-squad Maine 41-0.

A preview will be up on Thursday for the Broncos’ Mountain West opener.

I am fortunate enough to be attending the BSU-UNM game this Friday and will be covering it live. There is no shortage of storylines, that’s for sure.

What are your thoughts on the Boise State - Oregon State result?

Leave your comments down below.