Everyone affiliated with Boise State was in a glass case of emotion Saturday night.
Turnovers, easy touchdowns, QB inefficiency.
It was horrible all the way around in the 1st half.
Then, as if someone had flipped a switch, the Broncos slowly chipped away.
Before we knew it, Boise State had fought its way back and taken the lead for the first time in the early stages of the 4th quarter.
This game had more drama than a M. Night Shyamalan film.
8:13 - 11-yard TD run by Kairee Robinson (Kyler Halvorsen PAT)
Boise State 0 - San Jose State 7
7:02 - 11-yard TD run by Chevan Cordeiro (Kyler Halvorsen PAT)
Boise State 0 - San Jose State 14
14:55 - 33-yard field goal by Kyler Halvorsen
Boise State 0 - San Jose State 17
13:33 - 83-yard TD pass from Maddux Madsen to Eric McAlister (Jonah Dalmas PAT)
Boise State 7 - San Jose State 17
11:20 - 27-yard field goal by Kyler Halvorsen
Boise State 7 - San Jose State 20
4:56 - 6-yard TD run Quali Conley (Kyler Halvorsen PAT)
Boise State 7 - San Jose State 27
0:42 - 8-yard TD run by Maddux Madsen (Jonah Dalmas PAT)
Boise State 14 - San Jose State 27
5:34 - 1-yard TD run by Taylen Green (Jonah Dalmas PAT)
Boise State 21 - San Jose State 27
14:25 - 11-yard TD run by Taylen Green (Jonah Dalmas PAT)
Boise State 28 - San Jose State 27
3:30 - 2-yard TD pass from Taylen Green to Riley Smith (Jonah Dalmas PAT)
Boise State 35 - San Jose State 27
BOISE STATE BRONCOS 35
SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS 27
By The Numbers
- If you strictly looked at the statistical showing that both quarterbacks had through the air, you would think that the QB experiment blew up in offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan’s face. However, Green and Madsen had moments of great movement within the offense. When it comes to TG10, the two rushing touchdowns he had exemplified why he should be the no-doubt QB1 on this roster.
- Ashton Jeanty had himself a field day on the ground, rushing for 167 yards. However, he didn’t find his way into the endzone once all game. That is the first time that has happened all season. Also, Jeanty got loose with the football again, coughing up two fumbles that ended up turning into Spartan points.
It seems as if his fumbles tend to occur when he is running with such passion and drive that he can’t maintain enough integrity to carry the football securely.
- A standing ovation to Eric McAlister for taking the top wide receiver spot by the horns and making big plays in consecutive weeks. “EMAC” is a deep-ball threat that exudes more and more confidence with each passing game. 170 yards and an average of 34 yards-per-catch is not something to take for granted as the rest of the Broncos who recorded at least one reception combined for...59 yards.
- Boise State did lose the turnover battle (3 to 1), but cornerback A’Marion McCoy made a crucial interception late in the 4th quarter to nearly ice the game. In fact, McCoy imposed his will on Spartan receivers as he registered two pass breakups.
- While the San Jose State offensive line did give Cordeiro plenty of time to operate in the 1st half, the Bronco pass rush did get to him three times. Ahmed Hassenein led the way with 1.5 sacks, followed by Marco Notarainni and Andrew Simpson with 1 and 0.5, respectively.
- Punters don’t usually get an immense amount of credit, but James Ferguson-Reynolds has consistently put the Broncos in advantageous defense positions thanks to his improved leg and accuracy.
A 71-yard boot marked his season-long punt for 2023.
The Eye Test
It looked atrocious for a vast majority of the 1st half.
Both QBs were out of sorts to begin the game, but a much-needed bomb by Maddux Madsen broke the seal. A scramble into the endzone energized Albertsons Stadium as halftime approached.
“MadDog” was able to get the car running, but Taylen Green optimized the offense and turned the car into a full-blown weapon. When there is less hypothesizing and more playing, Green is at his absolute best.
I go back to what Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields said earlier this season about playing loose and free.
“I prepare myself throughout the week, and then when the game comes, it’s time to play free at that point. Thinking less and playing more.”
Sometimes, you just have to let your players do what they do best.
Ashton Jeanty is a ferocious runner and an athletic phenom. But, if there’s anything “negative” about his game, it’s that he doesn’t preserve his energy. This can lead to him being slightly fumble-prone.
However, I am being very nitpicky.
Man, Spencer Danielson’s unit looked awful in the opening thirty minutes.
Missed tackles, getting beat over the top.
It looked like a continuation of the Memphis game.
However, to Danielson and Avalos’ credit, they made the adjustments needed at halftime to shut out the Spartans in the second half, giving the offense a fighting chance to mount a comeback.
Most importantly, the Broncos were flying around The Blue with energy and passion during the latter stages of the game. Avalos mentioned the influence of the sold-out crowd and the idea of them being the “12th man”, but the audience of 37,491 did their part and then some.
The Special Teams
Nothing was done to greatly improve or reduce the team’s chances of winning Saturday via the special teams unit. Yes, Jonah Dalmas missed a 50+ yard field goal attempt with a minute left, but that was the only major blemish that occurred. Ferguson-Reynolds did what he does best and continues to rep the Aussies very well.
I will say that the Broncos still don’t have much a return game. There weren’t many attempts Saturday, but Boise State fans remember when every time a guy like Avery Williams would get the ball, there was a chance for something amazing to happen.
No one needs to reach that level, but a bit more production would go a long way.
Boise State finds themselves back at .500 with a trip to Colorado State awaiting them.
This game could have gotten away from the coaching staff and we would be having an entirely different discussion.
Kudos to them for lighting a fire under this team and instilling a sense of grit and toughness whenever the cards were stacked against them.
20-point comebacks require a certain culture and attitude.
It’s good to see that Boise State still has that.
What were your takeaways from the game? Let us know in the comments down below!