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Boise State handles New Mexico, but loses its leader in Sunday firing of Andy Avalos

On a day full of college football firings, Boise State was no exception.

NCAA Football: New Mexico at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

The one time I decide to play in a pickleball tournament during football season, the coach gets canned.

You can only laugh.

Boise State, despite winning against New Mexico, has had to endure a week full of speculation regarding players entering the transfer portal and QB announcements.

Saturday night, Maddux Madsen made his first official start, but late in the first half, he injured his knee and had to gingerly walk off the field and into the locker room.

Less than 24 hours later, Andy Avalos walked off of Boise State’s campus for the final time as its head coach.

Scoring Timeline

1st Quarter

13:16 - 42-yard TD pass from Maddux Madsen to Austin Bolt (Two-point conversion successful via Luke Vorhees run)

Boise State 8 - New Mexico 0

3:42 - 5-yard TD run by Jacory Croskey-Merritt (Luke Drzewiecki PAT)

Boise State 8 - New Mexico 7

0:00 - 10-yard TD run by George Holani (Jonah Dalmas PAT)

Boise State 15 - New Mexico 7

2nd Quarter

13:28 - 5-yard TD run by Jacory Croskey-Merritt (Luke Drzewiecki PAT)

Boise State 15 - New Mexico 14

13:13 - 74-yard TD pass from Maddux Madsen to Prince Strachan (Jonah Dalmas PAT)

Boise State 22 - New Mexico 14

9:04 - 19-yard TD run by Taylen Green (Jonah Dalmas PAT)

Boise State 29 - New Mexico 14

0:03 - 22-yard field goal by Jonah Dalmas

Boise State 32 - New Mexico 14

3rd Quarter

3:02 - 1-yard TD run by George Holani (Jonah Dalmas PAT)

Boise State 39 - New Mexico 14

4th Quarter

11:59 - 44-yard field goal by Jonah Dalmas

Boise State 42 - New Mexico 14




By The Numbers

  • After a mediocre outing against Fresno State, Maddux Madsen came out on fire, launching the ball down the field and hitting players in stride. “MadDog” finished with only 202 yards and two TDs after being rolled up on, forcing him to exit the game.

Taylen Green didn’t do a ton in the passing game during the second half, but he did have a nice rushing touchdown in the second quarter. With the score well in hand coming out of halftime, Green being a game manager was all the Broncos needed to secure the win and send the Lobos back to Albuquerque with a loss.

  • With Ashton Jeanty out again due to injury (but on the sideline rooting on his teammates), George Holani and Jambres Dubar filled the void, combining for 186 yards and two TDs. Kaden Dudley also got some run with two carries for 19 yards, but interestingly, even with a depleted depth chart, Tyler Crowe hasn’t been able to get any run during garbage time.
  • What in tarnation!

Two receivers not named Eric McAlister or Stefan Cobbs stepped up and absolutely stole the show.

Prince Strachan and Austin Bolt.

Remember both of their names as they will play a massive role within the wide receiver corps for years to come.

With only three catches, Strachan accumulated an obscene 128 yards with an average of 42.7 yards per catch. He also found the endzone once again on The Blue.

As for Borah graduate Austin Bolt, he tacked on 57 yards and was able to stride his way into the endzone for his first collegiate touchdown.

  • Seyi Oladipo and Ahmed Hassenein led the Broncos with a combined five tackles-for-loss while a couple of young bucks made an impact, including Jake Ripp, Chase Martin, Jayden Virgin and Braxton Fely.

The Eye Test

The Offense

The keys to the offense were finally given to Madsen.

And then, like a cruel joke imparted by the football gods, he was taken out of the game.

During his time on the field, he looked very comfortable and was slinging the ball around the yard with ease and much better anticipation than in previous weeks.

Holani looks like he is back to 100% and is reminding folks why he has been a continuous starter with this program since his time as a freshman.

The wide receivers were tremendous. Considering the doom and gloom that came with Eric McAlister transferring out of the program, it was a welcome sight to see two of the thoroughbreds that Boise State has blaze their way down the field and show the potential they have.

With all the personnel changes that have been going on, it should be noted that offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan has been doing a marvelous job and his playcalling Saturday was his best performance thus far.

Hopefully, Hamdan is in the Broncos’ future plans.

The Defense

It was looking scary early in the game. The Lobos were driving down the field consistently and breaking the arm tackles of Boise State players as if they were bowling pins.

Heck, the idea of this game suddenly turning into a shootout crossed my mind with the quick-strike touchdowns that both teams were finding.

However, the hot start that the Lobos began with slowly fizzled out as the depth and talent of Boise State’s defense took over.

The problems that this defense has had since week one remain and will most likely haunt the Broncos for their final two games against Utah State and Air Force.

The Special Teams

Both Jonah Dalmas and James Ferguson-Reynolds maximized their two opportunities.

Dalmas nailed both field goal attempts and converted each of his four PAT attempts.

Ferguson-Reynolds booted two punts for an average of 47 yards, but more importantly, landed both inside the 20.

Could Boise State have one of its own win the Ray Guy award for the first time in school history?

In the return game, Kaden Dudley showed some improvement, averaging nearly 22 yards per return. It didn’t hurt that the Lobos just fired their special teams coordinator, either.

Andy Avalos’ Firing and What It Means

The athletic department is not going to sit on their hands and wait for things to get better.

Not even until early December.

This is not how things are usually done at Boise State. Patience, trust, and reassurance seem to always be the buzzwords used in prior administrations.

Instead, expediency, results, and accountability come to mind as I type this with athletic director Jeramiah Dickey at the helm of this operation.

I thought that a parting of ways at the end of the season was more realistic as the season wore on, but I would have never envisioned Boise State firing a former player in year three midseason with two games left.

That’s what programs with money and booster support do, not little ole’ Boise State.

The money that this program has been able to fundraise and the consistent fan support shown this season despite porous results tells you that the fans and those with deep pockets care about this program during its highest of highs and lowest of lows.

But, this is still a shocking day in the Boise State football program, even if it seemed inevitable.

A Bronco great failed on The Blue.

Before we move ahead with coaching candidate lists and wild speculation about who the Broncos are targeting as their next head coach, we should acknowledge this.

Andy Avalos is a good human who wanted nothing more than to bring this program back to its heyday.

He wanted Boise State football to succeed more than me, you, or anyone else.

Let’s give him the grace and respect that he deserves after departing his previous position as Oregon’s defensive coordinator to come home.

Not many are willing to take that risk and potentially have their name tainted.

Going Forward

Off the field, Jeramiah Dickey will address the media Monday afternoon and Twitter will be full of “Coach Pete?” and “Kellen to Boise?” quips.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but neither of those guys are leaving their respective positions.

I will say that considering the timing of this decision, one would have to think that the hiring of Boise State’s next head coach wouldn’t be drawn out.

You don’t make this type of decision at this point in this season without being proactive and having a gameplan to execute.

On the field, the Broncos travel to Logan, Utah, to face off with the Utah State Aggies. With Saturday’s win, a victory in Logan would clinch bowl eligibility for Boise State and extend their streak to 26 consecutive seasons.

And in case this season couldn’t get any weirder, losses by both Air Force and Fresno State have kept the door ever so slightly open for the Broncos’ chances to reach the Mountain West conference championship game.

Rally the troops, eh?

What were your takeaways from the game?

What do you think of Andy Avalos’ firing and who do you think the Broncos should hire as their next head coach?

Let us know in the comments down below!