Game Ball #1: Jones. Is there any question? Quinton Jones had a career day. How about gaining 247 all-purpose yards (as opposed to 247 mostly-purpose yards)? A 73-yard punt return for a touchdown? Scoring on a lightening-quick 50-yard run down the sideline? Setting a new all-time Bronco record for most punt return yards in a game with 143?
Gee, I guess there are questions. But the answer is always Q.
Definition Of Forever: This just in: forever is exactly 38 minutes and 8 seconds. That's how long Idaho's offense had the ball. It sure seemed like forever.
Tharpsichord: For whatever reason, once Tharp entered the game, it struck a chord and the Broncos were playing in harmony, scoring five touchdowns in a hurry to put the game away. I guess you could say, the game was Taylor-made! (I apologize humbly and unreservedly for that one. Horrible, horrible pun. It won't happen again in this paragraph.)
Blue Streak: BSU has now chalked-up 31 straight wins on the Blue, and extended their winning streak over the Vandals to 7. And four straight years of perfection at home is nothing to sneeze at, either. Whatever that means.
Game Ball #2: The Defense. It's not often that a defense can allow over 400 yards and still earn a Game Ball. But the Bronco D-men took over the game in the second half with fumble recoveries, interceptions, sacks and had more big hits than the Beatles. Colt Brooks had another monster game, causing the fumble and getting an INT, as did Tadman who was called on the PA more often than "there's a penalty on the play."
30,048: That's what Boise State averaged in 6 home games this season, which makes it the second straight year that attendance eclipsed 100%. And stadium expansion is scheduled to happen when? Soon, please?
Seniority Rules: The 11 Bronco Seniors finished their career on the Blue with a perfect 26-0 record. That's worthy of a Career Ball. Thanks for sending the Bronco fans home happy for the last four years, guys.
Rivalry Record. 17-17-1. To paraphrase a classic line from former New York Herald Tribune columnist Red Smith, the Broncos have overwhelmed the Vandals 17 times, underwhelmed them 17 times, and whelmed them once.
Regardless, now that the series is all tied up, next year is for all the marbles. Whatever that means.
Game Ball #3: Marks. Seems like I'm always giving Lee a Game Ball, but snagging his second 100-yard game of the season (102 yards, only 9 carries) with some nifty long runs and solid special teams play earns it.
Rough Refs: I usually don't complain about the officiating, but this week the officiating was officially awful. They seemed more confused than a Vandal in a bathtub*. They held more conferences than Vegas, including one just before the second half at mid-field that included a "Go, Refs!" cheer (or something). That was weird. And how about calling one penalty against the Vandals, and then realizing they made an oopsie and reversing the call? That was good. And then how about the time they marched off a penalty twice because it's tough to count to five? And the time the referee laughed – yes, LAUGHED – while he made the call against the Broncos? Very odd. I was nearly expecting the officials to high-five each other after another penalty call.
No, their performance didn't cost the game one way or the other, but the calls were almost as bad as the non-calls, which resulted in a long, frustrating game with very little flow for both teams.
Up Next: The Broncos travel to Ruston, Louisiana to take on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in the last regular-season game of the year. We haven't had much luck against bulldogs this year, but to be fair, the two we played were, and are, ranked. But it still won't be a cakewalk, whatever that means. Is it really easy to walk on a cake, or with a cake, or like a cake? Is a cakewalk easy as pie?
Never mind. This game might not be a piece of cake (no comment) because La Tech is playing good ball right now, and always play the Broncos tough at home. It should be a good one.
* Rivalry week. Had to get one last jab in!
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