We hop in the Bronco Time Capsule for a trip back five years ago. This is an especially important trip because the Broncos stand at a crossroads, much the same as they did following the 2001 season. Five years ago, the Broncos had four losses, just as they did last year. In 2001, they got throttled by a nationally-ranked SEC team. The same happened in 2005. We all know now that following that disappointing 2001 season, the Broncos rebounded for three straight one-loss seasons and three consecutive finishes in the nation's Top 15.
But we didn't know that then.
Season Record (8-4, 6-2 in WAC)
September 1--Lost at #22 South Carolina 32-13
September 8--Lost at home to Washington State 41-20
September 22--Won at home against UTEP 42-17
September 29--Won vs. Idaho at Washington State's home field, 45-13
October 6--Lost at Rice 45-14
October 13--Won at home against Tulsa 41-10
October 19--Won at #8 Fresno State 35-30
October 27--Won at home vs. Nevada 49-7
November 3--Lost at Louisiana Tech 48-42
November 10--Won at Hawai'i 28-21
November 17--Won at home vs. San Jose State 56-6
November 24--Won at home against Central Michigan 26-10
The 2001 Boise State team:
Ran for 2,038 yards (4.1 yards per carry) for 24 touchdowns.
Passed for 3,304 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Scored 57 touchdowns.
Boise State individuals:
Ryan Dinwiddie finished the season 201-321 (62.62%) for 3,043 yards (9.5 yards per attempt) with 28 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. He had 3,140 yards total offense.
Brock Forsey carried the ball 245 times for 1,199 yards (4.9 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns. He also caught 36 passes for 393 yards (10.9 yards per catch) and three more touchdowns.
David Mikell rushed 103 times for 550 yards (5.3 yards per carry) and 6 touchdowns. He also had seven receptions for 164 yards (23.4 yards per catch) and two more touchdowns and scored on a kickoff return as well.
Jeb Putzier had 44 receptions for 824 yards (18.7 yards per catch) and 12 touchdowns.
Jay Swillie snared 48 for 673 yards (14.0 yards per catch) and 8 touchdowns.
Lou Fanucchi emerged with 30 catches for 626 yards (20.9 yards per catch) and two touchdowns.
Billy Wingfield had 27 catches for 340 yards (12.6 yards per catch) and two touchdowns.
Tim Gilligan had 9 catches for 73 (8.1 yards per catch)
Nick Calaycay had five field goals and 50 extra points for 65 points.
The 2001 Season Game-By-Game:
September 1--Boise State at South Carolina
Boise State lost to #22 South Carolina of the Southeastern Conference 32-13 on the road. As Bronco kicker Nick Calaycay lined up for a 22-yard field goal at the end of the second half with South Carolina ahead 13-7, the Gamecocks blocked it and Rashad Faison returned it 82 yards for a touchdown. It was a dramatic shift to a tight first half and South Carolina rode that momentum to the win.
September 8--Boise State vs. Washington State
Washington State turned back the Broncos 41-20 to end Boise State's 14-game home winning streak. Jay Swillie caught seven passes for 124 yards while Lou Fanucchi grabbed five for 102. Following the loss to WSU, the Broncos would not lose again at home for five years, three months and 23 days, putting together the longest home winning streak in the nation and the eighth longest in Division I history (31 games).
September 22--Boise State vs. UTEP
Boise State broke open a close 21-17 game with three unanswered touchdowns to throttle the Miners 42-17. Brock Forsey ran for 122 yards and a score on 32 carries while David Mikell spurted for 82 more and two touchdowns.
September 29--Boise State at Idaho (played at Washington State's home field)
Brock Forsey ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns and passed for another as Boise State blew past Idaho 45-13. Ryan Dinwiddie was an exceptional 16-21 for 298 yards passing for the Broncos.
October 3--Boise State at Rice
The Bronco express ran into a buzzsaw in Houston as Rice blitzed Boise State 45-14. Rice's option fooled the Bronco defense all day long, as the Owls piled up 430 yards and held on to the ball for 37:36 to just 22:24 for Boise State. Brock Forsey had five catches for 101 yards and Lou Fanucchi had six for 131 for the Broncos.
October 13--Boise State vs. Tulsa
Boise State's Jeb Putzier scored on touchdown receptions of 28, 37 and 42 yards as the Broncos pulled away for a 41-10 win. The Broncos dominated the game between the goal lines as well, earning 32 first downs to nine for Tulsa. Putzier finished with eight catches for 164 yards with Jay Swillie grabbing 10 balls for 156 yards and a touchdown. Brock Forsey carried the ball 20 times for 127 yards while Ryan Dinwiddie was 27-37 passing for 405 yards. Tulsa gained just 34 yards on the ground.
October 19--Boise State at Fresno State
In a dual between two great quarterbacks, Boise State shocked the 8th-ranked Bulldogs in Fresno 35-30. Bronco quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie won this one over David Carr, outscoring Fresno State 21-10 in the pivotal fourth quarter. The key play in the game came in the 4th when, with 7:12 remaining, Dinwiddie hit Jay Swillie with a 29-yard pass at the Bulldog 25. There was a fierce collision but somehow Swillie kept his balance while the Fresno defender fell down. Swillie sped into the end zone untouched.
Like the great team they were, Fresno pinned the Broncos deep and got a safety on a sack to make it 35-30. Stopping the Bronco offense once again, Fresno got the ball back. Carr twice scrambled for first downs on the drive and his 4th and 3 pass was deflected but caught by Charles Smith for a first down at the Boise State 11. The Bulldogs made it as far as the 5-yard line on 4th and goal with one minute remaining. A Greg Sasser sack ended the threat and the Broncos ran out the clock. Dinwiddie finished 20-32 for 297 yards for Boise State. It was Carr's fifth straight game with 300 yards passing, as he finished 30-49 for 345 yards. Rodney Wright was sensational for the Bulldogs with 14 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown.
October 27--Nevada at Boise State
Bronco quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie passed for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Broncos dominated Nevada 49-7. RD hooked up with Jeb Putzier for scores of 8 and 57 yards while David Mikell scored on touchdown runs of 1 and 64 yards. The game featured 100-yard performances by both Mikell (13-121) and Brock Forsey (13-105), who also scored on a 28-yard run. Clearly, the Broncos won the game playing smashmouth football, rushing for 319 yards on 46 carries. Win the win, Boise State moved into a first-place tie with Louisiana Tech atop the WAC, setting up a showdown for first place the following week in Ruston.
November 3--Boise State at Louisiana Tech
Ryan Dinwiddie's pass at the Louisiana Tech 25-yard line was blocked at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by defensive end Brandon Avance with 22 seconds left, killing a Bronco rally that found them just short in a 48-42 Tech win in Ruston. It was the first shoot-out between two great college and future professional quarterbacks, Dinwiddie for Boise State and Luke McCown for the Bulldogs. McCown was 30 of 46 passing for 464 yards and four touchdowns while Dinwiddie was 30 of 49 for 351 yards and three touchdowns. McCown also ran for a TD and did not throw an interception. Tech's D.J. Curry scored on two long touchdown receptions (67 and 68 yards) to break the backs of the Bronco defense. Brock Forsey had 71 yards rushing and 10 catches for 98 yards in a superhuman effort.
November 10--Boise State at Hawai'i
David Mikell's 98-yard kickoff return silenced the Honolulu faithful in the first half, but two third quarter touchdowns gave the home team a 21-20 lead. When Brock Forsey crashed over the line from four yards out, the Broncos took a 28-21 lead they would never lose. Forsey finished with 132 yards on 29 carries and also had six catches for 46 yards.
November 17--Boise State vs. San Jose State
Jeb Putzier had a career day in leading Boise State to a 56-6 pounding of the Spartans. Putzier broke loose for an 80-yard touchdown catch and run on the game's opening drive, and followed that up with scores of 30 and 30 yards. Putzier finished the day with six receptions for 191 yards. Brock Forsey kept the Spartans guessing with 122 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Bronco quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie was 18-27 for 348 yards. San Jose gained just 83 yards of total offense the entire afternoon.
November 24--Boise State vs. Central Michigan
Bronco quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie was serving a one-game suspension, leaving B.J. Rhode to start against the MAC team from Central Michigan. Rhode came through as Boise State stopped the Chippewas 26-10 on a cold rainy day in Bronco Stadium. The Bronco defense held Central Michigan to 74 rushing yards on 31 carries and just 147 yards of total offense. Boise State thoroughly dominated the time of possession, 42:15 to 17:45. Brock Forsey was the workhorse with 212 yards and two TD's on 32 carries. Boise State finished the season tied for second in the WAC with Fresno State but despite a win on Fresno's home field in a head-to-head matchup, stayed home in the bowl season while the Bulldogs were given the WAC's other bowl bid.