Fan's Corner

In this article, Bronco fans have their say! Each week, we ask Boise State fans to voice their opinions and set goals for the Bronco team to achieve. Here are those responses. (Photo is provided by Foto208. All rights are reserved.)

In the opening edition of Fan's Corner, we review how Boise State fans grade the Broncos' performance against #16 Oregon .  Prior to each game, we ask BroncoCountry fans what specific achievements they are looking for in the upcoming game.  Here are their wishes:  

Upbronco and BlueandorangeDynasty wanted no turnovers and that is probably the greatest emphasis during practice this week.  Boise State fumbled the ball four times and lost it three of those times.  A fumble on a pitch from quarterback Kellen Moore to Jeremy Avery at the Oregon one-yard line resulted in a field goal try that missed.  The botched field goal try should be considered a turnover since it took points off the board as well.  So the Bronco team has much to work on as far as taking care of the football.  

Other goals for Upbronco leading into the game were 180 yards rushing, Moore 's usual high standards passing and two interceptions and at least one fumble recovery by the Bronco defense.  Dynasty was just hoping for "some running game, even if it is just a little."  Despite a record 59 rushing attempts, Boise State recorded 164 rushing yards.  However, against a Pac-10 defense as good as Oregon 's, the Broncos did establish the run game.  Moore's passing was did meet expectations, going 19-29 for 197 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. Time and time again Moore fired the ball into traffic for first-down completions and floated beautiful touch passes past outstretched Duck defenders and into the hands of Bronco receivers.  The Bronco defense nearly met the goal with a fumble recovery and an interception and I doubt anyone would be dissatisfied with the dominant performance.  

BlueandorangeDynasty was looking for Red Zone D.  Now Oregon was 1-1 in red zone opportunities and there's two ways to look at that.  The statistics released by the NCAA show Boise State at the bottom, allowing 100% of opportunities to score.  Give me a break.  When you only allow your opponent one chance inside the red zone, I think it's safe to say you did a good job!  Dynasty was also looking for the Broncos to "stop the big play.  Masoli and Blount are going to get their yards, but keeping containment will be important."  I don't think anyone could have imagined how well Boise State would keep Blount in check with a negative five yards.  Same goes for the Bronco defense against the #4 Heisman Trophy candidate.  Masoli ran seven times for 14 yards and was 14-27 with no touchdowns and an interception.   

Keleka24 was looking for big plays on offense, force turnovers on defense and both she and Jojobro wanted great special teams play.  D.J. Harper (The Texas Tornado) made the biggest play of the night on a 33-yard run but the Broncos did not connect for big yards through the air—definitely something to work on.  Had they been able to do that, the running game might have opened up a bit more.  There were a couple of long Oregon kickoff returns but overall the Bronco return defense did well.  Punting by Kyle Brotzman was excellent, averaging 43.7 and landing one kick at the Duck four-yard line.  The field goal unit was another story, with two missed kicks and a botched snap that resulted in no points.  

Jojobro called for "good run blocking execution by the o-line".  While they were inconsistent, the improvement over last year was immense.  In the 2008 game against these same Ducks, Boise State ran 35 times for 38 yards; this time the Broncos improved that number by a factor of over four.  

He was also counting on the receiving corps to catch balls thrown to them.  I don't recall any obvious drops—I think by and large the Broncos met expectations here.  They didn't stretch the field as hoped but they made huge clutch catches in traffic.  Jojo wanted the defense to execute and play smart.  "We know the d-line, as long as Boise State avoids injuries with the tackles, should do its job," he said.  "And the secondary will keep their assignments, play tough.  Oregon 's offense will come in confident and motivated."  

They left shaken and stirred.  

The defensive line played incredible, largely responsible for the ineffectiveness of Blount and Masoli and even notching a safety by Billy Winn in the season opener.  The secondary has to be credited with excellent coverage as well.  They were not beaten deep once and handled their assignments with the proficiency that their experience should indicate.  Nice job!  

Forseyfan11 had a different take.  "I think this is always fun," he said, "but I honestly look at this game and say what can the fans do for the Broncos.  I hope the fans are the loudest, craziest, most-supportive group that we have ever had at Bronco Stadium.  If this happens I think it will give the guys a whole new gear that might be the factor to this game."  This very well could be the most insightful comment.  At decibel levels exceeding 120, the Bronco crowd was electric from start to finish.  There is no doubt that it helped the Boise State defense.  

Forsey wanted "smashmouth football, from a team that is not intimidated by Oregon one bit."  We have reached the day (in fact we did on January 1, 2007 ) in which Boise State can play smashmouth football against a highly-ranked opponent and win.  Excellent call, Forsey.  He and BroncoPacker also wanted solid control of the edges, the outsides of the Bronco defense.  I believe that is exactly what we saw.  No long runs around the end or scrambles for first downs by Masoli.  Will the Pac-10 defenses be able to say the same thing?  

His other wish was to see the team execute at a high level on both sides of the ball.  From the defense, it doesn't get better than that; surprisingly a Duck fan said that the Bronco defense would rank 5th or 6th in the Pac-10.  How many Pac-10 defenses could hold Oregon without a first down until halfway through the third quarter?  No defenses in the Pac-10, including USC, held Blount to -5 yards or Masoli to 14 net rushing yards.  Sorry, that was the best defensive performance against Oregon in 15 years.  

BroncoPacker was looking for the Boise State linebackers to step up and hit hard and don't try to arm-tackle Blount.  Mission accomplished with a superb job by Derrell Acrey, Hunter White, Aaron Tevis and J.C. Percy!  Also, "average starting position of the 25 for Oregon and I will be a happy camper," BroncoPacker said.  Let's break it down and see how the Broncos did:  

Oregon started with a great kickoff return that took it to the 42.  Not good there, but after that, their starting possessions were on the 30 (after a missed field goal), the 29 (following the first Bronco touchdown), the four-yard line after the great Brotzman punt which resulted in Billy Winn shooting through on the next play for the safety(!) and the 19 following the Brotzman field goal and kickoff.  The average starting point for Oregon in the first half was 24.8—how's that for BroncoPacker nailing it?  

In the second half, Oregon started on the 36 following a Bronco touchdown, the 46-yard line following a punt, the 39 after a fumble, the 41 after the botched field goal try, the Boise State 31 after a fumble, their own 11-yard line following another great Brotzman punt, the Boise State 37 after a fumble and their own 33 at the end of the game after a missed fourth-down conversion.  Ordinarily, you would make the comment "They should have quit when they were ahead," except in this case maybe it was because Boise State quit when they were ahead that the field position changed for Oregon.   

The offensive creativity was gone, largely because I believe Coach Petersen and Offensive Coordinator Bryan Harsin wanted to establish the run at all expense.  They did that, but not without negative consequences.  The miscues in the second half really began to pile up with three fumbles and the poor execution on the field goal try.  The average starting position for Oregon in the second half was the 44.9.  Not so good there.  

Opposing teams usually collapse after facing Boise State because they are so devastated.  It remains to be seen if Oregon can rebound following the humiliating defeat.  So while we heard in the offseason that they were a strong contender for a national championship, we really won't know how good they are.  They were so beaten that they could lose to Purdue or Utah and then crumble.   

It was a fun Fan's Corner to open the week and we look forward to comments prior to the game with Miami of Ohio.


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