Did Boise State Satisfy The Fans?

After two wins but less than perfect outings, Boise State fans continue to point out areas for the Broncos to improve in. When you perform at the level that the Broncos have become accustomed to, the bar is a little higher. (Photo by Foto208.com--all rights are reserved.)

 In BroncoCountry's weekly "Fan Corner" feature, we asked posters to set goals for the Boise State team against rival Fresno State.  It was a nationally-televised Thursday night game in Fresno and a key early test for the Broncos.  How did they do?

The Broncos had counted on their defense in the first two games.  The fans have gotten behind them as Pattywagon called on a shutout and Fotograffir looked for "the same intensity of the Oregon game without the mistakes of the Miami game."  TheFlern was looking for the defense to "continue to play at a stunning level."  It was stunning, but for all of the wrong reasons.  

Broncoborn wanted to hold Fresno State to under 100 yards rushing.  The Bronco "D" held Fresno State without a first down in the first quarter and did well in the fourth quarter—it was the middle of the game in which they allowed 27 points and it is pretty much agreed that it was poor in those two quarters.   

Upbronco was looking to hold Fresno to under 75 yards rushing.  He did not specify for sure but I doubt if he meant that 75-yard limit was for one play.  Fresno State 's Ryan Matthews exploded for touchdown runs of 69, 60 and 68 yards, all up the middle.   

Upbronco looked for two interceptions by the Bronco defense and he got them, including a huge first quarter pick returned for a touchdown by Winston Venable on Fresno State 's opening possession.  Broncoborn had said, "That QB throws up balls the Broncos could eat up all day long."  

Upbronco set the goal of 180 rushing yards and the Bronco backs did not disappoint.  Both Jeremy Avery (who not only had 186 rushing yards but 83 receiving as well) and D.J. Harper (107 yards) went over the 100-yard mark.  Harper, who went down late in the game with a knee injury, will be sorely missed as Boise State head coach Chris Petersen confirmed that D.J. is out for the season.  

Upbronco was looking for 300 yards passing from Kellen Moore with no interceptions; Moore didn't come close with just 181 but he didn't throw any to the Bulldogs.  Perhaps the Bronco coaches saw weaknesses in the Bulldog defense and wanted to focus on the run, because the threat of the pass just wasn't a focal point.

Sunthas wanted a touchdown by true freshman Kirby Moore; unfortunately the promising high school receiving record holder is still looking for his first college reception.    

The execution by the Boise State offense was on the mind of blueturfdude.  He was looking for better run-pass balance.  For the first time this year, the rushing game topped the passing game (299-181).  Blueturf also looked to the offensive line to improve their blocking on both runs and passes.  The run blocking was the best of the season.  Samandeddie, similarly, wanted "the offense to finally put together a full game".  I think they accomplished that, short of the balance that blueturf was looking for.   

Sunthas was just hoping to see snapping issues resolved in game three.  Titus Young had a fumble after a nine-yard run but made up for that with his hustle play of the year in recovering Jeremy Avery's fumble prior to the ball going out of the end zone after Avery's 74-yard run.  Let's hope this isn't an issue for game four.  

Although Jeremy Avery's 67-yard touchdown was off a screen pass, that doesn't quite qualify.  Other than that, Moore 's 20-yard pass to Titus Young in the first quarter was the longest pass of the night and Boise State never got another one for the rest of the game.   

Sunthas was hoping for a 50-yard field goal from Kyle Brotzman.  This was the best week for the Bronco kickers, Kyle Brotzman successful on attempts from 30 and 32 yards and freshman Jimmy Pavel successful on his 24-yarder in the fourth quarter.  The long-range field goal attempts did not come into play.  

The Flern hoped for "the special teams to really step up and put together a whole game".  By and large, he got it.  No missed field goals or extra points, and one of the best performances by the Boise State kickoff return team in school history.  Titus Young had five returns for 154 yards, including a 77-yarder, and Doug Martin had two returns for 103 yards, including a 77-yard return of his own.  There is no record for total kickoff return yards, although 257 would have to rank pretty high up there.  It isn't often that two players get 100+ kickoff return yards in the same game either.  

Blueturf dude had a poignant comment--"I think the team we saw play Oregon and Miami will beat Fresno but they won't beat a BCS (Bowl Championship Series) opponent."  "I'm anxious to see progress in all aspects of the game."  I don't think we've seen the all-around great game in all phases yet from the Broncos.   

BlueandorangeDynasty and socalspud were not hard to please—both just wanted to win.  Upbronco just wanted to "win, so we can keep that cool milk can!"  The Broncos "Got Milk!"       

Next up:  Bowling Green .

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