Ah, what a thrill it is to be young, thrust onto the field
as a freshman on one of the most exciting offenses in the country.
The thrill, the expectations, the national spotlight.
It's all there.
The young members of the Boise State offensive line
performed admirably last year and helped the team go unbeaten for the third time
in five seasons—the Only Team in America to do that.
However, they had to, as a group and together with the
But when the team needed it most last year, an inability to
run the football cost Boise State a 13-0 lead and eventually resulted in a
one-point loss to TCU, this year's darlings of the college football world.
Those kinds of things can happen to a group mostly fresh
out of high school.
Fast forward to this season.
The difficulties of the running game are easy to explain
away last season. The offensive line
had little experience. Not any more.
The unit has nearly two full years together.
They cannot use the excuses of youth and inexperience any longer.
It is time the members of this unit grew into the shoes of
those before them. They need to play
like the veterans they are. In the
early part of this decade, when the Boise State offensive line was making a name
as one of the top units in the nation, what I noticed was their fierce
attitude—the ability to finish each and every single block, to drive their
opponent 10 yards downfield, showing no mercy.
They were aggressive and determined and opened holes for anyone and
everyone who carried the ball.
Again, and I say this with humility and not one ounce of
meanness in my entire body: this
group needs to kick butt and take names and the time is now.
Too many times this season, an opposing defender has wrapped up a Bronco
ball carrier in the backfield with an offensive lineman standing nearby as if
they were an innocent bystander to a crime.
What I have noticed is that the Bronco players will wait until after the
snap to see what their defender is going to do and then react.
This observation has been confirmed by people with much more experience
than this writer. Rather, it seems
to me, they should be charging out from their stances as if shot from a
gun—blasting their way downfield and knocking their men on their cans!
(and then looking for another to mow down!)
It's the aggressor that always wins the battle in football.
I know the Bronco coaches are working on the problem and no
fan has even close to the same knowledge as the great group of Bronco coaches.
What I am doing is calling out the offensive line to start
playing nasty, beginning Saturday afternoon.
No more this season do I want to see them standing over a fallen Bronco
running back while their man is celebrating a tackle.
Or going to the sidelines after their teammate couldn't get a one-yard
touchdown against UC-Davis. They are
far too talented for that.
And far too old.