Boise State's defensive focus has been to stop the run first this decade, and they have done a very good job of it. This year, however, the Broncos have been downright bashful to meet opposing quarterbacks.
In nine games this season, Boise State has a total of 15 sacks.
Three times in school history, one player has finished the year with more sacks than the entire Bronco team has this season. Chris Wing totaled 20 by himself in 1996, and Erik Helgeson topped the entire Bronco team twice (19.5 in 1988 and 17.5 in 1989).
Bronco defensive line coach Pete Kwiatkowski had as many sacks in 1984 as the 2009 Bronco team currently has with four games remaining.
Again, it can be pointed out that the primary focus of the Boise State defense has been to stop the run and that is why the sack totals aren't high. But in the last four years, when the focus was exactly the same, Boise State rang up 38 sacks in 2005, 33 in 2006, 35 in 2007 and 34 last year. Boise State needs 20 sacks over the next four games to reach those totals, or an average of five per game.
So what is the reason for the huge drop-off in sacks? That is a question for debate, but there have been several times this season in which a sack would have destroyed momentum for the opposing team instead of letting them hang around to make it a close game.
Comparing the Boise State performance with other schools at the Football Bowl Subdivision level, they rank #81 in the country in this department. Vanderbilt has 23 so far compared to Boise State's 15. Tulsa, a Bronco opponent, has 21. Lowly Indiana has 21. Louisiana-Monroe has chalked up 20, while New Mexico and Nevada each have 19. Other teams ranked ahead of Boise State in sacks include San Diego State, Central Michigan and Toledo.
It might be nice if Bronco players introduce themselves to the Vandal quarterback at some point during the game.
If they don't, it would be appropriate for him to take the Bronco defense out to dinner afterwards as a "thank-you".