Well, I've had a night to sleep on last night's Boise game, and listened to Coach's post-game presser a couple of minutes ago, and have some thoughts on last night's game at the Doyt.
Perhaps the most disappointing this is that we have brought in big-name opponents two years in a row and had huge crowds and then sent them home disappointed. I think this is a big problem in our desire to build this program. I'm not saying we needed to beat Boise to reward fans for showing up, but you'd like to stay with them and make it somewhat of a game.
Boise is a really good football team. I said before the game that they are the best team we would play all season, and I think that was right. As Coach said, the are "bigger, faster, stronger." They also are very well prepared and coached, and execute their game plan. There are tons of skill players, a very good QB.
So, count me as impressed by Boise. Their win over Oregon looks better after the Ducks destroyed Cal, too. That's a good football team.
I'm still disappointed in how we played. I thought we started out OK, and got a couple of stops and drove the ball into their territory, but then we stalled out in the red zone, committed two critical false starts, missed an easy FG, and then everything started to catch up with us. We made lots of mistakes, and Boise is too good to be unforgiving.
The very start of the second quarter was where the reckoning came....
First, Boise scored on the first play of the second quarter on a reverse. BG had done decently bottling up the run, but the Broncos saw we were partly doing that by over-pursuing, and the reverse just killed us. And that dude (Titus Young) can run. Wow.
Second, they lined up in some goofy extra point formation and actually ran an oddball 2-point play and made it.
Third, they got us three and out, and followed that up with a 78 yard, three play drive.
Fourth, BG threw an INT, committed a personal foul on the return and Boise scored on the next play.
2:33. 22 points.
BG made three turnovers in total. We were trying to make something happen and went deep sparingly, but in two cases were intercepted. Boise's d-backs had a ton of INTs this year, and you just can't loft the ball into multiple coverages as we did on those two INTs--and on at least one other occasion I can think of.
One play was a max protection route. We had a power formation in the game, ran play action and then tried to go deep to Freddie. Boise's backfield was not fooled and was all around him, but because we had limited receivers out there, they had the luxury of doing that.
Another mistake Coach Clawson mentioned was on the throw back pass to Freddie. BG had set up an obvious slip screen formation to Freddie Barnes, but Barnes stepped back and grabbed the lateral. Willie Geter was streaking down the sideline. But, Sheehan's throw was high to Freddie and it ended up being a loss of yards as BG scrambled for the loose ball.
I'm not saying BG would have won if we had executed these things better. What I am saying is that if we had gotten a couple of those scores, we're at least in the game, and that's how upsets happen.
I thought Willie Geter ran the ball effectively. He is incredibly determined and I believe will be very productive in the MAC season. He did leave last night's came with a sprained toe (according to Coach), but could have played some in the second half. I hope he can be healthy for the OU game, because he does add a nice element.
Coach also said we made more mistakes on defense than we have in the other three games so far, and that does not surprise me. Undisciplined mistakes like not having anyone home on a reverse were hallmarks of the Brandon years and had been refreshingly gone in the first three games, but they were all over the place against the Broncos last night.
Eight penalties, three turnovers and numerous mistakes on the defensive side of the ball, and you end up with Boise delivering an old-fashioned butt kicking in the flatlands of Ohio last night.
I'll have some more analysis coming up later. This is one game, and a game that doesn't detract from our goal of winning the MAC. We're all allowed to be disappointed, but I'll be far more disappointed if we don't win against the Bobcats. A defeat is just an opportunity to get better.