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Boise State blog One Bronco Nation Under God was thrilled with the Broncos 33-30 win over Virginia Tech Monday night. They credit not only Kellen Moore and Austin Pettis, who were two halves of the game-winning touchdown, but the entire Boise team for fighting back to win the game.
Stop by ONBUG to check out a drive-by-drive breakdown of the entire game. From the Hokies’ early fleaflicker to Boise’s taking a knee to let the clock run out, they’ve got analysis on everything in between.
Landover, MD (Sports Network) – Kellen Moore’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Austin Pettis with 1:09 remaining in the game provided third-ranked Boise State with a thrilling 33-30 win over No. 10 Virginia Tech in an action-packed season-opener for both schools.
It was an incredible night for Pettis. The senior wide receiver blocked a punt and caught a second touchdown pass for the Broncos (1-0), who last year became just the second team in NCAA history to record a 14-0 season, capping it with a 17-10 win over TCU in the Fiesta Bowl.
Playing out of the Western Athletic Conference for a last season, the Broncos have already started the debate if they can be BCS busters this year and reach the national title game. They accomplished the first step against what should be BSU’s only ranked opponent this season.
Moore threw for three scores, while D.J. Harper ran for another TD for the Broncos.
Tyrod Taylor had a pair of touchdown throws for the Hokies (0-1), who are coming off a 10-3 season last year when they downed Tennessee in the Chick- Fil-A Bowl at the Georgia Dome. Ryan Williams rushed for a pair of scores and caught another TD pass.
After a Virginia Tech punt, Moore led the Broncos on a drive that was aided by a big late hit call. Pettis caught a 14-yard pass on the left sideline, but Bruce Taylor’s hit out of bounds tacked on more yardage.
Two plays later, Pettis got free in the back of the end zone and caught a perfect strike from Moore.
Taylor couldn’t drive the Hokies past midfield, and Jarrett Boykin failed to hold onto a long fourth down pass that would’ve given Virginia Tech the ball deep in BSU territory. The Broncos ran out the remaining half-minute.
1. Please, keep your sign acrostics short and sweet, Boise fans. You may still be relative newbies in the national scene, but there’s no excuse for this.
2. Virginia Tech dragged themselves back into this game one slugging lurch at a time, something that may be forgotten in the weeks and months to come. They slammed Boise off the line, disrupted their passing game, and faced down 17-0 like cold-blooded men staring down an executioner’s barrel. Victory was in short supply, but valor was not, especially for Tyrod Taylor. (See levitation photo below for evidence of said valor and amazing body control.)
3. The officiating was fair in that it was fairly wretched, and evenly applied. Unfortunately for the Hokies, their turn at the wheel of fortune came last when officials first retracted a block in the back call against Boise, and then called a football move made across the sideline a few plays later a late hit, giving Boise the field position to seal the victory with a 13 yard Kellen Moore TD pass to Austin Pettis. Boise kept Taylor under control for the remaining 1:09, and that’s how you get through week one of a long run to BCS-busting lunacy.
4. Good field position aside, the pass Moore made at the end of the game was truly frosty, especially so considering that Boise State had called the same route in the endzone at least two times before and Moore had missed it.
5. Virginia Tech joins the ranks of teams that scheduled large in a week when most could have backed off and played a patsy (say Rice, San Jose State, and Miami of Ohio, for instance.) Remember them fondly and specifically in your voting down the road, especially if this is their only loss. Bravery goes both ways, and VT showed plenty in both scheduling the game and in the way they played in it. Remember this in December, however, is something few may do.
That’s not down by contact or consistent with any definition of the word “fair:” Tyrod Taylor keeps a field goal drive alive, gets Boise into a spot where they need a TD and not three, and with five minutes in the fourth to go VT gets the ball deep in their own territory.
Virginia Tech was going to punt, but the dark curse of running into the kicker bit Boise this time. A potential 4th and ten became 4th and five, and Taylor to Boykin put VT up 27—26 after a failed two point conversion attempt.
Taylor did limp off the field after the play, but that was due to the rampant cramping affecting many players on both sides at this point. Now Boise is passing at will, and we’re on our second Red Bull, and yeah sleep would have been nice but this is week one, and Boise and Virginia Tech will not let that happen any time soon.
Editor’s note: the following was typed in real time.
Virginia Tech has now completely flipped the script by doing the following to Boise:
1. Getting short fields. Boise has turned the ball over twice, allowing VT to do what it does best on offense: hammer away with Williams and allow Tyrod Taylor to make things up on the fly for first downs.
2. Stuffing the run. Aside from a few gashing runs up the middle, Boise has not been able to get significant yardage—
—and I swear, as soon as I typed that DJ Harper busted out a long TD run for Boise, ripping a response TD out of VT’s skinflint defense by breaking two tackles and heading for the endzone. This game has gone into lunatic mode. Updates will be frequent and semi-coherent. 26-21, Boise in the third.
Virginia Tech ended a nice scoring opportunity when someone hit the switch on Tyrod Taylor’s back that controls "Good Tyrod" and "Bad Tyrod" and knocked it into "Bad Tyrod." Thus commenced some aimless lateral running, a forfeiture of good field position, and a continuation of our role reversal theme as VT’s kicker, not Boise’s, missed a field goal off the left hash.
Yet somehow, VT stays alive through more spontaneous and baffling incompetence, this time from Boise. A forced fumble followed for the Broncos, who bumrushed Taylor on a semi-busted play in the ensuing series. This time, the aimless lateral scrambling worked, and he hit a receiver in stride for six. 20-14 deep in the second to cash in another improv’d Tyrod Taylor Brand Mega Millions ticket of football randomness.
WHOA THIS 3-D PICTURE IS BOTH AWESOME AND SOMETHING I’LL NEVER EVERY PAY FOR IN A MILLION YEARS, ESPN!
Tyrod Taylor’s long pass set up a Virginia Tech score to make it 17-7, proving that Tyrod Taylor remains the perfect lottery ticket for Virginia Tech’s otherwise stodgy offensive investment strategy. He may not hit every time, and you’re certainly not relying on him for your retirement, but when he comes through he’s a nice bonus to your stingy, conservative three-yards-at-a-blast run game.
Virginia Tech then capitalized on this momentum by kicking the ball out of bounds, giving Boise the ball at the 40 yard line, and surrendering a long field goal. They either have an ironic sense of football humor that qualifies as downright hipsterish, or they want to lose this football game and do so with some smoke coming off the damn thing.
Here’s why you don’t fall asleep on 3rd and forever. DJ Coles never gets the opportunity to show off his impressive rage function—roughing the kicker, and then the personal foul—if the VT defense doesn’t allow Boise to get 23 yards on a draw to make the punt a 4th and 1. A splendid flop from the punter and some poor impulse control, and suddenly we’re looking at a first down, and then Boise moving steadily down the field, and then 17-0 for Boise in a stadium stuffed to its bland gills with Virginia Tech fans.
The moonshot pass by Kellen Moore and one-handed circus catch by TE Tommy Gallarda was spooky enough, but the real horror story for VT has been Boise getting pressure on Tyrod Taylor with only four down linemen rushing the quarterback. When not stuffing the run, Tyrod Taylor has had no time whatsoever to function, and 17-0 looks like twice that right now.
Boise State’s gameplan thus far has been simple: be Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech’s has been simple, as well: be Boise State in 2005 against Georgia, when the Broncos spat up the ball early and often in getting behind on the road at Georgia.
First the Hokies tried a variation of the fumblerooski involving the center kicking the ball. This is illegal, of course, and also gives the ball to the other team, but you’ll never know that for sure until you try it on the field of play. Boise kicked a field goal, and took a 3-0 lead.
Then, as if on cue, Brent Musburger complimented the special teams of the Broncos. Virginia Tech’s ensuing punt met the hand of a rushing punt blocker, the ball was recovered just shy of the Hokies’ endzone, and one play-action pass later the Broncos and their NFL Europe castoff unis were up 10-0 on Virginia Tech.
I’d like to stay rational, but I only have one thought right now: AHHHHHHHHHHH.
We’ll be here all night watching Boise State and Virginia Tech decide whether Boise and TCU will both be on the doom train to scuttle the BCS. Observations, screencaps, and occasional light slander will follow. For brief study on Boise State’s offense, you can’t do much better than this summary of some of BSU’s favorite strategies.
For an idea of how Virginia Tech works as a football team, this is probably the best way to illustrate how they work.
We’ve got the MusburGame tonight, so you know YOU’RE LOOKING LIVE at potential greatness.
We're now just a few hours away from the start of college football's opening weekend marquee matchup, and the guys at our Boise State blog, One Bronco Nation Under God, are getting nervous. In between the panic and Pepto, Kevan Lee offers some final pregame thoughts, including injuries and some keys to the game.
Over the weekend, Chadd Cripe revealed offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin's four keys to the game. Here they are in much plainer language than I'm sure Harsin explained them to the team:
- Run the ball effectively.
- No turnovers.
- Avoid 2nd-and-15-type situations.
- Score touchdowns in the red zone.
Brilliant. Every single one of them. When Boise State runs the ball effectively, they are an impossible offense to stop. I'd say 4.0 yards per carry should be considered effective tonight.
Turnovers is an obvious one, and it will be interesting to watch for Thomas Byrd and Kellen Moore's center-QB exchanges, especially since the two players did not spend as much time as usual getting reps in Fall Camp as Byrd battled for a starting job.
For the full preview, including more thoughts and a community discussion, be sure to visit OBNUG.
The folks over at our Virginia Tech blog, Gobbler Country, offer their preview to Monday night's clash between their Hokies and the Broncos from Boise State.
They breakdown the team, plus offense-defense matchups, particularly, what to look for when QB Kellen Moore and Boise State have the ball.
- By now we know the Broncos' M.O. on offense. We're going to see motion, we're going to see the same play out of different looks and we're going to see them throw a lot, even on first down. First down will be key for the Hokies, maybe even more so than on third down, when the Broncos are deadly efficient.
- If Tech is able to put Boise State in long-yardage situations, that's when Steven Friday, the rest of the defensive line and Jeron Gouveia-Winslow become important. The biggest key for the Hokies will be cutting down Kellen Moore's decision time and making him get rid of the ball.
- While the Hokies will try to create mismatches with their speed, Boise State will try to do the same. One of the key match-ups will be JGW against the Broncos' slot receivers. They have plenty of guys with speed at wide receiver and running back and at some point they will try to take advantage of those guys against him. How he responds will have a big impact on how well the Hokies can defend Boise's passing game.
For the complete preview, and an in-depth look at Tech's offense versus Boise's defense, visit Gobbler Country.
Spencer Hall, who will be live-blogging Monday night's game, appropriately focuses his first Factor Five Five Factor Preview of 2010 on the epic tilt between No. 3 Boise State and No. 10 Virginia Tech. Hall delves deep into five categories: Mascot, Aura, Names, and Grudges/Scores to settle/Sheer cussedness and Nebulous Statistical Comparisons of Dubious Validity:
Remember that Tyrod Taylor was a more efficient quarterback than Colt McCoy last year, and now has both halves of the Evans-Williams backfield of infinite intoxication on pure excellence behind him. (Darren Evans and Ryan Williams, both 1,000 yard rushers, and now both with intact, fully functioning ACLs now that Evans has healed up.) Remember that seven starters from the defensive team that beat Tennessee senseless in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in 2009 are gone. Please recall that Virginia Tech in season openers over the past decade has been completely rand-o, alternating delicious cupcakey wins over Arkansas State and pre-competent UConn with losses to USC, Alabama, and the embarrassing loss two years ago to ECU. Remember that trends are here to be broken, and that you'd be a fool not to bet on them unless they don't exist. (And in VT's case in openers, they don't.)
Boise's statistical picture is even murkier. Call belief in them a matter of faith: if you believe beating TCU in last year's Fiesta Bowl with much of the same crew matters, then the 1.5 point edge many bookies have given them in this game is science, not faith. If not, then we're still relying on the old narrative that Boise continues to be the local WAC bully who has made their giant-killer reputation beating up on teams from Oregon since 2006, and that they remain an undermanned team with superb coaching waiting to be outclassed on the field. This feels like stale analytical loaf to us, but then again so does ranking them first because you want to buy a lottery ticket on their potential greatness. We're all gambling, but some of us will openly admit it without shame.
For the full preview of the game, delivered in the way that only EDSBS can provide, be sure to read Hall's full post.
GAME NOTES: The most anticipated season-opener on the docket in 2010 takes place on Labor Day in Landover, as the third-ranked Boise State Broncos set out to prove their lofty ranking is warranted, as they take on the 10th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies at FedEx Field.
Head coach Chris Petersen has amassed an impressive 49-4 record in his four seasons at Boise State, including leading the Broncos to 26 wins in their last 27 games. Last season was banner year, with BSU becoming just the second team in NCAA history to record a 14-0 season, capped off by a 17-10 win over TCU in the Fiesta Bowl.
This season will be Boise State's last opportunity to terrorize the rest of the Western Athletic Conference, as the team will make the move to the more competitive Mountain West in 2011.
Virginia Tech has been a picture of consistency for some time and 2009 was more of the same, as the team posted 10 victories, the sixth straight season with double-digit wins. The Hokies finished 6-2 in league play last season, good for a second-place finish in the Coastal Division and capped off the year with a 37-14 whipping of Tennessee in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
As a reward, head coach Frank Beamer was recently awarded a contract extension through the 2016 season.
"I appreciate Virginia Tech�s confidence in me leading this program. I believe that continuity has led to the consistency in our program, and we hope for even better days ahead."
This marks the first-ever meeting between these two teams.
Coach Petersen is certainly aware of the pressure that will come each and every game for the Broncos, as they set out to burst the BCS bubble in 2010 and his confidence in star QB Kellen Moore and the rest of the offense is evident.
"Our whole offense is set up, and always has been, to make our quarterback as successful as anybody in the country and if we can do that, those other 10 guys can do that, then it's going to bode well for our program. There's going to be one guy who gets a lot of headlines because other guys are playing well around him and Kellen gets that."
System quarterback or not, Moore is a special player that ranked second in the nation last year in pass efficiency (161.65) and TD passes (39). Even more impressive is the fact that Moore attempted 431 passes a year ago and had just three interceptions, setting a new NCAA record for the lowest percentage of passes (0.69) picked off.
It certainly helps to have a pair of All-American candidates on the outside in Titus Young and Austin Pettis. Both are poised for a huge 2010 after posting eye-popping numbers a year ago. Young was responsible for 79 receptions for 1,041 yards and 10 touchdowns and Pettis converted his 63 catches into 855 yards and a team-best 14 scores.
Add a solid offensive line, and there's very little this offense won't be able to do this season.
The scoring offense for the Broncos was ranked first in the nation last year with 42.2 ppg, and that may have taken a little of attention away from a solid defensive unit. The Broncos finished first in the WAC and 14th nationally in scoring defense (17.1 ppg), and coach Petersen thinks it can only get better given the coaching staff he's got supporting him and the players.
"We're blessed to get Bob Gregory (Nickels/OLBs) back, with his history with us and with our defense, he's as good as a coach as there is out there in the country. For him to come back and be a part of our staff was huge. I think Peter Kwiatkowski, our defensive coordinator...is a heck of a football mind. I've said this earlier, if we're not as good on defense as we've been in the past it's not because of our coaches, its because of some other things."
Everything starts with a defensive line that moves fast and hits hard. Leading the way in the trenches is defensive end Ryan Winterswyk, a two-time First Team All-WAC selection. Winterswyk finished second in the league in both tackles for loss (17) and sacks (nine) last season. Fellow lineman Billy Winn can also cause problems up the field, placing second on the team with six sacks and 12.5 TFLs last year.
The Tech offense was set for a letdown in 2009, as ACC Freshman of the Year, Darren Evans was lost to a knee injury before the season even started. However, Beamer found his savior on the ground in the form of freshman Ryan Williams, who burst on the scene en route to Third-Team All- American honors, racking up 1,655 yards rushing (5.6 ypc) and a whopping 21 TDs. Williams was the workhorse for an offense that managed an impressive 208.2 yards rushing per outing. Not much should change in 2010, as Williams will try to build on his highly successful debut season, while Evans, by all accounts, is ready to return as well. With undoubtedly the best tailback tandem in the country, expect Tech to do what it does best and that is run the football. Williams came into camp this year in phenomenal shape and is chomping at the bit to get going.
"I feel good at 202," said Williams. "I played half the season last season at 195-197, so I feel good with where I'm at. The weight works good for me right now."
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor will once again resume his role under center and while the Hokies don't throw the ball very much, Taylor did complete over 56 percent of his passes last season, for 2,311 yards and 13 TDs, so he is more than willing to air it out when given the opportunity. It certainly helps to have his top six pass catchers back in the fold, headlined by WRs Jarrett Boykin (40 receptions, 835 yards, five TDs) and Danny Coale (30 receptions, 614 yards, three TDs). Taylor will also have the luxury of three returning starters up front, led by right tackle Blake Christopher (6-5, 305), who was All-ACC Honorable Mention in 2009.
There is depth behind Taylor at QB as well and Beamer has confidence that both redshirt freshman Logan Thomas and redshirt sophomore Ju-Ju Clayton will be up to the challenge if called upon this year.
"We're fortunate to have two quality back ups at quarterback, both of whom are at a stage that they can go in and win a game for us."
It is expected year-in and year-out that Virginia Tech is going to put a stingy defense on the field and 2009 was no different, limiting foes to a mere 15.6 ppg, on 295.5 yards of total offense. The 2010 version returns just five starters, but talent abounds on this side of the football in Blacksburg and there is little doubt that Beamer will find the right additions to once again put an elite stop unit on the field. Mass defections along the line is a reason for some concern and someone will need to step up and make plays upfield. The linebacking corps has some losses as well, but the unit should hold its own, led by junior ILB Barquell Rivers, who finished 2009 with 96 tackles (6.5 TFLs). The secondary lost some talent too, but the hope is that seniors like CB Rashad Carmichael and S Davon Morgan can lead by example. Carmichael is regarded as one of the ACC's best cover corners after collecting six INTs in 2009.
This game will probably live up to the hype. Tech is no stranger to big season-openers, following last year's slugfest with national champion Alabama. Still, the changes on the defensive side of the ball couldn't have come at a worse time, as the Hokies' new look defense will be staring down the barrel of the most potent offense in the country. Fireworks are likely to ensue and in the end, Boise State may just pass its toughest road block en route to a national title shot.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 27, Virginia Tech 21
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