The noise leading up to this game wasn’t necessarily ideal. Former OC Tim Plough was fired and three-year starting QB Hank Bachmeier entered the transfer portal. Enter San Diego State, a Mountain West team with a winning record against Boise State (3-4), and it is a perfect storm for a rough game.
No one was expecting any sort of offensive fireworks between the two teams. If there were another team that was indicative of “bad offense” Aztecs is a great example. Though they (and their fans) are used to poor producing offenses.
While the first half was almost “meets standards” regarding San Diego State, the Boise State offense really tried their level best to match it. The second half, a run game renewed and 35 straight points, helped fuel a comeback and give the Broncos some confidence.
The first series for the Broncos started well enough with the Broncos picking up a couple of first downs,the first one a beautiful pass from Taylen Green to Davis Koetter. Unfortunately the series ended on a tipped pass that was intercepted.
The Aztec’s first series was a strange one. Two false starts (yes!), two time outs used (kinda weird but cool). SDSU moved the ball well enough (netting only one first down) but couldn’t punch the ball into the endzone. The Aztecs did settle for a field goal and had the early lead 3-0.
After a three-and-out for the Broncos the Aztecs proceeded to grind down to the goal line. Luckily–for the Broncos–the Aztecs aren’t really that great on offense either so they had to settle for another FG, SDSU up 6-0.
Sam Vidlak did come in for a series for the Broncos but didn’t really do anything of note and the Broncos had to punt away the ball.
Of course, SDSU blocked the punt, recovered it, and returned it for a touchdown and went up 13-0. Essentially an insurmountable lead.
The rest of the half was essentially back and forth terrible offenses. The Boise State crowd did assist the defense with creating five false start penalties for SDSU. You have to hand it to the crowd, they did their part.
To start the second half, the Broncos secondary had an interception off SDSU’s Burmeister’s first throw. This did lead to a two-play touchdown series where Green largely ran unscathed into the endzone to close the gap, 13-7 SDSU.
After a series that put the Broncos behind the chain with a false start penalty, the defense helped Bronco momentum by getting the SDSU QB relentlessly. Agent Zero, JL Skinner, hit Aztec QB Burmeister so hard it knocked Burmeister out of the game and was reviewed for a targeting call. No foul though.
That defensive momentum created some opportunities for the offense to find its groove. Broncos took seven plays to go 67 yards and score to actually pull ahead of SDSU 14-13.
After a listless SDSU offensive series, and seven sacks later for the Broncos’ defense, the offense took control again with the running game and Ashton Jeanty peeled off a 32-yard run for another score putting the Broncos up 21-13.
Another SDSU series saw aggressive play by the Broncos defense and knocked out another QB Lui Aumavae. The Aztecs were on their third stringer, Kyle Crum, to start trying to move the ball.
Up to this point the Aztecs only completed two passes. That’s not great.
The first-half Broncos weren’t… great. But the second half, something in the team flipped.
The Broncos had two 100-yard rushers: George Holani with 131 and Taylen Green with 105. They almost had a third 100-yard rusher with Jeanty at 82 yards, but the coaching staff called off the dogs.
The Broncos had 450 of total offense, the ground game counting for 316.
Once the Broncos hit their momentum and figured out their pieces, they rolled over a, usually, strong San Diego State defense. The feeling of happiness is somewhat foreign this season but an awesome one. Dirk Koetter made some awesome play calls/adjustments for this game and really took the top off.
The Broncos next face off against Fresno State at Albertson’s Stadium.