In front of a stadium that was so sparsely populated it would make BJ Rains blush extra red, the Boise State Broncos met the Memphis Tigers for the first time.
The Broncos and Tigers exchanged possessions before the Broncos ended up getting great field position on Memphis’s side of the field. Unfortunately, what would have been a glorious, wide open TD pass to Callahan (who actually spent a lot of time on offense this game) was knocked out of his hands on 3rd and goal from the 1. The Broncos settled for a field goal.
BSU 3, Memphis 0
Boise State, who had been having difficulty getting things going on the ground, started opening up the passing game in 2Q. Even bringing in Maddux Madsen for a (alleged) pre-planned series, where he immediately immediately completed a 19 yard pass…before going three and out. Shortly after, however, Taylen Green led a scoring drive that included a 59 yard pass to Matt Lauter and was capped by an 8 yard scoring run from Ashton Jeanty.
BSU 10, Memphis 0
A few possessions later, the Broncos put together another scoring drive that included a 37 yard catch by MacAlister and was capped with another rushing score from Ashton Jeanty. WIth the 1 yard TD, he took the active national lead with 10 touchdowns and the Broncos started to look like they were going to have an easy time in the Volunteer State.
BSU 17, Memphis 0
To clarify, it only looked like the Broncos were going to have an easy time. Because then the Tigers started to wake up. a 53 yard completion augmented a four-play drive that got Memphis into the end zone for the first time on a 19 yard scoring pass from Seth Henigan to Roc Taylor.
BSU 17, Memphis 7
The Broncos weren’t able to do much with their ensuing drive, but the Tigers were able to string together an 8-play, 66 yarder that ended with another score. A five yard rush from Blake Watson.
BSU 17, Memphis 14
Both teams came out and failed to get anything going on their first few possessions in the second half. As one announcer put it “A bit of a punting competition breaking out here”. Which, as we all know, would be unfair. Obviously. Boise Boise State has the field-flipping phenom himself, James Ferguson-Reynolds. But then…disaster struck for the Broncos. They had a great, little drive going and then got stuck in the Memphis red zone on 4th and 1. They initially kept the offense on the field, but after a timeout, decided to give Dalmas a chance to extend the lead. Instead, the kick was blocked and returned 80 yards for a Memphis TD to take the lead on 21 unanswered points.
Memphis 21, BSU 17
The Tigers decided to prove the comeback wasn’t just a fluky special teams glitch, when they put together a drive early in the 4th quarter. 5 plays for 88 yards. Although, the majority of that came on a 59 TD pass to end the drive. Seth Henigan to Demeer Blakumsee.
Memphis 28, BSU 17
Coach Avalos decided to get tricky and throw Maddux Madsen into the game again. All he did was go ahead and lead an 80 yard scoring drive that ended with a 15-yard pass to Ashton Jeanty for this THIRD touchdown of the day. The Broncos went for two and Cobbs came down with a successful 2-pt conversion.
Memphis 28, BSU 24
The Tigers milked a lot of clock on a 75 yard drive that ate 6 minutes and 45 seconds. It ended on a one-yard TD from Blake Watson, who appeared to fumble at the one millimeter line and Boise State recovered. But, after a review, it wasn’t able to be deemed conclusive enough to be able to overturn the score. It was sooooo close though.
Memphis 35, BSU 24
Boise State got the ball back and Maddux Madsen drove right down the field. A 75-yard drive that ended with ANOTHER Jeanty receiving TD.
Memphis 35, BSU 32
Unfortunately, after a failed onside kick, that would be the end of the scoring for both teams and the Broncos came up short to end their winning streak. But…there are a lot of questions after this loss. The Broncos are undefeated in conference play, so some medium-lofty goals are still a possibility, but what does it mean that the bend-but-don’t-break defense has been breaking a fair amount? And what does it mean for mean for Taylen Green that he was pulled off the field in two, crucial 4th-quarter drives? Drives where Madsen scored twice and traversed 155 yards in a total of 3:53?
I suppose we’re going to find out…