…or something like that. That might not really fit the chant. Maybe it’s more of a Winning Team! Loosing Team! type of cheer tonight in Boise. At the end of the day, none of that matters. What does matter is the Bronco’s are bowl eligible for the 26th year in a row, and Spencer Danielson is 1-0 in charge of the Broncos.
The Broncos didn’t start firing on all cylinders until the start of the second quarter. Both teams traded punts to start the game, and then did the same again. The Broncos punted for a third time, but then Utah State QB Cooper Legas found Jalen Royals for a 57-yard pitch and catch that ended with Royals in the end zone. Luckily for the Broncos, that would be the only time that Legas, Royals, or any Aggie for that matter, would find the end zone all night. They would tack on a field goal to start the second quarter, but then the Broncos stopped spinning the tires and took off.
George Holani went 75 yards on the first play from scrimmage for the Broncos in the second quarter, putting the Broncos on the board at 10-7. The Aggies would cough the ball up on their first play of their drive, and Taylen Green waisted no time. Green found Matt Lauter for a 26-yard score, and the Broncos never looked back. The Bronco Defense stepped up big time in the second quarter. They forced a turnover on downs, and then the two headed monster of Holani and the returning Ashton Jeanty took over. The two backs both had two touches on a four play, 79 yard drive, capped by a 33 yard Holani touchdown run. The Defense forced yet another turnover, this time a fumble by backup QB McCae Hillstead (Legas was taken out of the game with an apparent injury). Four plays and 25 yards later, Green found Lauter again for a two yard touchdown, giving the Broncos a 28-10 lead. A quick three-and-out later, the Broncos got the ball back and capped off an astonishing 31-point second quarter to take a 31-10 lead into the locker room.
The Broncos came out in the second half with the same energy, holding the Aggies to a punt before a long seven play, 71 yard drive was capped with Jeanty making his return to the end zone after a two week stretch. Rodney Robinson added a pick in the fourth quarter, and freshman Jambres “Breezy” Dubar punched in a touchdown from 10 yards out to make it 45-10, where the game would end.
This game was a lot to process. For the first time in a while, the Broncos looked good. The shaky first quarter aside, Boise’s Defense stepped up to play, recording nine sacks, the most in BSU’s FBS era. Ty Benefield and Ahmed Hassanein both grabbed two sacks and two and a half tackles for loss, and the Broncos forced four turnovers, as well as three turnover on downs. The offense wasn’t too bad either, putting up a season-high 45 points. I mean, they finished with 352 yards on the ground, with Holani leading the way with 178 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.
The Bronco’s looked like they were fired up. They played their hears out for Interim Head Coach Spencer Danielson. It really feels like this team has turned a corner. They are together, they believe in the long term, and they still have it all to play for. UNLV beating Air Force earlier means that the Bronco’s best shot at the Mountain West Championship relies on Fresno State dropping one of their two remaining games, combined with a Bronco win on senior day on the Blue on Saturday. If all goes to plan, the Broncos can take this season and build something incredible going forward, and I think that, if that happens, we will all look back on tonight as the night that started it all.