60-49 Boise State vs. New Mexico a Game of Big Plays

No basketball season hasn’t yet started but with all the fast breaks in this game it’s hard to believe that the game was decided by big Defensive plays.
While half of Bronco Nation aged by 10 years during this game those of us on the other side of 40 all reach for our heart pills, Nitro any one?
Game was over when with 36 seconds to go Jay Ajayi burst 14 yards for the Bronco’s 3rd TD in the 4th.

Any game that starts out with 2 back to back 75 yard TD plays is one for the record books and last night’s game in Albuquerque was certainly that both good and bad.  A combined total of 1285 yards were put up of which 800+ were already in the books by half time. New Mexico struck like lightening with sprinter like runs of 75, 57,61 add in a kick of return for 65 yard TD and one began to wonder  what our guys did on their bye week and if there was cement in our shoe’s.

Grant Hedrick came up big 4 TD passes & 2 running TD’s . Grant is clearly an athlete with the new information Grant has provided this member of Bronco Nation. I have to take back something I said before in regards to him playing when clearly hurt “knowing this is his last time playing competitive ball Grant is toughing it out.”  I’m not saying Grant is the next Collen Kaepernick , but with how he has played these last 4 weeks it’s hard to say who is actually better and frankly I see too much athleticism in Grant to say he’s done after this season. Too much heart too much speed to much skill. Grant has grown up and my only wish now is we could get another year of this Grant.

 

The greatest asset of the MW is its coaches and when Bob Davie came out of retirement I knew it was only a matter of time before he started to make this New Mexico team a competitive team. In 2012 when his team came charging back in second half I thought Oh no not today. Coach Davie knows how to make his biggest impact on the Alums and recruiting. The Boise State game at this stage means more than any other and clearly being the intelligent man he is he played his card close to the vest during the season just as Coach had held back pieces of the Boise State offense only rolling them out in the games that matter most Nevada, Fresno and BYU. In each of those games we saw something old yet new the Boise State’s offense that was missing during Chris Petersen’s last two years.

Coach Davie launching his Freshmen QB on the biggest of stages for NM was the first sign that everything we had game planned for the night was out the window and it was. Sure NM lined up in what certainly looked to be the triple option but they were attacking the middle as if they were a straight up power run team all the while we played the triple option. Occasionally they ran their triple option attack just to keep the defense in the formations they wanted so they could time and again get their pulling guards and tackles to the second level blocking LB’s and Safeties.

 

While some of Saturday night’s big plays by NM might be chalked up to the bye week rust that would be a mistake. NM runners went untouched it wasn’t poor tackling it was well executed blocking schemes. While many of us in Bronco Nation were to say the least anxious the reality is after the 28 point explosion of the 1st Boise State made the adjustments cutting into a 14 point lead in the second by scoring 21 while only giving up 14. By the time we got in to the end of the 3rd the points went 6-7 NM favor and in the final quarter Boise State crushed the NM dream putting up 19 unanswered points winning 60-49.

 

While the stars at first seemed to favor NM it was only a matter of time before going for it on 4th down ever time was going to fail and none bigger then Ben Wallace’s tackle of Lamar Jordan early in the 4th on a 4th and 6. Certainly Kamalei Correa’s Block punt on NM first second half possession   probably sealed in Davies mind he wouldn’t be kicking anymore on 4th and less than 10 at midfield and he didn’t.

Chanceller James coming in for departed Jeremy Ioane and Dylan Summer-Gardner presumably because of injury. Chanceller’s play in the 4th quarter was big as was the entire Defense. While in the first half the offense kept Boise State in the game in the second half it was the Defense and special teams holding things together until the offense got back on track.

 

Going forward my concerns about Wyoming being a trap game are no more as it turns out NM was the trap game and the fact that this team and coaching staff kept things together where so many lessor teams would just have caved speaks to the true nature and heart of what Boise State is becoming. There will be no upsets the lesson was learned against Air Force and the lesson was put into practice in Albuquerque.  This very young team has a ton of potential and this season is preparing them the way 2007 did the undefeated team’s of 2008 and 09. They however have opportunities the 2007 team didn’t they have a conference Championship game to play for and possibly a New Year’s Bowl birth and that means this team has a chance to leave a very special place in Boise State history!

 

A closing word for the fan bases of both teams fan bases.

First to New Mexico I was disappointed in how empty your stadium was to start the game and certainly many found their way from their couches to the stadium by half time. Let’s be clear Bob Davies is a hell of a coach and he will build a team there and is; but you need to show up! For the first time in my memory your team has been competitive in all but one game this years and that sure was some fine football played last night they deserve your support.

Bronco Nation most I know, though grabbing at our chest much last night revel in the victory specially in a record breaker and test as last night’s game was. Keep in mind it wasn’t long ago the odd makers would have had that game at a 35 point spread not 17 and that is testament to the quality football New Mexico is playing. Certainly expectations are one thing but this is a team sport and there just about isn’t any lay ups in the MW anymore every game is going to be a scrap, revel in that it’s a good thing. The wins are more precious and thrilling and if you didn’t find last night’s game thrilling and if it didn’t hold you to the last play well then maybe you should reconsider just what you want out of life.

 

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