Attack The Opponent: San Jose State Spartans
The Broncos are not a perfect team. We’ve known it for weeks. Did they have enough magic to win close for 12 games? Nope, sure didn’t. We learned that for sure as the ball bounced out of the back of the end zone at Wyoming for a freaking safety. So, no undefeated, season. How can we be expected to go on? Might as well just cancel the rest of the schedule and start leaving voice mails for the Big Sky.
Oh wait, it’s college football and this is the year where Chaos has reigned. We’re gonna be okay, Broncos, and there is nothing more soothing than a beatdown. If the Broncos can resist the urge to self-destruct, this season could still end up pretty special. Next up on the gauntlet – San Jose State.
SJSU has had a couple really good recruiting classes for 2014 and 2015, and the fruits of those classes should be seen on the field this season and going forward. But, the Spartans are acting like their typical selves and are 3-6 on the season, and are going to have to beat Boise, Air Force, and Fresno in order to get bowl eligible. Their plan seems to be going 1-0 every week from here on out, according to a postgame interview by QB Kenny Potter. One would hope they wouldn’t hang their hopes on the execution of that plan, judging by their record, but the undefeated are really the only ones that can throw stones.
So, while the fringe of crazy on Bronco Nation dodges chunks of falling sky, let’s look at the reality of things.
The only real statistical difference between the rest of Boise’s season and what happened in Laramie on Saturday night is the fact that Wyoming had 0 yards lost on penalties. Anyone who watched that game will not tell you that Wyoming played perfect football, but it was close enough to it to be able to win. Good on ya, Cowboys. Was a helluva game. See ya on the Blue next season. Was it a Bronco meltdown? Theories abound. I said last week that Boise State would have to trip over themselves in order for Wyoming to beat them. Sometimes, tripping isn’t crashing through a plate glass door, its just stubbing your damn toe. That last series, when Wyoming’s defenders were getting so much penetration in to the backfield and Boise’s receivers weren’t getting open in time, was like stepping on a goathead. A safety out of the back of the end zone was like tripping over a chair. Not a mortal wound, but just enough to put a close game over the top. Wyoming brought it – they were well prepared defensively and have a very talented running back. They had the most balanced offensive attack that Boise has seen yet. Add in Boise’s propensity to start with poor field position due to return game woes (h/t @orngandblu) and its enough to cause a loss.
SJSU does not seem likely to be able to replicate Wyoming’s performance from this weekend, even if they have improved from previous years. They’re underachieving, and the only opponent they’ve played that is even in the same neighborhood as Boise is Utah. Utah was playing with a vanilla offense and still beat the Spartans handily. They’re capable of putting up serious yardage on bad defenses, but Boise doesn’t have one of those. The Broncos D might not be perfect, but they’re not as bad as Portland State or UNLV. So as long as Boise State stays true to their version of that going 1-0 each week thing and maintain a consistent level of play, SJSU should not be much of an issue.
Bronco Nation could really use a blowout about now to soothe their bruised blue hearts. Pretty sure the players could as well. There is still a chance for Boise to tie in the Mtn Division and play for the Championship, and anything over that will be a bonus. Western Michigan could lose a game and Boise State is right back in the NYE discussion like happened in 2013. Worst case scenario: play in a no-name bowl against a middling opponent, and prepare for the 2017 revenge tour. The Chaos monster does not play favorites, and the Broncos got bitten in Laramie. It’s about time there was some parity in the Mountain West, so it’s time to enjoy the fact that these games at the end of the season are meaningful in new ways. Will the Spartans beat BSU? Probably not. But they’ll try like hell and have improved talent for the battle. Bring it, SJSU. See you Friday night.