Visualizing the Broncos: Washington State

In the end, the Cougar Faithful rushed the field. If we knew nothing but that and the final score (47-44) about what happened on Saturday night, that would tell us enough.

The game in Pullman was incredible. 3 OT’s. 4 quarterbacks, 7 turnovers, and the always calm and collected Rod Gilmore trying not to have a #Pac12AfterDark freakout. So, the Broncos didn’t come away from this one victorious. Also, yes, they did blow a big lead to WSU. But the Cougars are the real deal, and will compete for at the very least, the P12 North. This might just be the greatest unicorn of all – a quality loss.

Until late in the game, Boise’s oppressive defense did not allow an offensive TD. Wazzu put up 433 yards through the air, which has blown the averages for national rankings this early, but watch out. The Broncos, while young and not without stuff to improve on, have an amazing defense. LB Leighton Vander-Esch and his 16 tackles and two sacks vs WSU. SIXTEEN TACKLES!

What about the offense? Well, we still don’t know for sure. Brett Rypien took two monster hits early in the game, and the Cozart show began. They were successful at moving the ball, all parts of the offense were utilized, and at times, they looked incredible. At other times, they looked as if they were more suited to playing at the Dome That Shall Not Be Named, 9 miles to the east. But they’re getting better. The data says so.

 

Boise was more accurate vs. WSU than they were vs. Troy, by a lot. More yards, less attempts, the same 19 completions.

 

It’s not just through the air. The run game was stronger too. (Yes, I realize there were 3 OT’s here so Boise had more time for more yardage. To play in the same ball park with two wildly different opponents feels like its more about Boise and less about who they’re playing. How long has it been since THAT has been a thing?)

So, onward. This week is a short turnaround – on Thursday night, New Mexico will be on the Blue. Sure, they lost last week to New Mexico State after coming back from 25 down at the start of the fourth quarter to get within 2. Their offense has awakened, and now the Lobos are pissed because losing to in-state rival.

Nah. That’s not scary at all. Right, Hars?

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