Saturdays are for the Broncos
Saturday was just one of those days where it all felt correct. It wasn’t a sellout, and that was obvious from the (sparse) population of the parking lot a few short hours before kick. The thing was, the Bronco faithful that were able to come were the diehards. Even tailgating had the intensity turned up. You could just feel that it was one of those days that would be really fun.
Look at those faces. They were ready.
So was Bronco Nation.
— Blue Turf Nation (@TheBTN) December 3, 2017
This game, despite being low scoring, was never boring. Boise State was putting points on the board fairly effectively in the second quarter, once Mattison got them started on a gorgeous direct snap play.
The Bulldogs punched right back though.
Right then, you could tell the fight would really be on. Nobody thought Fresno would lay down, but maybe it was possible that they would get shellshocked and slowed up enough to get ahead by 2 scores.
The third quarter was like a slog through mud. After a doinked FG to start us off, it was basically a punt-a-thon for field position until just after the start of the fourth quarter, with Fresno leading the whole time. Then? That ol’ magic. ✨
Would you like some Rypien to Cedrick F. Wilson on a deep route that Ced suggested? We’ve got that.
Cedrick Wilson with nice grab. Unassuming, still just doing his thing. pic.twitter.com/OQPiLakjcq
— FranchiseKF (@FranchiseKF) December 3, 2017
This touchdown drive was incredible in its huge amounts of heart. That heave above was 59 yards out of the 90 (95 if you don’t count the penalty) yards this thing had to go. He tripped at the Bronco head and WENT ANOTHER FIFTEEN YARDS!!
Another thing that might have been missed was the absolutely MASSIVE block that Ryan Wolpin laid on some poor Bulldog defender. We’re basically down to him in The Stable, and the man blocks a dude twice his size to protect Ryp for another .5 seconds that allowed that play to work.
Oh man, he was rewarded richly too. Because when it came time to grab a lead with not much time left on the clock, Wolpin did this:
It’s hard to explain what the stadium was like in that moment. It just exploded in sheer joy. We had been screaming pretty much non-stop for like, four hours at this point, and it was a mess of strangers hugging and high-fiving and grinning from the relief of seeing the Broncos get a go ahead lead just when it felt like time was running out.
But it wasn’t over.
The universe has a way of reminding Boise that even though we are an offense loving group, its defense that wins championships. After an incredible performance by the defense as a whole, pretty much all game, how perfect was it for their leader, Leighton Vander Esch to be the one to deliver the message?
— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) December 3, 2017
Your Mountain West Football Champion Boise State Broncos
Jumping around in the stands on aching legs, screaming hoarsely into the night as the fireworks exploded and fellow fans rushed the field was an incredible feeling, and the 24,515 that came to watch got to see it IRL. There is no feeling in the entire world like watching and cheering while these guys realize their goals, and getting to share in that elation.
.@JKurtz_MWN chats with @BroncoSportsFB LB Leighton Vander Esch (@vanderesch38) during the post-game awards ceremony of the 2017 @MountainWest Football Championship Game. #mwfb pic.twitter.com/hAqVvWyEhc
— Mountain West (@MountainWest) December 3, 2017
Soak it in guys. You weren’t supposed to do this so soon, and yet here you are. MWC Champs. Top 25 finish. More heart and guts than just about anybody in the country. Going to need everything learned this season to realize that final goal – winning the Vegas Bowl. Oregon awaits. It’s #DuckSZN.