Boise State handles Utah 26-3.
1. Boise State QB Kellen Moore: Despite a fumble and an interception, the Heisman finalist passed for 339 yards and 2 TDs.
2. Boise State WR Austin Pettis: In his final game in a Bronco uniform, the receiver had 12 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown.
3. Boise State RB Doug Martin: He had 147 yards rushing, averaging 8.8 yards per carry and an 84 yards touchdown run.
|Mountain West vs. Pac-10|| Las Vegas
Sam Boyd Stadium
| Dec. 22
The Utah offense has struggled lately and it may take a hit with the loss of QB Jordan Wynn to a shoulder injury. However, the Utes have a capable backup in Terrance Cain, who started 8 games last year and went 7-1 and starting 2 games this year going 2-0. However, he has not faced anything like this Bronco defense and had success. Expect senior RBs Eddie Wide and Matt Asiata to get some carries in hope of controlling the clock and keeping the Ute defense off the field. Cain will have 2 very good receivers to throw to in DeVonte Christopher and Jerome Brooks. Shaky Smithson may also have an impact. The All-American returner is the Ute's third leading receiver.
The Broncos defense is ranked 4th in the country, giving up under 14 points a game. The unit is led by the "scary" defensive line. Billy Winn and Chase Baker are space-eating tackles. Shea McClellin and Ryan Winterswyk will provide pressure off the edge. The Broncos don't do exotic blitzs as much, but that is only because of the powerful defensive line.
The pick: I like Boise State to win this game. It is the last game for Titus Young and Austin Pettis and I think the Broncos will be out to prove that the Nevada game was a fluke.
This pick has been made by bowlseason.yolasite.com and therefore will be correct.
But if you disagree or agree with me send and email to email@example.com saying who you think will win and why and I'll post it....
BS: OK. Let's get it out of the way. Field goals aside, what went wrong in the second half of the Nevada game? Also, will the Broncos be able to get up for their bowl game?
In other words, Nevada played well on offense all game, and their first half could have been much like their second half if they had played more consistently.
That said, what plagued Boise State all game long was missed tackles, dropped passes, and really the first time all season where they didn't own the battle at the .
BS:Offensively, the Broncos have been great this year having the second highest points per game average in the country. Comment on the offense including weapons QB, and WRs Titus Young and Austin Pettis.
Kevan Lee: The Bronco offense just does so many things well. I'd say that they have completed the shift from run-first to pass-first with Kellen Moore at quarterback. This is pretty significant because even during the and days, the Bronco offense went through its run game. Moore and Titus Young and Austin Pettis are so automatic, though, that Boise State moves more effectively when they are the primary focus.
A lot of credit needs to go to the offensive line, too, because they are the ones keeping Kellen Moore clean and allowing time for Pettis and Young to open up downfield. A lot of Boise State's plays take time to develop, and Moore is afforded that time due to great blocking and great play design.
BS:The defense was equally good this year. What has been the key to the improvement from an also very good defense last season? Also, comment on personnel.
Kevan Lee:Boise State's defense has been very good for several years now, but if there was one difference in this year's D compared to Ds of the past it would have to be the defensive line. That group is brutal, and they are deep, and they simply took over games this season. Starting inside with and Chase Baker, those two are space eaters who make their fair share of plays in the backfield. Then outside on the edge are Shea McClellin and Ryan Winterswyk who are just as good rushing the passer as they are against the run. The Broncos barely lose a step when backups come in the game, too.
Last season, Boise State ran a lot of exotic blitzes and formations. Not so much this year. I think that is a testament to the defensive line.
BS:If you had to choose one player to have a breakout game in the bowl game, who would it be?
Kevan Lee: Jamar Taylor has been quietly solid all year opposite Brandyn Thompson at cornerback. He doesn't get a lot of hype because he doesn't get a lot of stats, but he seems due to have a breakout game sooner or later. In fact, Thompson's breakout game - or at least the one where he's remembered most - was in last year's when he won DMVP honors. I could see a similar circumstance for Taylor this bowl season, especially if Utah falls behind and is forced to make plays through the air.
Thanks a lot to Kevan Lee. Check him out at obnug.com .
Michael Rueckert, of mwcconnection.com was nice enough to answer some questions about Utah, where he attends college.
BS: The Utes went 10-2 and had a top 5 ranking at one point. How would you rate this season compared to expectations?
Michael Rueckert: It's tough to say. Before the season I expected Utah to go 11-1,
losing to just TCU. My expectations for the team were higher than
most. The offense was returning most players from a Top 25 season in
2009. Expectations were high but If you told the fan base before the
season that the team would go 10-2 and finish in the Top 25, most
would be happy.
The problem is, we were led to believe that this team was much better
than they really are. After the (8-0), Top 5 start with wins over
Pitt and a 68-27 drubbing of Iowa State on the road, fans were led to
believe this team was BCS material. With how potent the offense was
early in the season, statistically Utah was on pace to have their best
team ever. Then reality set in with the back to back blowout losses
to TCU and Notre Dame.
With how the season started, I would say the team fell well below
BS: The offense was led by Quarterback Jordan Wynn. However, he will not play with a shoulder injury. How will the offense cope with his loss and who are backup QB Terrance Cain's top weapons?
Michael Rueckert: Losing Jordan Wynn is a big loss for the team, but Utah probably
has the most proven backup in the country in Terrance Cain. He was
Utah's starter for the first eight games in 2009, going (7-1) with his
only loss to Oregon on the road. He was replaced by Wynn because the
offense was struggling to finish drives.
Jordan Wynn injured his thumb against Pitt in the opener and missed
two games. Terrance Cain led the team to blowout victories over UNLV
and New Mexico when Wynn was out. Cain's numbers are good but he
hasn't really faced quality competition. His only victory over a bowl
team was an overtime victory against Air Force last season.
Cain enters a familiar situation starting and does have plenty of
weapons at his disposal. Utah's offensive line is very good and their
wide receivers are good. Utah's best wide receivers are Jeremy Brooks
and DeVonte Christopher.
Brooks is a small but elusive receiver that is very good in space. He
is a Senior and will want to end his career with a good game.
Christopher is a former quarterback on the team who switched positions
due to his athleticism and speed. He is Utah's big play guy this
season averaging 16.9 yards per catch.
Also watch out for Shaky Smithson. The All American punt returner
broke MWC records and led the nation in punt returns averaging 19.72
yards per return. He is Utah's third leading receiver with 327 yards
on the season.
BS: The defense had yet another very good year. Who are the units key players and how will they try to slow down the potent Boise State offense?
Michael Rueckert: The strength on Utah's defense is on the line. They are very
talented and play two deep at each position. They feel the backups
are just as good as the starters. Utah is constantly rotating fresh
legs onto the defensive line, giving them an advantage. DT Sealver
Siliga is widely considered Utah's best defensive lineman. Senior DE
Christian Cox was named first team all MWC. He has four sacks on the
Utah's secondary is led by lockdown CB Brandon Burton. He is Utah's
best player and will likely be a first or second round draft pick if
he leaves a year early. Other than Burton, the secondary has
struggled this season. They allowed an average of 215.5 yards per
game through the air and 284.6 yards to teams with a winning record.
The linebackers are tough, but lack speed. Chaz Walker is Utah's best
linebacker. He was Second Team All MWC and led the team with 8.58
tackles per game.
BS: If you could choose one player to have a breakout performance in the bowl game, who would it be?
Michael Rueckert: I'd say Reggie Dunn or Dexter Ransom. Each were very talented WR
transfers Utah received this summer. Dunn is a transfer from Compton
C.C.. He came to after Oregon State grew tired of waiting for
him to academically qualify. He joined the team for fall camp, but has
struggled to get touches. He is on of Utah's fastest players and the
team is trying to get him more touches.
Dexter Ransom joined the team after Arizona gave away his scholarship.
He is a big athletic receiver. He joined the team late in fall camp
and took time to learn the playbook and get up to speed with the team.
Now that each of them has nearly a full season of experience, I think
they will get more looks in the bowl game.
Thanks a lot to Michael Rueckert, of mwcconnection.com. Check him out there.
Shane Roberts from theufancast.com also was nice enough to share his thoughts about the Utes.
BS: What is Utah's biggest advantage in this game?
Shane Roberts: Kyle Whittingham is the advantage Utah has. Coach Whitt is undefeated in bowl games and is something like 14-2 when having more than a week to prep for an opponent. Coach Whitt's teams with extra prep time always play their best games and always have new wrinkles. Also the three weeks prior to the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas he has more than enough time to grill into this team that they are 17 point underdogs. This coaching staff, and team, thrive on being the underdog (i.e. Alabama 2009 Sugar Bowl). The more to motivate this team the better they perform.
BS: What is Boise State's biggest advantage in this game?
Shane Roberts:Experience. They are loaded with seniors and experienced players on both sides of the ball. So Utah really can't throw something at them they have never seen before. So Boise will not go into panic mode if Utah jumps out to a lead or does something Boise was not expecting.
BS: What type of game does this have to be for the Utes to win?
Shane Roberts: It has to be a clean game for Utah to win. Over the last 4 weeks of the season Utah hasn't really played a complete 60 minutes without lapses. If Utah takes care of the ball and plays smart, they will be in a great position to win. If they are sloppy with turnovers, mistakes, dropped balls, penalties, etc. Game over Boise blows them out.
BS: Utah wins. Who's MVP?
Shane Roberts:Terrance Cain. The whole game plan is going to be contingent on Cain. He needs to keep the chains moving and get the offense into a groove. Offensively at the skill positions Utah is just as talented as Boise, and maybe even deeper. However, Cain has to get the ball to the play makers on time. Utah's defense should keep Boise within striking distance. Cain is the one player in this game that people need to keep their eyes on. If he is on point and is in a rhythm with the skill players, Utah could be dangerous.
Thanks a lot to Shane Roberts. Check him out at theufancast.com.