Monday Morning Report Card: Boise State 60, Southern Miss 7

bmurphy@idahostatesman.comSeptember 30, 2013 

Brian Murphy hands out the grades for Boise State’s 60-7 win over Southern Miss.


The offense continues to pile up yards (545) and points (60) with efficiency, particularly in the passing game. Boise State completed 23-of-27 passes, with starting QB Joe Southwick completing 19-of-23 for 268 yards. Seven different receivers had catches, including nine for Shane Williams-Rhodes (59 yards), five for Matt Miller (107 yards) and five for Geraldo Boldewijn (104 yards). The Broncos’ receiving corps has been depleted by injuries with receivers Kirby Moore and Aaron Burks and tight ends Gabe Linehan and Holden Huff missing the game. The injury bug may have bitten the running back group as well as freshman Aaron Baltazar — announced as the starter for the game — had just four carries for 36 yards in the first quarter before leaving the game with an injury. Jay Ajayi had 83 yards, and Jack Fields contributed 46. They will be the top two backs moving forward if Baltazar misses time. If you want to nitpick, there were two fumbles, including one lost fumble, that set up Southern Miss’ lone touchdown. There were also two three-and-outs to start the game before the offense started rolling. Grade: A


The Broncos made some adjustments defensively — and it showed. The biggest change was going to five defensive backs, a move made to get more speed on the field. Southern Miss, which has struggled on offense all year, couldn’t get going against the Broncos. The Golden Eagles had just 266 yards of total offense and turned the ball over three times. Boise State held Southern Miss on 11-of-13 third-down attempts. DE Demarcus Lawrence had a big game with five tackles, including one sack and a forced fumble. Lawrence also got pressure on a pass play that was intercepted by safety Darian Thompson. Ben Weaver — get used to that name — led the Broncos with seven tackles. Darren Lee and Armand Nance also had seven sacks. The only touchdown Southern Miss scored came after a fumble set them up at the Boise State 8. Grade: A


Lawrence did not limit his big plays to defense. He also blocked two field goal attempts. Donte Deayon returned the second one for 40 yards. Kicker Dan Goodale kicked off 11 times and six of them went for touchbacks. Goodale did miss two extra point attempts. It did not matter in this one, but the Broncos may need those points in future games. Grade: B


Coming off a heartbreaking 41-40 loss at Fresno State, the Broncos rebounded with their most complete performance of the season. They pulled off two deceptive offensive plays that both led to touchdowns. The defense made adjustments and played better against yet another spread offense. Work on field goal block yielded results. And the Broncos did it all with another set of injuries. Boise State has a difficult October schedule ahead, but there is little doubt the Broncos are getting better. Grade: A

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