The Boise State football team has two hopes for a big offensive play right now:
▪ Throw deep for senior wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, a future NFL player.
▪ Or let senior backup quarterback Montell Cozart run.
That’s it — and neither will be effective much longer if other Broncos don’t step up to help.
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The Broncos’ anemic attack was on display again Thursday night against New Mexico at Albertsons Stadium, where they picked up their second win in three games 28-14 largely thanks to defense and special teams.
But that recipe will only carry this team so far — and likely won’t be enough to beat San Diego State, the Mountain West favorite.
The Broncos didn’t crack the 200-yard mark on offense until the fourth quarter. Only two of their touchdown drives started on their own side of the field — and that’s happened just four times all season, twice on the scripted opening drive. The other TDs were set up by the other two phases. Cozart was the team’s leading rusher for the second straight game — and this was the fifth straight game that the Broncos have failed to record a 100-yard rusher. That type of drought hasn’t happened since 2008.
None of the running backs — not highly regarded sophomore Alexander Mattison, who looked tentative Thursday, nor senior Ryan Wolpin, a coaches’ favorite — have shown the ability to break tackles and create big gains. None of the wide receivers except Wilson possess dynamic running ability with the ball in their hands.
At least senior tight end Jake Roh has stepped up with four touchdowns this season (three on Thursday) in the red zone, where his talent is desperately needed, but he’s not a game-breaker in the open field.
The good news for the Broncos: They have time to develop some playmakers. Virginia next week is a struggling team that Boise State might be able to beat with defense and special teams. The bye week comes after that.
But the ominous side: There isn’t a player who has shown in a game that he’s on the verge of filling this void. Well, maybe punt returner Avery Williams, but he plays defense.
Each week, we’ll have an immediate, brief analysis of the Boise State football team’s game. Check IdahoStatesman.com for more coverage tonight and tomorrow.
Nate LeMoine: I honestly have no idea what it wrong with this team, but something is wrong. Our D is the real deal though. If we had an average O and this D, we’d have a great year.
Adriana Madsen: Harsin just managed to win a division game with his second string quarterback. His defense and special teams are playing great. We have to be patient while he gets his young offensive line up to speed. That way the running game will start clicking and they will give Rypien more pass protection.
Michael Hicks: The talent is there. The development and attention to detail is not. I can’t fault the players too much though, they’re only as good as their leadership/coaching is. Hopefully things will come together and the offense learns some tenacity from watching the defense. Unfortunately right now the parts are greater than the sum.
Shayne Bryant: The offense shined in a few drives and had no turnovers... Defense figured out the option after the first few drives and got some turnovers... This year almost matches last year’s total turnovers. Special teams motivated the offense for a drive that sealed up the game...
Tim Yates: Let’s be honest, in order to get our house packed, we need to be in a real conference. I guarantee if we are playing Washington, Oregon, UCLA, heck even OSU, the place is packed. Sorry but the likes of New Mexico, San Jose State etc. will never drive excitement no matter how good or bad we are!!!