As an optimistic Boise State football fan, I rarely dwell on the negative. However, this season in several games, the offensive play calling has been puzzling.
This was never more evident than in the Air Force game. It was apparent from the beginning that the intention of the Air Force defensive coordinator was to stop the run with the majority of the linemen positioned in the middle.
With the exception of an early score, it worked. With repeated plays called to go up the middle and the frequent wasted downs and third-and-long plays, it created many three-and-outs. This resulted in many long pass plays.
A completed pass play of 40 or 50 yards is a beautiful thing, but consistent pass plays of 5 yards or more move the chains and create other options.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Idaho Statesman
There was a coach named Bill Walsh (San Francisco 49ers) who taught the NFL that you could 5-yard-pass a team to death and be successful.
No adjustments were made at halftime. Perhaps it is time to install a full-time offensive coordinator as has been the tradition in past successful years.
A concerned fan.
Orrin Tuttle, Boise
Congrats to the knothead who kept calling the Jeremy McNichols up-the-middle play for BSU.
Everyone knows that’s the play two out of three times. They should have had three more touchdowns in the Air Force game. But no, had to keep calling that same stupid play.
And BSU’s last possession, fourth down, a quarterback sneak? It’s the same up-the-middle mentality except with a different ball carrier and the same stupid result.
The whole width of the field was there to use to get 1 yard. There are more plays in the playbook, but you wouldn’t know it with BSU.
Yes, the guys played better in the fourth quarter, but that one repeated sorry play killed them. What happened to the old play calling? Plays used to be mixed up, unpredictable, with a trick thrown in now and then.
It used to be fun, interesting and challenging to watch a game.
But anymore, it’s up the middle twice, fail twice, so better pass — geez, no surprise there.
I’m sad for the players to have their great season end in such a stupid way. Hopefully, next year this single-mindedness with one play will change.
Leah Shaw, Boise
Bryan Harsin is in over his head. Why was there not a nationwide search for a coach when Pete left? Why was Harsin handed the job? What had he done to deserve being given the job as head coach?
The product on the field the past two seasons is simply not acceptable. How much worse does it have to get before the press and the Broncos athletic director put the blame where it belongs?
We are a mediocre football program living off Coach Pete’s success.
Hollis Bilbrey, Boise
Another disappointing end to Boise State football. I wish the people who keep ranking us in the Top 25 would stop because we do not deserve it anymore. We have become just another average football team.
I think the Idaho Vandals could beat the Broncos; maybe four out of 10 times now. Every year we lose to below-average Mountain West teams: Utah State, New Mexico, San Diego State, and we lose consistently to Air Force.
If anybody cares, Air Force is the smallest team of all the FBS teams. They have to be within Air Force weight standards when they graduate. Most of the Air Force players have zero chance of playing in the NFL.
Why do they keep beating Bronco football teams? They are better coached in football fundamentals, like the Broncos used to be, and they have more fighting spirit, like the Broncos used to have.
It is sad to see a once-great football program become another average team, never winning championships.
Craig Christon, Marysville, Wash.
Having watched Boise State football since the school was called Boise Junior College, I believe I recognize a competent football coach when I see one.
Coach Harsin is not a competent head coach.
I realize it may sound ridiculous to be critical of a football team that is 10-2 this season. However, with a bit of imaginative play calling, we could have been undefeated and in the Cotton Bowl. Bronco Nation experiences high-cost, late-night games.
We expect, at the very least, four full quarters of exciting and imaginative football. That is what built this program. The offense has become stale and predicable. Coach Harsin and his coaches are great recruiters, and the talent is sufficient to produce a Mountain West champion every year.
The blue collar work ethic and mystique have vanished from this program. Mountain West teams have lost their fear of BSU football.
The inability to stop the triple option is inexcusable. The highly touted O-line does protect a not-so-mobile quarterback but fails to open many running lanes for a decent, overworked running back.
Mountain West teams and fans have BSU scouted so well that we all know the next play call. The first two plays are No. 13 up the middle for short gains, then 30-40 yard incomplete sideline passes.
The concept of working down the field for first downs seems to never cross the coaches’ minds. It’s all or nothing.
Coach Harsin, don’t leave. Learn.
Dan Dunne, Eagle