Boise State 55, Hawaii 0
The Boise State football team crushed Hawaii 55-0 on Saturday night at Albertsons Stadium for its 17th straight home victory.
The Broncos got another electric performance from true freshman quarterback Brett Rypien, who took frequent deep shots on his way to 271 passing yards and three touchdowns. He has six touchdown passes and no interceptions since beginning his college career in the second half two weeks ago against Idaho State.
With Rypien at the helm, the Broncos (4-1 overall, 1-0 Mountain West) have outscored opponents 135-14 in about 10 quarters and moved back into the conversation for the Top 25 and a New Year's Six bowl berth.
“He’s a poised quarterback,” junior wide receiver Chaz Anderson said. “He’s a leader, and having him at the head of our offense is fun to say the least.”
Rypien has received plenty of help from a dominant defense. The Broncos posted their second straight home shutout for the first time since 1986 and haven't allowed an offensive touchdown at home this season. They have multiple shutouts for the first time since 2010 (three).
“It’s been fun,” senior cornerback Donte Deayon said. “We’ve been preaching on how early in the season we were a couple of plays away from being a dominant defense, a couple plays away from doing what we came out to do.”
Hawaii (2-3, 0-1) was anemic on offense for the third straight trip to the mainland — all shutout losses. Quarterback Max Wittek was taken out with a knee injury after going 7-for-24 for 66 yards with two interceptions in the first half.
Boise State led 49-0 at halftime — a much different start than Hawaii's previous road trips, when they were only down 14-0 at Ohio State and Wisconsin.
The Broncos scored 35 points in the second quarter and led by 49 at the half for the first time since the 2007 season opener against Weber State. They have scored 50-plus points in three straight games for the first time since 2004 (2003, if you only count points scored in regulation) and 52-plus for the first time since 2002.
The Broncos have won the turnover battle 10-0 over the past three games.
Boise State plays at Colorado State next Saturday.
Great team win!!! Great way to start off conference now on to the next one! #beatcoloradostate— Mario Yakoo (@Bigm66Mario) October 4, 2015
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Coach Bryan Harsin
— On the game: “Hat’s off to the defense. ... I thought they played physical tonight, I thought they played fast, I thought they competed. And it showed up. Hawaii had potential to put points on the board and we didn’t give them that opportunity.”
— On the backups: “In the second half we got some new guys in there. I wasn’t real happy with that. These guys that have opportunities to come in there and play t hat are in backup positions, we need to play better. ... We have a long way to go in that regard and we should have been better with certain guys in there. We’ll work on that.”
— On true freshman wide receiver Akilian Butler’s TD: “We had a package for him and he took advantage of it. That’s nice to see.”
— On the deep passing game: “It’s always part of the plan to try to take a shot if we can. We just hit them. That was the difference tonight. The easiest way to get the big chunk yards is to take a shot.”
— On the 21-yard TD pass from Rypien to wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck: “The one he threw to Sperbeck, that was actually designed to go to (tight end) Jake Roh. The safety played it a little bit different. Brett turned around and just whipped it and put it in that pie hole in the back of the end zone and Sperbeck made an unbelievable catch. It wasn’t the primary throw that we wanted, but it was an option and he took it and we got a big play out of it. That's something about Brett I was really excited about.”
— On Rypien: “He’s being stingy with the football, which is what you want. He understands the way our defense is playing and the way our special teams are showing improvement, we don’t have to win on every throw. If it’s there, he’ll take advantage of it.”
— On holding Hawaii quarterbacks Max Wittek and Ikaika Woolsey to 11-for-38 passing for 88 yards with three interceptions and one sack. “We moved the quarterback,” Harsin said. “We didn’t let him sit there and pick us apart. They missed a couple throws that were open. I think the pressure and making that guy slide, step and throw is what caused the inaccuracy. ... Our guys played really confident in the back end. Whether it was man or zone they were right there taking away those throwing lanes.”
— On six players scoring touchdowns: “You love that because those guys want to score. You like to have multiple guys get in the end zone. That means you’re scoring a lot. Those guys work hard, too. ... (Jeremy McNichols’) productivity up to this point has opened it up to other guys. They look at (No.) 13, ‘That’s the guy that’s scoring, let’s stop him.’ Now you’ve got X, Y and Z and those guys are having chances to get in the end zone. It goes back and forth. That’s where you get your balance.”
— On bouncing back from the BYU loss: “A lot of good has come from it. It’s a mentality that we don’t want that to happen again. We may lose a football game but we don’t want to lose it in a way where we’re not competing on a play. Guys still make plays. If we give them a play, that’s different.”
— Harsin challenged the non-fumble call in the fourth quarter leading 52-0 because several players told him the ball was out before the runner was down. The officials then told him the call would be reviewed by the booth and he didn’t need to use a timeout, he said.
Darian Thompson, safety
— On the defensive success lately: “It just shows us that when we talk about being dominant, it’s possible.”
— On the interception competition with cornerback Donte Deayon: “It seems like when I get one, he gets one. ... Last week he had to thank me because I gave him one (on a breakup).”
Donte Deayon, cornerback
— On defense’s success: “It’s been fun. We’ve been preaching on how early in the season we were a couple of plays away from being a dominant defense, a couple plays away from doing what we came out to do.”
— On the interception race with Thompson: “If he finishes ahead, I’m fine with that, but I’m going to go out there and he’s going to get a run for his money.”
— On one of his missed interceptions: “I tried to attack it. I didn’t know the ball was coming at 100 miles an hour. It kind of surprised me a little bit.”
I keep trying to tell y'all that my man @AyoItsND is one of the top in the country..— Jason David (@JASonAWD) October 4, 2015
Chaz Anderson, wide receiver
— On why throwing deep was effective: “They were playing a lot of man. They would throw a lot of blitzes our way and that left the back end kind of isolated.”
— On the offense: “We came into the season thinking we were going to be a high-volume offense and for it to be all coming together over time is fantastic.”
Eliah Drinkwitz, offensive coordinator
— On the deep passing game: “It wasn’t anything other than Brett saw it. We go through progressions and we always have deep throws on most of our concepts and he was able to see them and go for them and made great decisions and made good throws.”
— On why Rypien’s deep throws have been so good so quickly: “He’s been here since spring. He’s had a lot of time. He worked hard this summer with those guys. He’s gotten a lot of reps. That’s a benefit of the competition going as long as it did. That’s continued to show up.”
— “The biggest storyline should be that this is the third game in a row that we haven’t had a turnover.”
— On Rypien: “He hasn’t faced a lot of pressure yet as far as our defense is playing so well that he can kind of relax and let the game come to him.”
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BSU— Chaz Anderson 54 pass from Brett Rypien (Tyler Rausa kick), 10:25. Key play: The touchdown came on Rypien’s first pass of the game. The Broncos called four runs and Rypien scrambled on the first five plays. Drive: 1 play, 54 yards, :08. Boise State 7, Hawaii 0
BSU— Jeremy McNichols 13 run (Rausa kick), 5:11. Key plays: Wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes broke a tackle to gain 13 yards on third-and-7 and zipped 24 yards down the sideline on a lateral. Drive: 6 plays, 65 yards, 2:00. Boise State 14, Hawaii 0
BSU— Thomas Sperbeck 21pass from Rypien (Rausa kick), 14:36. Key plays: Rypien nearly hit Anderson on another deep ball but the play drew pass interference instead. Anderson gained 14 yards on a second-and-15 reception and McNichols converted third-and-1 with a run. Drive: 6 plays, 61 yards, 2:29. Boise State 21, Hawaii 0
BSU— Holden Huff 24 pass from Rypien (Rausa kick), 9:44. Key plays: Rypien fired a perfect deep ball to Sperbeck for 51 yards but the Broncos stalled and were going to try a field goal on fourth-and-5. Hawaii jumped offside, so Boise State sent the offense back on the field. Rypien faked a fumbled snap and threw to a wide-open Huff. Drive: 5 plays, 84 yards, 2:15. Boise State 28, Hawaii 0
BSU— Akilian Butler 10 run (Rausa kick), 6:46. Key play: Safety Darian Thompson made an interception at the Hawaii 12-yard line. Drive: 2 plays, 12 yards, :35. Boise State 35, Hawaii 0
BSU— Kelsey Young 9 run (Rausa kick), 1:59. Key plays: Rypien hit Sperbeck for 7 yards on third-and-4 and tight end Jake Roh for a 15-yard gain on another third-and-4. Drive: 9 plays, 59 yards, 3:33. Boise State 42, Hawaii 0
BSU— McNichols 15 run (Rausa kick), :04. Key plays: Rypien was intercepted but the play was wiped out by a roughing-the-passer penalty. McNichols did the rest — runs of 12 and 15 yards. Drive: 6 plays, 61 yards, :47. Boise State 49, Hawaii 0
BSU— Rausa 23 field goal, 10:08. Key plays: Roh made a 10-yard catch, McNichols added an 11-yard run and Young gained 13 yards on a run. Drive: 13 plays, 67 yards, 4:52. Boise State 52, Hawaii 0
BSU— Rausa 37 field goal, 12:17. Key play: Nickel Mercy Maston forced a fumble and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch recovered at the Hawaii 19-yard line. Drive: 4 plays, 0 yards, 1:51. Boise State 55, Hawaii 0
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First quarter: Boise State’s defense thoroughly dominated Hawaii’s offense, limiting the Rainbow Warriors to 31 yards and two first downs (one on a penalty). The offense scored twice, on a 54-yard strike from true freshman quarterback Brett Rypien to junior wide receiver Chaz Anderson on the first play of a drive and a 13-yard run by sophomore tailback Jeremy McNichols. In-game analysis: Rypien continued to impress. He nearly hit a second deep ball that drew a pass interference flag. The Broncos’ front seven was outstanding, allowing just 5 rushing yards. And senior safety Darian Thompson likely impressed the NFL scouts in attendance with some physical, open-field tackling.
Second quarter: The Broncos’ offense hit its stride with 35 points. Wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck made a toe-dragging TD catch in the corner of the end zone, tight end Holden Huff was wide open on a fake-fumble play, Thompson set up an easy score with an interception, backup tailback Kelsey Young dominated one drive and McNichols sneaked into the end zone with 4 seconds left on what likely was going to be the Broncos’ last offensive play of the half. In-game analysis: The Broncos’ game plan seemed to be to soften the Warriors with the run game and screen game, then hit them over the top with deep balls repeatedly. And Rypien’s precision passing allowed that plan to work. The defense dominated against the run again and QB Max Wittek’s inaccuracy led to a string of brief possessions. Halftime stats: Boise State outgained Hawaii 399-107 and had a 21-6 edge in first downs. Rypien was 13-for-18 for 232 yards and three TDs for a rating of 235.5. McNichols rushed 18 times for 97 yards and two TDs. Anderson set career highs with four catches for 92 yards. Wittek was 7-for-24 for 66 yards with two interceptions.
Third quarter: Rypien led a drive to a field goal early in the quarter and then the Broncos took their foot off the gas. In-game analysis: Feels like old times, with a completely meaningless second half at home. Now the question is whether the second team can protect the shutout.
Fourth quarter: The Broncos’ backups were only able to score three points.
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WR Rick Smith dismissed
Wide receiver Rick Smith has been dismissed from the Boise State football team, the school announced Saturday, ending one of the strangest careers in program history.
“Team rules. Simple as that,” coach Bryan Harsin said.
Smith, a former starter at Arizona State, transferred to Boise State in 2014 and was the Offensive Scout Player of the Year. He was injured in a locker room fight in February 2015 and left the program for the rest of the semester.
Smith returned to the team this summer but never played in a game. Harsin and other coaches indicated during the summer that Smith would be a contributor this season.
Boise State senior tailback Jack Fields wasn’t charged in the locker room incident. Smith and his family were “the deciding factor” in that decision, Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Roger Bourne said at the time. Smith’s head hit the floor during the fight and he was knocked unconscious, according to Boise Police records.
Cool play succeeds
Boise State scored a touchdown Saturday against Hawaii on one of its old tricks, a fake fumbled snap. Quarterback Brett Rypien took the snap, reached the ball toward the ground like he was trying to pick it up and bought time while tight end Holden Huff released unnoticed. Rypien tossed a pass to Huff for an easy, 24-yard touchdown.
The linemen yell fumble to help with the misdirection.
“Holden’s been asking for a cool play that he could be in on,” Harsin said, “and I thought that was about as cool as it gets.”
Quite a half
Boise State led Hawaii 49-0 at halftime Saturday night at Albertsons Stadium. It was the Broncos’ first 49-point halftime lead since the 2007 season opener against Weber State (also 49-0).
Deayon and Thompson strike again
Boise State senior cornerback Donte Deayon grabbed his 17th career interception, and his fourth already this season, in the first quarter.
Senior safety Darian Thompson matched him with his 17th in the second quarter.
They are one behind the Mountain West record of 18 set by Eric Weddle at Utah. They also are one off the FBS-era Boise State career record of 18 set by cornerback Gabe Franklin (2001-04).
Deayon’s career high is six interceptions in a season, accomplished in 2013 and 2014.
What a start
— Boise State true freshman quarterback Brett Rypien’s first pass as a starter at Albertsons Stadium was a 54-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Chaz Anderson.
— True freshman wide receiver Akilian Butler’s first college touch was a touchdown. He dove to the pylon on an end-around for a 10-yard score.
Boise State wore gray pants and jerseys, blue helmets and pink accents in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Tami Wilkinson, the wife of director of football operations Brad Wilkinson, was honored at halftime and welcomed to the field by the team. Tami received her final radiation treatment for breast cancer during the week. ... The single-game captains were kicker Tyler Rausa and defensive end Kamalei Correa, who is from Honolulu. ... ESPN pushed kickoff back to 8:26 p.m. ... Former Boise State safety and kidney transplant recipient Jeremy Ioane, who is from Hawaii, was an honorary captain for the Broncos. His sister Jasmine, who donated the kidney, also was an honorary captain. ... DT Justin Taimatuia carried the Hammer a week after his pick six. ... Hawaii won the coin toss and took the ball. ... Boise State senior tailback Kelsey Young gained a career-high 69 yards on 12 carries. His previous highs were 48 at Boise State and 52 at Stanford.
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Our coverage plan is a little different this year. I’ll be spending 100 percent of my time on our live/digital coverage of the game — so I’ll be even more active than usual updating this blog and interacting with fans on Facebook and Twitter (@IDS_BroncoBeat).
Late in the game, we’ll be collecting fans’ brief takeaways from the game. We’ll run the best ones in Sunday’s paper and in the blog post with my takeaways from the game. To participate, tweet with the hashtag #bsutake, respond to the Facebook post soliciting opinions or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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