Bronco Beat

BSU Takes: QB Brett Rypien’s play matches hype in surprise debut

It’s Week 3 of our new feature: BSU Takes.

After each game, I post my top takeaways. During the game, I solicit takeaways from fans on Twitter and Facebook. We’ll run a select few — and a shorter version of my story — in the newspaper. But the full version will always be in the Bronco Beat blog with many contributions from fans.

Boise State smashed Idaho State 52-0 on Friday night but lost quarterback Ryan Finley to injury. You can find our comprehensive, multimedia coverage of the game here and Dave Southorn’s traditional game story here.


1. The future arrives early. It’s rare for a hyped prospect to meet or exceed expectations in his first college appearance, but that’s exactly what true freshman quarterback Brett Rypien did Friday night. He was 8-for-9 for 126 yards with a ridiculous rating of 206.5, by far the best by a Bronco quarterback this year. The only incompletion was a wise throwaway near the goal line. He ran the first-team offense for three drives and produced three touchdowns. He stayed on the field for one drive with the second team and drove for a field goal. That’s 24 points in four possessions in his college career. Perhaps most remarkable was Rypien’s poise — in a dream moment, he never showed any sign that he was rattled. He was accurate and decisive. “When I told him at halftime he was going to play,” offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz said, “that guy had a look in his eye like, ‘It’s about time.’ So I’m impressed with him.”

2. The run game is wildly inconsistent. The Broncos were dominant on the ground in the first half against Washington and the second half against Idaho State. In between, they averaged 2.6 yards per carry over eight quarters. They finished with 344 rushing yards against Idaho State, but the Bengals’ defense is nothing like what they’ll face next week at Virginia. Even tailback Jeremy McNichols, who is gaining attention with his eight touchdowns in three games, hasn’t cranked out yards at a high rate. He has 204 yards on 54 carries, which is 3.78 yards per carry. But in the second half Friday, McNichols helped the Broncos gain 238 yards on 31 carries (7.7 yards per carry). “I just think we started running more downhill and that just opened a lot of holes for us,” McNichols said. “We were more aggressive.”

3. The defense changes its approach. Coaches expressed chagrin at the amount of talking going on during the Boise State-BYU game. There was a noticeable difference Friday, when the Broncos seemed to tone down their swagger. “That’s an emphasis with our whole team,” coach Bryan Harsin said. “That’s all we need to be doing when we walk onto the football field is just play. We’re out there to win. We’re out there playing to win and that’s all that matters. Football is emotional. At the same time, it is very thought out and planned and the only guys that matter are the other 10 that are on your team. And that’s how I addressed that this week.”



Guy Aydelotte: We got a glimpse of the future tonight.

John Wright: The offense looked spectacular. Depending on the severity of Finley's injury and the fact they burned Rypien's redshirt he should be left in as the starter.

Tim Mosman: Keep Rypien as starter