The Boise State football team only scored three of its 55 points in the third quarter Saturday against UNLV.
Offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz took true freshman quarterback Brett Rypien to task for playing too conservatively.
“I got on him a little bit in the third quarter about trusting himself and really playing and letting it loose and he did that in the fourth quarter and it was really good,” Drinkwitz said. “I just thought he was being conservative. He was underthrowing some balls and trying to be perfect. I said, ‘Quit trying to be perfect and cut it loose.’ That’s what he did in the fourth quarter. He hit Chaz (Anderson) on that deep post and I really felt like that changed the entire momentum of the game, kind of got the monkey off our back, and I’m proud of him for doing that.”
Rypien was 4-for-5 for 113 yards in the fourth quarter as the Broncos’ first-teamers scored three touchdowns to pull away from the Rebels in the 55-27 win.
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It was the latest sign of his coachability, making quick adjustments to his mistakes.
“Today was another example of his maturity and getting better as a player, even physically,” coach Bryan Harsin said. “He’s getting better, that’s the bottom line. You’re seeing the guy improve as he goes. ... There’s not a lot of coaching as far as what he didn’t see. He sees it. He understands. He can coach himself. It’s more about what we’re going to do next. He gets what we’re trying to accomplish. ... I like the way he played today. I thought in a game that was a little bit tight, he was very aggressive and he threw some big-time balls out there and we were able to go out and get them.”
Rypien, already the Mountain West’s top-rated passer, was 35-for-52 for 469 yards and two touchdowns in the game. He didn’t take a sack or commit a turnover for the second straight game since his five-turnover performance against Utah State.
Rypien’s yardage total was the highest by a freshman in Mountain West or Boise State history. He broke Kellen Moore’s Boise State record (414 vs. Nevada, 2008).
“I just can’t wait to see what comes next with that guy,” Anderson said. “We’re getting a lot more comfortable, even though we were comfortable in the past — so with the games to come, we have much more excitement.”
For the season, Rypien is 155-for-234 (66.2 percent) for 2,036 yards and 12 touchdowns with four interceptions. He’s averaging 290.9 passing yards per game (he also has rushing and receiving touchdowns). His passer rating: 152.83.
Comparisons are difficult because the game has changed so much (more plays per game, no huddles, more screens, etc.), but here were Moore’s numbers as a freshman in 2008: 281-for-405 (69.4 percent), 3,486 yards (268.2 per game), 25 TDs and 10 interceptions. His rating that year: 157.12.
Rypien in the record book:
— 469 passing yards vs. UNLV ranks fourth in Boise State history. Ryan Dinwiddie has the record at 532.
— 52 attempts vs. UNLV ranks second. Dinwiddie threw 60.
— 35 completions vs. UNLV ranks third. Dinwiddie completed 40.
— Boise State doesn’t keep a record for passing yards per game. But when Dinwiddie set the single-season record in 2003, he averaged 311.1 per game.