Bronco Beat

BSU Takes: A feel-good finish elevates fan hopes for 2016

The Boise State football team beat Northern Illinois 55-7 on Wednesday in the Poinsettia Bowl.

As we have all season, we’ve collected takeaways from fans on the game via Facebook and Twitter. You’ll find those below.

First, here are my takeaways from the bowl win:

1. A feel-good finish. Boise State took its final game of 2015 seriously — and that focus showed in the 55-7 demolition of Northern Illinois.

“That’s one thing that everybody questions — what kind of focus you’re going to have when you go to a bowl game,” coach Bryan Harsin said. “These guys were able to lock in when they needed to and enjoy the moments (away from football). All that really showed up tonight.”

The Broncos have won six of their past seven bowl games. The only loss was in the 2013 Hawaii Bowl, during the coaching transition. Interim coach Bob Gregory led that team.

2. The Broncos’ offense should be dynamic in 2016. Quarterback Brett Rypien (3,353 passing yards), tailback Jeremy McNichols (1,337 rushing yards) and wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck (1,412 receiving yards) return. The offense returns four of the five offensive linemen who started after Rees Odhiambo’s injury, two of three wide receivers, McNichols and top tight end Jake Roh.

They’ll be pushed by a large group of players who were eased into game action this season.

“There’s going to be great competition at a lot of positions,” offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz said.

3. The defense could struggle next year. The Broncos lose seven defensive linemen who played this season (including end Kamalei Correa, who is expected to leave early for the NFL), plus the glue of the secondary — Darian Thompson and Donte Deayon. The returning starters: linebackers Ben Weaver and Tanner Vallejo, safety Chanceller James and cornerback Jonathan Moxey. They also should get back safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner, who missed the last nine games with an injury and now is in some legal trouble.

Then again, this year’s defense was supposed to dominate and didn’t. Maybe next year’s group will build on the historic performance in the Poinsettia Bowl, holding Northern Illinois to 33 yards.

“We made a jump,” Correa said, “... and it’s going to lead into next season.”

And now for fans’ takeaways:

FROM FACEBOOK:

Michael Allen: Great end to a disappointing season. Next year’s offense should be an absolute riot to watch!

GT Drake: They made a statement with that win. Good job BSU!

Nate Peters: Look at Brett’s improvement with a few weeks practice. He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with after an entire offseason with the 1’s.

Carl Lloyd Russell: Everything was clicking today. Can’t wait til next season.

Tom Kish: Finally the team was healthy. An early Christmas present. Merry Christmas from Cleveland to all of Bronco Nation!

Jim LoCodo: The entertainment value of the game was low. OK, outright boring.

Paul Eade: Broncos are back. Where in the heck were they off to?

John W. Post: Turbocharged and firing on all cylinders.

Elaine Hunter Ryan: Love ‘em whether they win or lose but Wow, much more fun when they win!

Lee Holladay: That’s how we do it. We played like the team I know we are.

David Warwick: Where the Drinkwitz haters now? Haha no where to be found. Go Broncos!

Mary Rohlfing: This is what great coaching looks like. Thrilled to see SWR, Donte and Thompson, and all the seniors leave on a high note. Extraordinary execution from everyone.

FROM TWITTER:

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