Analysis: Boise State’s offense is creative in Utah State win
Final score: State of Boise 27, State of Utah 3
Recordings: Boise State 2-2. State of Utah 3-1.
Why the Broncos won: Broncos coaches found creative ways to get the running game started, and the defense folded but didn’t break. One of Boise State’s top players, wide receiver Khalil Shakir, got involved in the running game early on with straight shots in a wild package and reaction sweeps.
In the first half, Boise State players not listed as running backs carried the ball nine times. Shakir and Holani both took snaps in the wildcat package, CT Thomas got a few early litters, and the Broncos even gave Oregon transfer Cyrus Habibi-Likio a shot in the wildcat package, but the game was overruled by a penalty. Wide receiver Octavius Evans also had a carry over. The Broncos finished the game with 148 rushing yards and 86 non-running backs.
The racing game didn’t click all cylinders by any means – the footage came on 42 carries – but the Broncos had enough ground ground to keep the attack moving.
Defensively, Boise State allowed 317 yards in the first half, but kept Utah State off the scoreboard. The Aggies’ only points came on a short field with 14:03 left, which they kicked off as they trailed 17-0. The Broncos forced three turnovers – two interceptions and a fumble – and defensive tackle Scott Matlock blocked a field goal. Matlock also caught a late touchdown pass during a rigged play.
Main dishes to take away: There is still work to be done on both sides of the ball, but Boise State showed on Saturday that their offense can be effective, even if they don’t get many rushing yards through traditional means. The Broncos coaches did a great job with creative packages and play calls that left Utah State defenders guessing, and Bachmeier distributed the ball to nine different receivers, including Matlock. Defensively, the Broncos held off a string of attacks. The Aggies enter the game leading Mountain West with 563.3 yards per game and are second in the conference with 41 points per game.
Game player: Shakir. He’s lined up for quarterback four times in a wild forfeit four times, finished with 16 yards on six carries and led the team with seven catches for 113 yards and one touchdown. His two-yard touchdown gave the Broncos a 17-0 lead early in the third quarter.
Game statistics: Utah State’s offense was 6-for-12 on third-half conversions in the first half, but the Aggies couldn’t move the chains well in the third in the final two quarters, dropping from 1 to 5. .
Course of the game: Led by 10 points early in the third quarter, Utah State inexplicably attempted a false punt from their own 26-yard line. The Broncos choked him out and got the ball on the Utah State 18. Three games later, Bachmeier found Shakir for a score.
And after: The Broncos return to Albertsons Stadium next week to continue playing Mountain West against Nevada, which also has one of the most explosive offenses in the conference. The Wolf Pack (2-1) opened the season with a victory over the Pac-12 Cal program. They just lost 38-17 to Kansas State, but they were out this week, which gave them more time to prepare for the Broncos.
This story was originally published September 25, 2021 13:54.