Boise State knocks off Nevada, wins share of WAC title
Boise State knocks off Nevada, wins share of WAC title With their 44-33 win over Nevada on Friday night, Boise State seized a share of the WAC title.
The two teams repeated recent history after the Broncos jumped out a big lead only to have the Wolf Pack make it a game towards the end of the first half. Last season, Boise was up 21 points twice before Nevada came back and made it a one-possession game in the fourth quarter. In 2007, the Broncos had a 21-7 lead evaporate before finally beating the Wolf Pack in the fourth overtime.
On Friday, Boise cruised to a 27-3 second quarter lead before Nevada crawled back right before half with two touchdowns under four minutes. The Broncos also had a 44-26 lead in the fourth until the Wolf Pack added a garbage touchdown at the end to make the score respectable.
Kellen Moore finished with 262 yards on 17-of-33 passing for five touchdowns. Sophomore tailback Doug Martin also added 128 yards on 16 carries as the Broncos racked up 165 rushing yards.
Of course, that was nothing compared to the 242 rushing yards Nevada compiled. Vai Taua was once again as good as advertised, rushing for 160 yards on 24 carries and one touchdown (which went for 71 yards).
In the end, Nevada just couldn’t string enough drives together in the second half to seize the momentum in the game and turn the tide in their favor. Even after Taua busted off the 71-yard to put them up by eight and they recovered a Boise fumble on the next possession, the Wolf Pack couldn’t flip the script.
A win once again just wasn’t in the cards for Nevada.
TCU embarrasses Utah
In one of the more impressive beat downs of the college season, No. 4 TCU beat Utah like a rented mule on Saturday night. The Horned Frogs jumped out to a 38-14 halftime lead, in route to a 55-28 victory.
TCU dominated every phase of this game, while racking up 342 rushing yards and holding Utah to just 284 yards.
Let me repeat that: TCU GAINED 342 RUSHING YARDS. Three hundred and forty two. Three…forty…two. That’s an ass-kicking of epic proportions.
TCU proved tonight that Utah didn’t belong on the same field as them. I don’t know how the Utes scored 28 points, because the Horned Frogs flustered freshman Jonathan Wynn (16-of-32 219 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) the entire night, even if his final stats would suggest otherwise. Utah had no clue how to stop TCU and the Utes didn’t help themselves by allowing TCU to block a punt and return an interception for a touchdown.
I would love to see what TCU could do against Florida, Alabama or Texas. Some might suggest that they would get blown out, but don’t forget that Utah handled Alabama last year in the Sugar Bowl when nobody thought a Mountain West team could beat a SEC squad. So don’t jump to conclusions and assume the Horned Frogs couldn’t go toe to toe with one of the top three teams in the nation.
If you haven’t seen this TCU team play yet, you’re missing out. The Horned Frogs have one of the fastest, most aggressive defenses in the nation and an explosive offense to match it. Most would disagree, but I think they could match what Florida, Alabama and Texas bring to the table.
Florida survives scare against Arkansas
One would have thought that Tim Tebow and Florida learned from their loss to Ole Miss last year to never take an opponent for granted. Maybe that wasn’t the case on Saturday, but it sure seemed like it.
The Gators are extremely lucky to still be undefeated and when the BCS releases its standings for the first time on October 20, Florida will be extremely lucky if they’re still ranked No. 1.
The word “lucky” might not sit well with some Gator fans, but most teams that play as bad as Florida did in its 23-20 win over Arkansas on Saturday usually don’t win. The Gators turned the ball over four times, benefited from two Razorback missed field goals and had no answer for backup running back Dennis Johnson, who broke so many tackles the stats people will need a calculator to add them all up.
Tebow was good – damn good. He threw for 255 yards on 17 of 26 passing with one touchdown and also added 60 rushing yards on 24 carries. But the key in this game wasn’t Tebow – it was that Arkansas didn’t capitalize on Florida’s mistakes. For all intents and purposes, it was a game they probably should have won.
But “should have” and “did” are two different things. Bobby Petrino’s squad didn’t win and that’s the bottom line. They could have shocked the college football world by beating the No. 1 team in the nation but in the end they choked. That said, this is one of the most dangerous unranked teams in the nation, which they’ve proved over the past two weeks by routing Auburn and hanging with Florida.
Back the Gators. If Alabama comes out and absolutely crushes South Carolina, does the Crimson Tide deserve to be No. 1? Alabama hasn’t suffered one setback this year – not one. I realize Florida still won today, but the Gamecocks are ranked and would therefore prove to be a more worthy opponent than Arkansas.
If ‘Bama produces a rout tonight, Nick Saban’s squad has an argument that it deserves to be No. 1. Tonight should be interesting.
Will Boise State stay in the top 5 after edging out Tulsa?
By now, everyone knows that the clowns that compile the BCS rankings are simple-minded folks. They have short-term memory and are easily influenced by big wins.
With that in mind, was Boise State’s 28-21 win over Tulsa on Wednesday night good enough to convince voters to rank them in the top 5 when the BCS standings are released for the first time October 18?
In short: No.
The Broncos are a solid football team and turned in a sound effort against the Golden Hurricane, outside of two first half turnovers that allowed Tulsa to keep the game close. But Boise State had several opportunities in the third quarter to put the game away and couldn’t. That allowed Tulsa to mount a comeback with a G.J. Kinne to Slick Shelley 55-yard touchdown pass with just under 9:30 remaining. The Golden Hurricane also had two chances to tie the game with less than six minutes to play, but failed to do so when their final two drives stalled.
Given the conference it plays in, it’s not enough for a team like Boise to only beat an opponent by seven points. While Tulsa had a 4-1 record entering the game, their only loss was a 45-0 beat down at the hands of Oklahoma in Week 3. Voters will certainly compare Boise and Oklahoma’s victories over Tulsa when it comes time to rank the Broncos next week.
Although Tulsa put up a fight in the first half, this game was hardly ever in doubt for Boise. Up until the fourth quarter, they moved the ball at will and completely dominated the third quarter. But again, while their overall effort was solid in the victory, their performance was unimpressive to say the least. And knowing BCS voters like we do, if teams like USC, Ohio State and Cincinnati roll this week, Boise might find itself ranked outside the top 5 come October 18.