Wow… what a weekend. (Pictures will be coming soon.) I’m not sure it has even fully sunk in yet exactly what happened. Boy, we looked good in that game. I never expected us to play as physically or as well as we did.
The defense played really well against that run game with two very solid backs and a good offensive line. I was impressed with how well they pursued the backs and had some solid tackling. Sure, Oregon had a lot of rushing yards, but with their players that had to be expected. But, we tightened up when we had to and made stops. More of that bend-but-not-break defense. Not to mention how physical our DB’s are. Yikes. (ejection of Jaron Johnson was a bit much, it was a shoulder hit, but whatever).
Kellen Moore. Where to start. That kid is awesome. Ice water in his veins. I love that Coach Pete had the confidence in him to let him air it out against Oregon’s vaunted pass defense. Almost as impressive was the pass blocking of the offensive line. Moore had all the time he needed to find the open receivers and he always seemed to make the right call. Unbelievable.
As I wrote before, this game felt a LOT like the Fiesta Bowl. Luckily, we didn’t need all the fireworks at the end to pull this one out. I will say this… I have never done so much math at a football game. I was constantly figuring out how far ahead we were, “ok… 17 points… that’s three scores…” and how much time was on the clock. Of course when that freshmen QB came in, all my calculations went out the window and I started to get that knot in my stomach. That 4th quarter was tense for me.
My only saving grace I told myself was that the kid was playing in his first collegiate football game. As talented as he is, chances are he might make a mistake or two, miss an open receiver or toss a pick (both of which happened) and we’d be able to pull it out. Oregon definitely has athletes though.
I have to comment on the stadium replay screen… dear lord that thing is beautiful. It is gigantic and HD and awesome. Our seats were in the opposite endzone so I got to stare at that thing for the whole game. Unreal. I wish we had a Phil Knight to buy fancy new toys for our stadium all the time…
The gameday atmosphere was everything it was advertised to be. Easily the loudest crowd I have ever been in (except for the 2nd and 3rd quarters… heheheh). They certainly have some rabid fans that spend the whole game yelling. I think part of why the noise is so loud is that they have everyone shouting in unison the “Oooooooooooooooooooo” (for “Oregon”)… I think it hits a sweet spot when everyone is on the same page. At Boise State games, we make noise, but we’re all over the place from words, “Go Defense!” or “C’mon Broncos!” to claps and whistles, to cow bells, to anything else. Doesn’t have the same effect. Maybe someday we’ll get there.
Also, 99% of the fans that I spoke with were very nice. I was in an all Duck section surrounded by green and gold. There was really only one asshole who turned to shout something at me in the 4th, 3 or 4 rows in front of me, but Jess’ friend who we were staying with put him in his place and he never made another peep. Thanks Kristen! I have a distinct strategy for successfully wearing opposing teams gear in hostile arenas and aren’t around your fellow Boise State fans:
- Don’t be an asshole – this one is easy, since I’m not an asshole. Don’t demean the other team. Don’t toot your own horn. Don’t make asinine predictions of the outcome of the game. Pretty obvious.
- Always chat up the fans behind you – I like to talk with the folks behind me and get them on my side. Kinda goes hand in hand with #1. I figure, I won’t be watching these guys, so they could basically do anything they want to me during the game and I wouldn’t know it until it was too late. So, I compliment their team, tell them that I’m nervous, tell them the stadium is amazing and the atmosphere is great, tell them I’m just hoping we don’t get blown out… self deprecation comes in real handy in spots like this. Be funny, be easy going. If you get those guys on your side, they will also act as a buffer for any assholes who might be behind them.
- Don’t celebrate too obviously or loudly – Don’t hoot and holler when your team makes a great play. You can still celebrate, but don’t do a dance or taunt anyone. I like to go with the “hands in the air” maneuver combined with a middle volume shout of “yeah!”. Nothing too outrageous or anything. Sometimes it’s the fist pump to myself.
- Acknowledge good plays by the other team – Goes with the above rule. When the home team makes a good play, acknowledge it. It’s easy. You don’t have to be fake or anything, because if you’re a true football fan you know a good football play when you see it. “Wow… what a run.” Simple as that.
- After the game, shake hands with those around you – Win or lose. Tell them good game. Thank them for their hospitality. Tell them you hope to see them in your house in the near future. Maybe mention how you don’t want play their team again because they are too good and we were lucky to win. As long as you’re not condescending, you should be fine.
Follow those rules and you, and everyone around you will have a good time. I was kinda bummed that I was a lone Bronco as I couldn’t converse with anyone about how the game was going. But, it all worked out. My cell phone was buzzing constantly during the game, (but my cell reception dropped to nothing at halftime… wonder if it was a conspiracy). Most everyone was gracious in defeat as well. Thanks Duck fans… I had an amazing time.
The tailgate atmosphere is phenomenal. We didn’t do much walking around, but the sheer volume of people was very impressive. What is great is that there is a lot of parking in and around Autzen stadium. Boise State simply doesn’t have the same amount of space which limits the number and size of tailgate parties. Maybe we’ll get there some day.
We were home just some 13 hours after we left the house in the morning, and luckily we were able to catch the college football roundup on ESPN. They didn’t have many highlights of the game, but they did have some. Of course, they also had this asinine bit where they debated if Boise State now runs the table, should we be in a BCS game. Whoa whoa whoa… lets slow down a bit… it was only the 3rd game. Lots of football left to be played. Right now, I would say BYU is better than Boise State. But, everything can change in college football. Stay tuned.
They did give Kellen Moore a ‘helmet sticker’ for his performance. I still can’t quite comprehend how well he played. I really need to go back and watch the game I recorded and soak it in. Oh, for the record, the iPhone saved the day again. See, as soon as I left the house on Friday, I remembered I had forgotten to set the DVR to record the game… DAMMIT. iPhone to the rescue. I logged onto directv.com and was able to use their remote scheduler to set the recording. Bang. No muss no fuss. Damn, I love my iPhone.
So now, it’s back into the national spotlight. So far this year, we’ve been passed over in favor of BYU, Utah and even Fresno State. I found the silence deafening. I suppose that happens when you lose your last two games of the previous year and start a freshman and a new offensive line. Well, welcome back press. I’m looking forward to reading more about us nationally for the rest of the season.
It is a good time to be a Bronco!