Merry Christmas

Greetings from Utah. My name is Dan, a close mate of Cricket‘s and I will be taking over writing duties today as Cricket is away celebrating with her family.

We travel to the beautiful state of Hawaii for the bowl game between Boise State Broncos and Oregon State Beavers. This should be a barn burner, as they’re two of the higher scoring teams in the country with two of the least effective defenses. As I retired from Boise State and sat on the 50 yard line for 18 years, I’ll admit to a bias for the Broncos. As many know, starting QB for the Broncos, Joe Southwick, was sent home for a “violation of team rules”in Hawai’i, purportedly urinating off his hotel room balcony. Grant Hedrick started a number of games this year and has done well. However, having an interim coach

Lets head to the first quarter

*FIRST QUARTER*

The Broncos kicked off to OSU, who ran for 30 yards on the first play from scrimmage, and 15 on the second. The Broncos seem unable to tackle the speedy Beavers as the third play puts the football in position for first and goal. They got tough at last and held OSU to 3 points.  3-0 Beavers with just over 2 minutes gone.

After running the kickoff back to the 25 and then getting a first down, Hedrick tossed a 43 yard bomb to Miller to reach the red zone. After moving to the 5, a couple of sloppy penalties made it a first and goal from the 19. They got to the 8, but Goodale had to come on to tie the game at 3-3 with 8 minutes left in the first.

After starting on the 25 a series of runs and passes let the Beavers quickly move down the field, picking apart the Boise zone defense. With 415 left in the first the Beavers scored the first TD of the game to take the lead 10-3.

The Broncos received the kickoff, but an attempt at a trick play on the return left them penalized and starting from the 2 yard line.  A fumble in the end zone led to a quick OSU score for a 17-3 lead a minute later.

After the kickoff, the Broncos moved the ball with a series of passes by Hedrick and runs by Ajayi, and had crossed midfield at the end of the first quarter. One long pass had been stopped by three separate grabs of the Bronco receiver’s shirt, none of which were called. More runs got the Broncos to the 25, but several rushed passes forced a 42 yard field goal.  OSU 17, BSU 6.

Starting from the 25, Mannion passed repeatedly, adding to his PAC 10 season record for passing yards. On 4th and 1 on the Bronco 36 the defense held and the Broncos took over 10 minutes left in the half. They finally got the ball to the OSU 26, but a completed pass was fumbled and returned 74 yards to put the Beavers up 24-6. Both fumble returns were by Rashad Reynolds.

The Broncos returned the kickoff to the 29, but couldn’t get a first down. With 6 minutes left in the half, they made the first punt of the game by either team, which rolled to the 18. A series of passes were capped by a 9 yard run by Ward for a Beaver TD. So far the Beavers have been unstoppable and the Broncos have been fumbling, so with 3 minutes left in the half it is bleak for the Broncos, down 31-6 with 3 minutes left in the half.

Starting from the 20 Hedrick passed frequently and Ajayi got one good run to cross midfield. However, confusion on the field and a couple of penalties prevented significant progress and the ball was turned over to the Beavers with a few seconds left in the half.  Instead of kneeling, the Beavers tried a pass that the Broncos intercepted, but were stopped. At the half, 31-6 Beavers.

The Broncos receive the second half kickoff. The OSU defense was tough and the Broncos punted, leaving the Beavers on their 6 yard line.  A steady stream of passes and runs kept the Broncos on their heels.  94 yards later, at the middle of the third quarter, they scored again to make the score 38-6. This is looking like the Broncos’ first game of the season, losing to Washington 38-6, and the their first 5 loss season since 1998.

Broncos received the kickoff and Hedrick mixed passes and running plays until Ajayi finally got the first TD of the game for Boise. With 4:32 left in the third the score is 38-13 OSU.

After receiving the kickoff the Beavers were held and made their first punt of the day. On the first play Hedrick was hit for a personal foul, moving the ball to almost midfield. The Broncos kept moving and ended the third quarter on the OSU 14 yard line. Oregon State held and with the benefit of a terrible call the Broncos ended up a few inches short at the 11.

The Beavers did a good job of running clock with a series of runs and short passes, but finally punted, leaving the Broncos on their own ten yard line with ten minutes left.  On the second play, Hedrick found Miller for an 85 yard touchdown pass. Beautiful play, perfect strike.  If it weren’t for two fumble returns, the Broncos would be down only four.

The Beavers returned a short kickoff and again worked on running clock. The Broncos held again at midfield, but the punt went to the 3 yard line. Hedrick made a number of short passes, moving the ball more for respectability than throwing bombs to try to perform a miracle comeback, which just won’t happen. With three minutes left they kicked a field goal to make the score 38-23, Beavers.

The Broncos made an onside kickoff, but the Beavers recovered. They ran the clock so the final score was 38-23.

The results weren’t what I was hoping for, but it was still an interesting game and always fun to see Hawai’i again, where I’ve spent lots of time.

Thanks to Cricket for letting me report on this game for her.

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