Tag:Tyrone Crawford
Posted on: September 3, 2011 11:48 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2011 2:35 am
 

QUICK HITS: No. 5 Boise St. 35, Georgia 21

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

BOISE STATE WON: The Broncos again thrust themselves into the national title chase with a comprehensive 14-point win over the Bulldogs. After an iffy first quarter, Kellen Moore returned to his All-American best, completing 28 of his 34 attempts for 261 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Meanwhile, Georgia struggled all night on offense, getting an 80-yard touchdown run from moonlighting cornerback Brandon Boykin in the first quarter ... and averaging a middling 4.8 yards on all other plays. 

WHY BOISE STATE WON: The common conception is that non-AQ teams like Boise can find a handful of good skill players, but just can't match up with the heavies of the SEC on the line of scrimmage. Too bad for Georgia Boise's performance was as loud and as forceful a rebuke of that misconception as it's possible to be. The Bronco defensive front of Shea McClellin, Billy Winn, Chase Baker and Tyrone Crawford routinely abused the Bulldog blockers, sacking Aaron Murray six times and harrying him into a 36-yard, zero touchdown, one-interception first-half performance. One of the few Bulldog first-half forays into BSU territory ended when an unblocked McClellin stuffed Richard Samuel on 4th-and-1. By the time the Bulldogs began to get a handle on the Boise front, the game was out of reach.

Things were nearly as lopsided on the other side of the ball. The Broncos finished the game with 129 yards on 37 carries, but those numbers don't do justice to Nate Potter and the rest of the BSU line's domination of the Dawgs in the four-touchdowns-in-five-possessions
stretch over the end of the second quarter and start of the third--four drives that totaled 31 plays and covered 232 yards. And about Moore's six-incompletions-in-34-tries performance: those numbers are a lot easier to reach when you're not sacked once.

WHEN BOISE STATE WON: Murray's sky-high pass on 4th-and-2 with 2:34 remaining in the game (and Georgia down 35-21) put the final nail in the Bulldogs' coffin, but the game was decided by the Broncos' 8-play, 76-yard touchdown drive spanning the third and fourth quarters. Georgia had pounced on a rare Bronco mistake -- an offsides penalty that turned a 4th-and-7 punt into a 4th-and-2 -- with a Murray 36-yard touchdown pass that cut the lead to 28-14. But Moore and the Broncos responded with a brutally, icily efficient drive, one capped by D.J. Harper's 1-yard touchdown to restore the lead to 35-14. Georgia never tasted real momentum again.

WHAT BOISE STATE WON: The chance to all-but cruise to another undefeated season. With TCU's defense looking utterly mortal against Baylor, only the Broncos' trip to San Diego State looks like a legitimate hurdle to 12-0. If Georgia does BSU the favor of winning enough to make this victory valuable and carnage reigns across the BCS conferences, Boise's first trip to the BCS title game could be in sight.

WHAT GEORGIA LOST: For the time being, any sense of progress over last year's 6-7 disaster. The Bulldogs of 2010 had little running game, an inconsistent passing attack, an erratic secondary, and conditioning issues in the fourth quarter. From what we saw Saturday, the 2011 version has the same problems--and unless they can make some quick repairs before a visit from South Carolina next week, they may sink a second straight season before it even begins.


Posted on: March 1, 2011 12:38 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2011 4:08 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Boise State

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice . So we here at the Eye on College Football  will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers . Today, we look at Boise State , who opens spring camp next Monday, March 7.

Spring Practice Question: Who'll become the Broncos' new playmakers on the edge?

The conventional wisdom was that 2010 was Boise State's now-or-never moment where the national championship was concerned, their make-or-break campaign as a legitimate BCS title contender. The Broncos lost just four seniors from their undefeated 2009 squad, had the prerequisite preseason poll positioning, got the legitimizing road win at Virginia Tech ... this was supposed to be their one big chance, and Kyle Brotzman blew it all in Reno.

So it's almost shocking to look over the Broncos' depth chart and realize how much talent they still have at their disposal. There's Kellen Moore, of course, but there's also 1,260-yard rusher Doug Martin, first-team All-WAC offensive linemen Thomas Byrd and Nate Potter, their team leaders in sacks (end Shea McClellin) and tackles-for-loss (opposite end Tyrone Crawford), first-team All-WAC safety George Iloka ... all in all, the Broncos have a healthy seven starters returning on both sides of the ball, many of them among the nation's best at their positions. And, most important of all, Chris Petersen is still in Boise, too. 2010 was a great opportunity, no doubt, but it's far from time to start writing the Broncos' obituary as a nationally-relevant college football team.

But that doesn't mean there aren't holes to fill, and as it turns out, nearly all of them are on the edges of the field. Start on offense, where both of the Broncos' bookend deep threats at wide receiver -- Austin Pettis and Titus Young -- are moving on to the NFL. Their primary replacement will likely be senior Tyler Shoemaker, a capable veteran who averaged an impressive 18 yards per-reception in 2010. But behind him, pickings are slim; the only other wideout with more than 8 receptions last season was redshirt freshman Geraldo Hiwat, a converted track star originally from the Netherlands who finished with 11. Hiwat has prototypical size (6'4") and speed, but is still learning the game. If he and the rest of the non-Shoemaker receiving corps can't keep defenses from blanketing Shoemaker, Boise's typically wide-open attack could find the field unusually compressed.

On defense, the Broncos must find replacements for arguably their two best defenders in end Ryan Winterswyk and linebacker/safety hybrid Winston Venable. Though Winterswyk rarely made a large impact on the stat sheet (with just 1.5 sacks in 2010), he did a terrific job of holding the edge against opposing running games--a big reason the Broncos finished the season ranked seventh in the nation in rush defense. Venable was a first-team All-WAC player who made plays all over the field, including in the backfield, where he totaled 9.5 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks. No other player outside of the defensive line came close to those numbers.

So Boise's absorbed big losses both in terms of their ability to hold up against the run on the outside and to attack the backfield from there. There's players who can take up much of that slack -- McClellin, Iloka, Crawford, and memorable LeGarrette Blount- goader Byron Hout chief among them -- but at Boise, top-shelf athletes who can dominate on the edges just by taking the field are hard to come by. (It won't help that corner Brandyn Thompson and All-WAC safety Jeron Johnson have also moved on). The first question Petersen will have to answer this spring is who on defense will prevent the Broncos from giving their opponents a leg up on the outside ... and what receivers might give them that same leg up on the other side of the ball.


 
 
 
 
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