You didn’t think I would neglect to address #4 Boise State’s heartbreaking loss to Nevada did you? Well not to worry, I’m going to take you through the different emotions from before the game to now and some additional thoughts on the game since the loss on Friday night in Reno.
The Emotional Roller Coaster:
In the weeks leading up to the game I was confident – I gave Coach Ault, Colin Kaepernick, and the Wolf Pack defense little chance of beating Boise State. I began getting a little nervous just before kickoff – just like every game – and was hopeful that Auburn might stumble next week against South Carolina.
The first quarter flew by with Boise State taking a 3-0 lead. The three second quarter touchdowns scored by the Broncos had me feeling awesome and I was happy they were headed to the locker room up 24-7. I started to get a little nervous when the offense hadn’t scored in the second half and the ref called the kick catch interference penalty on Doug Martin to give Nevada the ball, all the momentum back, the ball on their 42 yard line, and a chance to jump right back in the game.
Of course the Wolf Pack took advantage of the opportunity, cut the lead to 10, and gave their defense life. The Bronco offense was being disrupt by Nevada’s defensive line and couldn’t move the ball – I was starting to get frustrated and nervous. The fourth quarter started and I wasn’t feeling any better – Rishard Matthews made the most of a reverse – that looked like it was going to be stopped for a loss – as he ran 44 yards for a touchdown cutting the lead to three.
Boise State promptly went 3-and-out and Nevada drove down to score a game tying field goal at 24-24. At this point I was at near meltdown mode – how could this be happening!? Then to my surprise – Doug Martin on the next play breaks a screen pass 79 yards for a touchdown to put the Broncos up!! But I quickly realized the one-play drive gave the defense no rest.
The Wolf Pack had the ball with 4:53 remaining and I knew they were going to score. The defensive line was gassed and Kaepernick was making all the big plays when they needed it. Not only was I convinced Nevada would score but I thought they would go for the two-point conversion to try and win the game. Kaep hit Matthews to tie the game with almost no time remaining but to my surprise they kicked the extra point to tie it up at 31.
I’m already thinking about overtime – hoping the defense can make one last stand or force a turnover – when Titus Young caught a 53 yard bomb from Kellen Moore to set up the game winning field goal!!! I couldn’t believe our luck – we were going to escape with a victory and would still be in line for a BCS bowl!! Brotzman and the field goal team headed out to kick the game winner when out of nowhere the officials decide to review the catch and ice Brotz…
If you’ve been following Boise State football for the past few seasons you likely know about Brotz’s struggles from the left hash last season. Right when the refs called to review the play I got a knot in my stomach – anything that might throw Brotzman’s routine was not going to be a good thing. And sure enough – he barely missed the 26 yard field goal – wide right. I was devastated.
At this point I figured we needed a touchdown in overtime because it seemed unlikely Brotzman would be able to recover from the miss in such a short amount of time. Right on cue – the Nevada defense held the Broncos to a 29 yard field goal attempt in overtime and Brotzman missed again.
I knew it was over. Nevada didn’t take any chances with three straight runs setting up the game winning 34 yard field goal for Anthony Martinez. Boise State’s undefeated season, possible shot at the National Championship, BCS Bowl bid, and outright WAC Championship were out the window.
After the game I couldn’t believe what had just happened. Boise State doesn’t lose football games and they certainly don’t lose with 17 point leads. At first I was mad at Brotzman and disappointed the team lost. I quickly realized – thanks to Coach Pete who said, “one play can win a game, but one play cannot lose a game” – that it wasn’t Brotzman’s fault. There were several other plays the Broncos could have made long before the field goal misses that could have changed the outcome of the game. Regardless I still couldn’t believe we lost to Nevada – it just didn’t seem real.
It’s been 48 hours since the loss and I’m still not completely over it. Saturday was pretty miserable and I was still in disbelief thinking about all the missed opportunities. I didn’t watch any football Saturday or Sunday because none of it seemed to matter. I think I’m finally ready to put this behind me and appreciate all the success these Broncos have achieved. Coach Pete will have the team ready next week for Utah State.
- It was easy to blame Brotzman who missed his chance at the game winning field goal and his attempt in overtime but other costly mistakes were made as pointed out by OBNUG. The one that stands out in my mind is the three forced turnovers by the Bronco defense but no recoveries.
- My biggest gripe with the game was the kick catch interference call in the third quarter against Doug Martin. The Broncos would have had the ball deep in Nevada territory with a chance to go up 31-7 but the ref blew the call.
- Having blown out so many teams this season may have caught up with the Broncos who looked gassed in the 4th quarter and overtime.
- As much as I hate to say it – Kaepernick played a great second half and made plays to help his team win.
- At least Boise State lost to a good Nevada team (11-1) and not some random upset against San Jose State or Idaho.
- It seemed like it just wasn’t Boise State’s night – they weren’t getting any calls or bounces and couldn’t come up with the plays they always make that help them win games.
- Losing sucks and Bronco Nation has been spoiled with all the teams’ current success.
- Despite the loss – Chris Petersen’s overall record is: 59-5. I guess I shouldn’t complain too much.
- As much as I wish the Broncos could win them all – they had to lose sometime. This just means it’s time to start a new winning streak.
Any other thoughts on the game?