Boise State proved once again that they are the class of the Mountain West with a 49-10 beatdown of Colorado State on Saturday night.
The Broncos moved the ball with ease against CSU and faced little resistance in what was a one-sided matchup.
With freshman quarterback Taylen Green able to do whatever he wanted through the air, Boise State mounted drive after drive in this one. And when they got to the Red Zone, unlike the week before against Air Force, this time the Broncos capitalized with a plethora of rushing touchdowns.
By halftime the Broncos had already outgained the visiting Rams by over 200 yards (321 vs. 109), and had established a three-score lead (28-10). Then in the second half, Boise State buried CSU as they had no answers for the Mountain Division-leading squad.
Here are the takeaways from the loss.
Explosive plays burn the Rams
CSU did a pretty good job of forcing opponents to drive the length of the field over the last couple of games, unfortunately that was not the case on Saturday. Boise State ripped off chunk play after chunk play and seemingly had wide-open receivers running all over the field.
Green finished 24-of-40 for 305 yards, with a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions. Beyond the numbers though, it just looked too easy for the athletic QB. Even when CSU was able to generate pressure, he would slip out and deliver a strike downfield to a Broncos receiver. The Rams simply had no answers for the high-powered Broncos offense or their dual-threat gunslinger.
Boise owned the trenches
With CSU missing starting center George Miki-Han, freshman walk-on Keegan Hamilton got the start and the difference was noticeable. Boise State constantly was able to generate pressure in the interior and the Rams had absolutely no success on the ground.
In what was a long night for the Rams offensively, CSU finished with three total rushing yards and five sacks allowed. They also gave up nine tackles for loss.
The biggest problem was that with essentially no success on first or second down, CSU constantly found itself in third and long. And going against one of the most experienced and athletic defensive units in the Mountain West, that was a brutal spot for a young Rams offense to be in.
In total the Rams finished 1-of-12 on third down, while the Broncos were able to convert on 5-of-10 third-down attempts — a big reason why the score was so lopsided. It was also why the time of possession was so one-sided. The Broncos averaging 4.8 yards per carry and scoring five rushing touchdowns clearly made an impact too, particularly in the Red Zone, where they put together their best performance of the season (7-of-7).
CSU secondary racks up tackles
With Boise State moving the ball for an average of 6.7 yards per play, the members of the CSU secondary were able to put up big stats, mostly because they had to
The safety duo of Jack Howell (17) Henry Blackburn (14) combined to record 31 tackles in a losing effort. For comparison the rest of the defense combined for 43 total tackles, so it really shows how infrequently the front seven was able to slow down the home team.
Justus Ross-Simmons flashes potential on second career TD
Finally, while there was not much for the Ram faithful to cheer for, we did see QB Clay Millen connect with WR Justus Ross-Simmons for a 76-yard touchdown in the second quarter. It was the longest play of the season thus far for the Green & Gold and the type of play that the fans envisioned when Jay Norvell came over from Nevada in the offseason.
The final outcome is really the only thing that matters, however, it was a nice reminder that there are talented young playmakers on the roster. Hopefully we can see this duo make more plays like this in the future. And hopefully we see the Rams play more competitive football down the stretch.