2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 3 - Boise State at Toledo
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Sept. 16 Boise State 40 … at Toledo 15
CFN Analysis: Remember, this is a Toledo team that gave Ohio State everything it could handle in Columbus last week. The Rockets were fired up, they came up with a big play early, and they had the momentum at times, but Kellen Moore was Kellen Moore, carving up the Toledo secondary for 455 yards and five touchdowns. For the second straight game, the question of how the offense was going to go on without Titus Young or Austin Pettis was answered by Moore and his ability to spread the ball around. Nine different receivers caught passes, and while Tyler Shoemaker was the big scorer with three touchdowns, the distribution was almost equal. The Bronco secondary was a little loose, and the back seven missed a slew of tackles, but it was a dominant road win over a team good enough to win the MAC.
Boise State really is good enough to beat anyone in the country, and there's no shame whatsoever to lose by 25. After the last two weeks, the Rockets have their learning experiences, and nothing else will come close. Syracuse next week? Whatever. A road trip to Temple or a date with Northern Illinois? They're winnable if the Toledo passing game works like it did against the Broncos. Austin Dantin didn't do enough to move the ball early, but Terrence Owens came in and did what he could to try to keep up the pace. Eric Page was kept under wraps after his big game against Ohio State, catching eight passes for 69 yards and never getting loose, Now the Rockets go on the road for three of the next four weeks, and while the last two losses were acceptable, 1-3 with a loss to Syracuse would add even more pressure to the MAC opener at Temple.
(AP) TOLEDO, Ohio -- Kellen Moore was just about perfect again, throwing for 455 yards and five touchdowns to lead No. 4 Boise State to a 40-15 victory over Toledo on Friday night.
Moore misfired on his first two throws but didn't miss many after that, connecting on 32 of 42 passes.
Still, the Broncos' offense sputtered early after not playing for nearly two weeks following their season-opening win against Georgia.
It looked for a while as if Toledo (1-2) might give Boise State a scare just six days after the Rockets came within a play or two of knocking off No. 17 Ohio State. But the Rockets couldn't stop Moore.
He appeared to be playing pitch and catch at times, spreading short throws to nine different receivers all over the field.
The Broncos (2-0) were leading 13-6 when they got the ball back with 1:22 left in the first half and marched right down the field for a key touchdown.
Moore connected on six consecutive passes to get down to the 1. He then lofted a throw into the corner to Tyler Shoemaker for a little breathing room.
Moore also tossed a 26-yard pass to Shoemaker to give the Broncos a 7-6 lead with 6:56 left in the first quarter. On their next possession, Doug Martin dashed through Toledo's defense on a screen pass for a 71-yard score.
Moore's only glaring error came at end of the third quarter, when he was intercepted by Jermaine Robinson. He also missed a play earlier in the period after he stumbled while landing during a throw. But he came back on Boise's next possession.
Moore also was impressive in the Broncos' opening 35-21 victory against Georgia. He finished with the highest completion percentage (82.6) in school history for a quarterback making more than 30 attempts in a game.
Boise State came into Toledo hoping to get its running game after rushing for just 129 yards against the Bulldogs. But the Broncos had only 26 yards on the ground in the first half. Leading rusher Martin finished with 70 yards on 19 carries.
Toledo kept it close early on, but had a couple of costly mistakes. The Rockets dropped a sure touchdown pass in the first half and fumbled inside the Broncos' 10 in the third quarter.
It was the first time the Rockets lost to a Top 25 team at home in five games. The Broncos, though, were the highest-ranked team to play in the Glass Bowl.
Boise State got back one of three players suspended two weeks ago by the NCAA for undisclosed reasons -- starting safety Cedric Febis. They didn't know he'd be available until just two days ago.
Febis, who didn't start, finished with four tackles.
Boise State (2-0) at Toledo (1-1) Sept. 16, 8:00, ESPN/ESPN3
Here's The Deal … Now it's measuring stick time, for both teams. Boise State doesn't have the best of schedules – which gets pointed out on an hourly basis – so it has to always be on, it always has to always come with blowouts, and it has to always impress. A 21-point win isn't enough to quiet the doubters and the naysayers, and it's not fair. The Broncos are held to a different standard than everyone else, and this week, it really will be easy to compare apples to apples after Toledo pushed Ohio State to the wall.
The Rockets had the ball with a chance to beat the Buckeyes in the 27-22 loss, and that's after blowing up on New Hampshire in the opener. They're supposed to be good enough to challenge for the MAC title, and they have the talent and the experience to battle with anyone, evidenced by last week's performance, and that was on the road. If Boise State can come up with a blowout win at Toledo on national television, will that be enough to get a little more respect? No.
Toledo will also use this to see how far it's come. Last year's team was good, too, and it got obliterated in Boise 57-14 in a game that wasn't even that close. While it's asking a lot to be at No. 4 ranked team, coming close really would be a big deal for a rising program that's starting to look stronger and stronger under head coach Tim Beckman. The Rockets get road trips to Syracuse and Temple to follow, while the Broncos go home to host Tulsa and Nevada.
Why Boise State Might Win: The last thing Boise State needs it time to prepare. The Broncos were midseason sharp in the opener against Georgia, carving the Bulldog secondary with 261 yards through the air while manhandling the defensive front with a steady pass rush. The lines were effective, and the defense came up with stop after stop against the Georgia ground game. Toledo doesn't have the pass rush to get to Kellen Moore, and if you don't get to Kellen Moore, he'll pick apart a secondary.
Running the ball is a problem for the Rockets with Adonis Thomas, the team's top back, not able to get going last week against the strong Ohio State defensive front. If the quarterbacks aren't scrambling, then nothing will be happening on the ground against a Boise State front four that's been as good over the last few years against top running games as any in college football. Georgia got one 80-yard touchdown dash out of Brandon Boykin early on, and it managed just 57 yards the rest of the way.
Why Toledo Might Win: The offense is there to potentially keep up in a shootout. This isn't the Toledo team of last year that got rocked on the blue turf; this is a veteran club with firepower, options, and the skill players needed to keep up the pace. The Rocket passing game rolled for 292 yards and two scores, connecting on a few big plays, and as good as Boise State's defense might be, it'll give up the home run from time to time. The Boykin play at the beginning Georgia game wasn't going to be the last haymaker that decent offenses hit on a Bronco defense that has an okay secondary, but not an elite one.
The Toledo defense might not be getting enough of a push into the backfield, and it might not have a slew of sacks in the first two games, but the run defense has held up well and it's been among the most physical Rocket defensive fronts in recent years. Ohio State didn't push around Toledo, and Boise State likely won't either. More importantly in a game like this, the Rockets aren't going to make a slew of mistakes, doing a great job of holding on to the ball with just one turnover.
What To Watch Out For: And the Toledo quarterback will be … ? Both.
Austin Dantin was having a terrific game against Ohio State, completing 14-of-26 passes for 155 yards and a score, but during the key moments late it was Terrance Owens who got the call. He also played well, completing 7-of-16 passes for 137 yards and a score, but he threw a key pick. The Rockets will rotate quarterbacks to find the hot hand.
The big question mark going into the Georgia game was whether or not the receivers would show up in place of Austin Pettis and Titus Young. Kellen Moore makes everyone better, but the targets did their part with several different players getting involved. Matt Miller and tight end Kyle Efaw each played big roles. Nine different players caught passes, and that appears to be the plan going forward. The Broncos don't have a Young or a Pettis, so it'll be up to several different players picking up the slack, which might not be a bad thing. Everyone will get involved.
What Will Happen: Boise State will be Boise State. It'll get stopped on the first drive, it'll sputter a little bit in the first quarter, and then the floodgates will open. Toledo won't run a lick, and the passing game won't be steady enough to pick up the slack. The Broncos will win and win big, and no one will give them any credit.
CFN Prediction: Boise State 41 … Toledo 17
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Boise State -20 O/U: 61.5
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