2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 5 - Nevada at Boise State
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Oct. 1 at Boise State 30 ... Nevada 10
CFN Analysis: It was hardly a sharp game, but the Broncos can be bad and still win by 20. Kellen Moore, shock of shocks, threw two picks and the passing game only came up with 160 yards, but the defense took care of this one stuffing the vaunted Nevada attack for just 59 yards. This was defensive domination in a bigger romp than the final score might indicate. Doug Martin broke out with 126 yards and two scores, there weren’t any concerns with missed field goals, and the defense camped out in the backfield with 14 tackles for loss. It’s not like the Broncos are going through the motions, but they’re making beating up on mediocre teams look routine.
When fully focused, the Boise State defense can stuff anyone’s running game. Nevada didn’t have the passing attack to make up for the lack of production on the ground with Tyler Lantrip completing 5-of-16 passes for 50 yards and a pick. Mason Magleby came on in garbage time and moved the offense, but it didn’t matter; the Wolf Pack was manhandled by the Bronco defensive front. But the Pack kept playing for a full sixty minutes, and Brandon Marshall had a great game with 14 tackles and three tackles for loss. It wasn’t nearly enough to make up for the problems on an offense that’s still rebuilding.
(AP) BOISE, Idaho -- Doug Martin ran for two touchdowns, Kellen Moore threw two more and a suffocating Boise State defense clamped down on Nevada's potent offense to help the No. 4 Broncos cruise to a 30-3 victory Saturday.
Martin rushed for a season-best 135 yards on 21 carries, and his 43-yard scoring run in the third quarter put the Broncos (4-0) up 27-0 against the team that kept them from a perfect season last year.
Martin also had a 92-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter called back on a holding penalty, a play that typified a sloppy and lackluster overall performance by Moore and the rest of the Boise State offense.
Moore, one of the nation's most accurate passers, misfired several times and threw back-to-back interceptions in the second quarter, the first with the Broncos inside the red zone. But he was also victimized by a handful of crucial drops that could have made the final score even more lopsided.
Moore, who wore a knee brace for the second straight week, was 19 of 33 for 142 yards before heading for the sidelines in the fourth quarter. His second TD pass, a 3-yarder to receiver Matt Miller, gave him 113 in his career, moving past Colt McCoy of Texas for eighth best all-time.
But the day belonged to the Boise State defense, which shut down the Wolf Pack (1-3) and avenged last year's second-half meltdown that cost the Broncos any hopes of playing for a national title. After leading by 21 points in Reno, Nev., last season, quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the Wolf Pack offense, roared back and beat their -- at the time -- Western Athletic Conference rivals 34-31 in overtime.
The Wolf Pack came into Saturday's game 15th in the nation offense, averaging 483 yards per game, but mustered only 182 total yards and failed to cross midfield until midway through the third quarter.
Tyler Lantrip played the entire game because redshirt freshman Cody Fajardo, who has traded snaps with Lantrip through the first three games, is recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in last week's loss at Texas Tech. Lantrip was 5 of 16 for 50 yards, was sacked once and fumbled to snuff out Nevada's first drive into Boise State territory.
Mike Ball, who started the day averaging 120 rushing yards per game, was held to 35 yards on 15 carries.
Boise State scored its first touchdown midway through the first quarter when Moore fired a 21-yard TD pass to D.J. Moore, who beat linebacker James Michael Johnson down the middle of the field.
After Moore fired his second TD pass with 5:51 left in the second quarter, the Broncos' defense forced another Nevada punt that Mitch Burroughs returned 25 yards to the Wolf Pack 25-yard line.
The Broncos and Martin wasted little time expanding their lead. Moore preserved the drive by tossing an 11-yard pass to Burroughs on fourth down, then two plays later Martin scored from 5 yards out and led 20-0 at the half after failing on the 2-point conversion.
Nevada (1-2) at Boise State (3-0) Oct. 1, 2:30 Vs.
Here’s The Deal … Boise State isn’t really big on revenge. It doesn’t care about payback, and it’s not a program known for holding a grudge of any sort, but on this one, it probably wouldn’t mind coming up with a big win.
The Broncos were deep in the hunt for the national title last year before losing to Nevada thanks to a few key missed kicks and a great day from Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The two programs will be Mountain West foes next year, but for now, it’s just an interesting non-conference game.
Boise State is back in the national discussion with three straight dominant wins, and now it needs to be even more impressive. Stanford didn’t play last week, Boise State blew away Tulsa before taking its foot off the gas late in a 41-21 win, and it dropped from fourth to fifth in the Coaches’ Poll while Stanford moved up a notch. With three of the next four games on the road, coming up with a good win over a brand name team would be nice. Outside of the TCU game and maybe the date with Air Force, this is about it for the Boise State schedule.
Nevada is rebuilding after its best season in school history, and it shows. It gave Texas Tech a push last week in a heartbreaking 35-34 loss, and was blown away by Oregon, but the real concern was the close call at San Jose State a few weeks ago when the offense didn’t work nearly as well as it should’ve.
The Wolf Pack hasn’t been home yet, spending the first month of the season with all road games, and things lighten up in a hurry with home games against UNLV, New Mexico, and Fresno State as part of a run of five home games in six. While the record will be padded soon, getting a second straight win over the Broncos would do wonders for the reloading effort.
Why Nevada Might Win: The ground game still works. It might not be as potent or as deadly as it’s been over the past few seasons, but 856 yards and six touchdowns, including a 312-yard, two score day against Texas Tech, isn’t a bad start.
The Bronco running game hasn’t exactly gotten on a roll yet. It’s been fine when needed, and Doug Martin is a good, strong, pounding back, but it’s only averaging 135 yards per game with Kellen Moore and the short to midrange passing game controlling the offense. Nevada dealt with a high-tech air attack last week against Texas Tech and almost pulled out the win. Tech’s Seth Doege only threw for 222 yards in the win.
Why Boise State Might Win: Boise State’s run defense always has a problem with Nevada, giving up 269 in last year’s loss, but it’s still one of the best in the country when it’s fully focused. The Wolf Pack offensive line isn’t as strong as last year’s front five, but while it’s still strong, the Boise State defensive line should control the game and the Pack offense. Any running Nevada will do will go wide; getting anything going up the middle against the strong tackles should be next to impossible.
Yes, Nevada kept the Texas Tech passing game from blowing up, but it didn’t stop it cold. Moore has been flawless so far, ranking third in the nation in passing efficiency, and with no Pack pass rush to worry about he should pick apart the mediocre secondary.
What To Watch Out For: Moore has been productive against everyone throughout his career, but he’s been particularly fantastic against Nevada throwing for 1,024 yards with ten touchdowns. Even with Titus Young and Austin Pettis in the NFL, Moore has kept on rolling with nearly 1,000 passing yards and 12 scores with two picks. He’s spreading the ball around as well as ever, he’s keeping the mistakes to a minimum, and he’s hitting third down throws without a problem. He might not be getting the deep balls going like he has in previous years, but he’s still hitting on the midrange passes when needed.
Nevada is mixing it up a bit with the quarterback situation, and when he’s getting his chances, Cody Fajardo has been terrific. Against Texas Tech, he only completed 4-of-6 passes for 59 yards and a score, but he ran ten times for 139 yards and two scores showing more flash and speed than Tyler Lantrip. Fajardo’s a great-looking 6-2, 205-pound athlete who was wanted by everyone in the WAC and Boise State. While he’s not all that big and he isn’t a bomber, but he has the talent to grow into a star with a little more work.
What Will Happen: Nevada isn’t the Nevada of last year. The Boise State run defense will clamp down early, Moore will put up a few early scores, and the Broncos will have the game in hand after the first quarter. There won’t be any easing up; they’ll want to make sure the game is put away after dealing with shootouts and wild battles with the Wolf Pack over the last few years.
CFN Prediction: Boise State 44 … Nevada 17
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