Over, Under Performers: Boise State vs Air Force
Who stood out during Boise State’s win over Air Force
Who deserves some recognition this week and who had an off week against the Falcons?
The Air Force Falcons have given the Broncos more trouble than almost any other team since they joined the Mountain West. Their triple option offense provides a unique attack that won’t be seen for the rest of the season.
The Broncos typically focus so strongly on the triple option, that they open themselves up to being susceptible to big pass plays. Despite the difficulties of a strong Air Force team, Boise State buckled down in the second half to take care of business 30 to 19 for their third win in a row against the Falcons.
Sonatane Lui– The biggest threat to a triple option attack is a nose guard who stands their ground eliminates the fullback dive option. Mr. Lui did just that on Friday night. Despite his slimmed down frame of just 288 pounds, he stood strong the whole game and recorded 16 total tackles and 4 solo. None bigger than a key second half stop on 4th and 1, that allowed the Broncos to score back to back touchdowns to take a 10 point lead that was never relinquished.
Khafari Buffalo– Before Friday night, most Boise State fans would probably not be able to tell you who number 14 is for the Broncos. After the Air Force victory, Bronco fans were thanking their lucky stars that the grand transfer safety chose to come to Boise State. Khafari finished the contest with 11 tackles, including a solo stop. A secret to his success lied in the fact that with his previous team, the Citadel, he got to see the option in action on a daily basis in practice.
CT Thomas– Throw stature stereotypes out the window with CT Thomas, who is generously list at 5’8” and 182 pounds, because he can flat out ball. Despite missing the Marshall game with an injury, Thomas is the Broncos receiving leader with 14 receptions for 283 yards and three touchdowns, good for over 20 yards per reception. CT definitely showed up for the matchup with the Falcons when he turned in a 5 reception, 119 yard, and a one touchdown performance. Thomas continues to be a reliable target for Hank Bachmeier whenever the offense needs a big or clutch play.
Back to the Film Room
Joel Velazquez– There’s no doubt that Velazquez has a big leg, nearly every one of his kickoffs sail deep into or out of the endzone for touchbacks. The issues moreover appear to be in punting consistency and field goal accuracy. Velazquez has only attempted one field goal on the year, which he missed very wide right, despite having plenty of leg to cover the distance.
In the Air Force game, he punted fout times for an average of 33 yards per punt. He had punts of 29, 46, 20, and 37 yards. This really hurt Boise State in the field position battle and needs to improve moving forward if the Broncos want to come out of future tough matchups victorious.
Boise State’s Offensive Line: 1st Half– The poor Bronco offensive line nearly made it out of the film room for Week 4 due to their solid performance in the 2nd half. Unfortunately, Hank Bachmeier still took too many hits, including getting slammed on an outstanding touchdown pass to CT Thomas.
However, their adjustments to improve in the 2nd half was extremely encouraging moving forward. It was also a welcome sight to see left tackle Ezra Cleveland back on the field after missing the Portland State matchup. Bachmeier showed off what he could do if given time to throw when he dropped a dime between tight coverage to John Bates for a touchdown. They also flexed their muscles when they asserted their dominance on the Falcons in the 4th quarter on the ground to put the game out of reach and grind out the clock.
That’s it for this week, check back to see which players or position groups continue to impress and which need to go back to the film room!