Saturday, October 27, 2007

Grading the 'Dogs (5-3, 4-1): vs. Boise State (7-1, 4-0)

Quarterbacks: C
Despite Brandstater's 268 yards, 'Dogs hurt by overthrow of Ajirotutu on would-be TD and lack of awareness in the pocket.

Running Backs: C
'Dogs abandoned the run and chose questionable (predictable) times to use it on third-and-long. Injured Miller was sorely missed, and lining up Mathews at QB was too predictable.

Receivers: B-
Moore, Pascoe, Smith and Ajirotutu all made plays and got open. But absence of running threat negated any positives in the passing game.

Offensive Line: D-
What happened to the physical run blocking? After the first two possessions, no holes were opened for Mathews. 'Dogs never figured out an answer for Broncos' blitzing schemes.

Defensive Line: D-
Boise State O-line dominated up front and it was the difference in the game. Ramos struggled against Clady, and Tharp had far too much time to throw.

Linebackers: D
Another standout game by Riley, but Broncos running backs ate up 'Dogs for 282 yards on 6.6 per carry. Without the big runs and third-down conversions, Boise State loses this game.

Defensive Backs: B-
Owens making a name as great cover corner, although questionable pass interference call on crucial third down handed Broncos the game. Safeties missed a few pivotal open-field tackles early and often.

Special Teams: C
Stitser hurts 'Dogs again with two missed field goals (one blocked), but Jefferson-Smith kick-punt return combo is unparalleled nationally.

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