Boise State Football: Joe Southwick's First Two Starts vs. Kellen Moore's
The comparisons are unavoidable. After the career Kellen Moore had as a Boise State Bronco people are going to be comparing every starting quarterback that follows him, to him, for some time to come.
That has certainly already happened this season, especially after an opening game loss to Michigan State.
However, a look back at the first two games Kellen Moore had as a starter compared to Joe Southwick's first two games as the Bronco's starter, reveals that the current quarterback isn't doing all that bad.
Let's take a closer look at the first two starts of each quarterback, and how they match up.
Kellen Moore's First Start: Idaho State at Boise State
Kellen Moore started his career in the friendly confines of Bronco Stadium against an FCS opponent.
On Saturday, August 30, 2008, there was Bengal on the menu for the Broncos. Idaho State came to town eager to play, but left with their tails between their legs.
The final score was 49-7 in favor of Boise State, and the game was anything but a contest.
Kellen Moore's numbers on the day were excellent. The lefty went 14/19 for 274 yards and two touchdowns. His completion rating was .737 which, for a freshman, was second only to Tony Hilde as a Bronco.
The game was definitely a mismatch, and it was the perfect setting for breaking in a freshman quarterback. It certainly had to build Moore's confidence and the team surrounding him.
Joe Southwick's First Start: Boise State at Michigan State
Joe Southwick didn't have the luxury of opening up at home against a much inferior opponent. In fact, Southwick had to face a hostile crowd of over 78,000 against the No.13 team in the nation.
Michigan State's big defense made Southwick's debut very difficult, hurrying him many times and thwarting any kind of a running game that could have helped.
On the night Southwick went 15/31 for 169 yards and one interception. It was not the best atmosphere to launch a career, but sometimes baptism by fire produces a much stronger finished product.
There are no worse or more hostile environments on the Broncos schedule this season, and with his experience, Southwick should be able to handle them all.
First Start Side-by-Side Comparison
Kellen Moore's first start: Idaho State at Boise state in Bronco Stadium
Joe Southwick's first start: Boise State at Michigan State in East Lansing
When you you compare these two games, you quickly realize you can't. Michigan State is a far superior opponent to the Idaho State Bengals.
However, Kellen Moore did face a similar type of defense his first year as a starter.
It came at the end of the season in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. The opponent was TCU.
Let's look at side-by-side stats comparing that game to Southwick's Michigan State game.
Kellen Moore went 22/35 for 222 yards and one interception against TCU in a neutral site game. Southwick, on the other hand, went 15/31 for 169 yards and one interception.
Moore, of course, was a redshirt freshman while Southwick is a redshirt junior. However, Moore had 12 starts under his belt while the Michigan State game was Southwick's first.
The Broncos lost to TCU 17-16 with Moore as the starter in a game that the Broncos could have won. Boise State lost to Michigan State 17-13 with Joe Southwick leading the way, but it was also a game that the Broncos could have won.
TCU out gained the Broncos in total yardage, 472 to 250, in 2008. In 2012 Michigan State out gained the Broncos 461 yards to 206.
When you break down these two games you realize that there is a lot they have in common: ranked opponents, very good defenses and extremely limited production running the ball for Boise State.
In the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl the Broncos gained only 28 yards rushing, while against Michigan State this season they had only 39 yards on the ground.
Kellen Moore's Second Start: Bowling Green at Boise State
In his second career start Kellen Moore faced Bowling Green State University in Bronco Stadium.
The game was never in doubt, but offensive production wasn't that impressive. On the day, the Broncos had 16 first downs for a total of 340 yards.
Kellen Moore went 18/23 for 180 yards and no throwing touchdowns. Believe it or not, Moore did have a one-yard rushing touchdown.
It was a decent performance for Moore, but not what Bronco fans would come to expect later in the season, or for the rest of Moore's career for that matter.
The final score was Boise State 20 and Bowling Green 7.
Joe Southwick's Second Start: Miami (Ohio) at Boise State
Southwick's second start was at home against a decent MAC opponent in the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks.
It had to be nice for Joe to be in his own stadium as a starter for the first time. He didn't disappoint.
The Broncos made some early mistakes, but rebounded nicely. Southwick threw 31 passes and connected on 24 of them. He threw for 304 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
The game was close early on only because of the Broncos own mistakes, but the team and Southwick seemed to get better as the game rolled on.
The final score was Boise State 39 and Miami (Ohio) 12.
Second Start Side-by-Side Comparison
Kellen Moore's second start: Bowling Green at Boise State in Bronco Stadium
Joe Southwick's second start: Miami (Ohio) at Boise State in Bronco Stadium
These two games are very similar in many ways. Both of the contests were at home in Bronco Stadium. Also, both opponents were MAC teams with 1-1 records at the time the Broncos played them.
Southwick went 24/31 for 304 yards, two touchdowns and one interception against Miami (Ohio).
Moore went 18/23 for 180 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions against Bowling Green. Moore did have one rushing touchdown.
Against the RedHawks, the Broncos had a total of 599 yards of offense with 295 yards of rushing. Against Bowling Green, Boise State produced 340 total yards with 160 yards rushing.
When you compare these two games side-by-side you realize that Southwick had a much better game than Moore did in both quarterbacks' second game as starter.
Moore was just a redshirt freshman, which is very impressive, and Joe Southwick did have the luxury of learning behind Moore for three seasons. Still, all things considered, those who want to compare the two quarterbacks should probably look closely at the numbers as the season progresses.
After the first two starts of Kellen Moore's career he had some decent stats, but so did Southwick.
Through his first two games, Moore was 32/42 for 454 yards, two passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and no interceptions.
Southwick's total after his first two career starts were 39/62 for 473 yards, two passing touchdowns and two interceptions. Southwick also had eight rushes for 26 yards.
When you compare the two individuals and their statistics you can see that Moore has the edge due to completion percentage. However, if you replace the first FCS opponent (Idaho State) game with the TCU Poinsettia Bowl game in 2008 the results become very similar.
Combining TCU and Bowling Green, Kellen Moore went 40/58 for 402 yards, two passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and one interception. Compare that to Southwick's numbers of 39/62 for 473 yards, two passing touchdowns, 26 yards rushing and two interceptions.
When breaking down the numbers, the best quarterback in Boise State University history had a similar beginning to the quarterback currently making headlines for the Broncos.
If Joe Southwick continues to perform at this level with modest improvement, he should be a very good quarterback for the Broncos.
Will he be able to move past the Kellen Moore comparisons?
Probably not, but then again, why would he want to?
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