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Offensive coordinator Robert Prince’s play-calling was predictable and seemed somewhat uninspired. Bronco quarterback Joe Southwick made bad decisions on both down and distance, had trouble sustaining drives and drew anger from head coach Chris Petersen for his clock management.
For the second time in three weeks, Boise State failed to score an offensive touchdown. The Broncos only had 261 yards of total offense. Southwick was 15-for-25 for 145 yards. He did manage to get the ball to five different receivers, but it seemed like he was focusing on Matt Miller (seven catches, 75 yards) most of the game.
On what could have been a key fourth-down conversion, Southwick scrambled with the ball, headed for the first-down marker on the sideline and went into a slide a yard short. Could he have made the first down if he had dove for it? Yes.
With the Bronco offense on the field, trying to run out the game clock late in the fourth quarter, Southwick let the play clock wind down and then called a timeout—which caused a very visible display of unhappiness from Petersen.
One has to wonder, though, why Southwick continues to go wire-to-wire under center. Does the Bronco coaching staff have less confidence in the backups, or are they trying to stick with Southwick to build his confidence?
His numbers suggest that he is not rising to the occasion. Throw out that Miami RedHawk game, and Southwick’s numbers are not what one expects from a Division I starting quarterback.
True, a lot of credit has to go to BYU’s defense. But was it better than Michigan State’s? Southwick’s completion percentage may have been higher against BYU, but his passing yardage was lower than it was against MSU.
A Boise State offense that can’t score from inside the 1-yard line on four straight plays? A Boise State offense that has now gone two games out of its first three without scoring an offensive touchdown? Those are both signs that something has to change.