Defense was, again, the name of the game. If not for a fumble recovery for a touchdown, Boise State would have tossed a shutout of Nevada Las-Vegas Saturday. Instead, the Broncos had to settle for a 32-7 win that was more lopsided than the score would indicate.
Even without defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, the Broncos defense stifled the Rebels, and Jerrell Gavins finally had the game he needed, culminating a strong showing at corner with his own fumble recovery for a touchdown.
What the Broncos have to consider, though, is the lack of scoring power in the second half of the game. After marching out to a 25-0 halftime lead, the Broncos only scored seven points in the second half.
Granted, there were a lot of subs going on, but Boise State started out with a good offensive series, taking the ball from its own 25 and consuming more than five minutes of the game clock before missing a 43-yard field goal attempt.
Remember the New Mexico game? Boise State only had seven points in the second half of that game as well and barely held on to win 32-29. The difference against UNLV, though, was the defense was not picked apart for 29 points in the second half.
The dominating defense was enough to impress, and Boise State inched up to No. 21 in the AP poll and No. 18 in the USA Today poll.
With that in mind, let’s grade out the performances of Saturday’s starters against UNLV.