Boise State vs. BYU: 10 Things We Learned in Broncos' Loss
Boise State is now 5-3 on the season overall and 3-1 in the MWC after a painful 37-20 loss at the hands of of the BYU Cougars.
The Cougars dominated the Broncos in nearly every area of the game Friday night, and it was the first win for BYU over Boise State in four attempts.
The only upside for Boise State is that this wasn't a Mountain West Conference game, and the experience probably helps the Broncos new quarterback Grant Hedrick going into the rest of the MWC schedule.
Still, a loss like this is painful, and lessons or not, it had to sting a bit.
Let's look at what we learned in the Broncos loss to BYU, and let's try to figure out what it might mean for the remainder of their 2013 season.
Taysom Hill Is the Real Deal
Idaho native Taysom Hill is quite the player. Most people already knew that, but tonight against the Broncos, The BYU quarterback proved it again.
On the night, Hill threw 41 passes and connected on 27 of them for 339 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran 18 times for 69 yards and an additional score.
He was the difference all game long, and BYU fans have to be happy to have him in Provo.
The Offense Struggled Without Southwick
The Boise State offense struggled without Joe Southwick at quarterback.
Now, there is no telling how much better the Broncos would have done with him. However, the offense was clicking with Southwick before the Nevada game.
Still, Boise State had 499 yards of total offense on on the night. But, it was the turnovers and the red-zone problems that doomed the Broncos.
You have to wonder if Southwick was healthy would Boise State have had a better chance? Of course, we will never know, but it will be a topic of debate this week in Boise.
Hedrick Did Some Good Things in His First Start
In his first start as a Bronco Grant Hedrick did some good things—just not enough to get the win.
Hedrick went 26-of-43 for 238 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also ran nine times for 24 yards and a score.
You have to think that this kind of game only helps him and his entire team going into the final games of the Mountain West Conference season. The lessons and experience he gained against the Cougars can only help as teams like Colorado State, Wyoming and New Mexico loom.
It wasn't a glorious debut or a disastrous first start, but there is certainly room for improvement.
Boise State Ties Its Highest Loss Total Under Petersen
Chris Petersen is a great coach, most people know that. In fact, the last and only time one of his teams lost three games in a single season was 2007.
So far in 2013, Boise State is 5-3 with four regular-season games left on the schedule.
Those last four games are winnable, but unless some improvements are made, Boise State may have its worst record under Petersen.
The Boise State Defense Needs to Force More Turnovers
The Boise State defense used to be known for its turnovers. However, they have hit a dry spell as of late.
Against BYU, a turnover could have been the spark the Broncos needed. But, they didn't get a single one, and this was the second game in a row in which they failed to get a takeaway.
Turnovers normally come when a defense is playing with reckless abandon. At times, the Broncos look to be doing that, but why isn't the ball dropping their way?
That is a question coaches are going to have to figure out as the season winds down and Boise State competes for a MWC title.
Broncos Need to Fix Some Things by Saturday
As mentioned in previous slides, Boise State has Colorado State next Saturday and they must get some things fixed before that game.
First, there were a number of missed tackles on the night for the Broncos.
They also need to do a better job competing for the ball when it's up for grabs. On more than one occasion, Boise State defensive backs could have taken an interception had they fought harder for the ball.
On offense, turnovers have to cease of course, and the offense needs to find a new rhythm under Hedrick.
With a Mountain West title game appearance on the line, Boise State has its work cut out for it this week in practice.
Four Turnovers Are Hard to Overcome
It doesn't matter what team it is, if they have four turnovers, they have made it difficult for themselves to win.
Boise State did just that Friday night, stifling a few very good drives in the process.
If those four turnovers don't happen, the game against the Cougars is much more competitive at the very least.
Hedrick Should Have Run the Ball More
One of the things that stood out Friday night was the impact of Grant Hedrick's feet. Whenever he ran, he usually made some good things happen.
Who knows if he was coached to run less than he did against Nevada. After all, the Broncos can't afford to lose another quarterback.
However, the question remains, what would have happened tonight if Hedrick had ran more?
We will never know, but you have to think more than a few Boise State fans are asking that same question.
Boise State Started Very Slow Again
In past seasons, Boise State was known for starting games well.
However, in 2013, that has not always been the case.
In the last two games, the Broncos haven't gotten much going until the second half, and that doesn't help a team win championships.
Going forward this team must find a way to get things going early, or this season could be much worse than anyone expected.
Boise State Loses Its First Game to a Utah School in the Last 22 Games
The Broncos had a 21-game winning streak going against Utah schools going into tonight's contest. That included wins against Utah State, Utah and three against BYU.
That streak is gone, and all Boise State can do is try to get another one started next season. They will face Utah State and BYU again in 2014, but this time both of those teams will come to Boise.