Boise State Controlled the Lines, Kellen Moore Picked Apart Georgia in 35-21 Win
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Boise State was outweighed on both the offensive and defensive lines, but when it came time to play, Boise State was very physical and held their own with their veterans anchoring the team.
The Broncos have 25 seniors, and that leadership showed in every phase of the game.
Neither Boise State or Georgia could get the running game going inside, and the first couple of possessions for both teams were over quickly.
Georgia struck first by putting lightning-fast senior CB Brandon Boykin in on offense and he broke free for an 80-yard TD run, and that proved to be Georgia's only lead of the game.
In the rest of the game, Georgia rushed 30 times and netted a mere 56 yards. That's not going to win a lot of ball games.
Starting late in the first quarter, Boise State started moving the ball, and a lot of it had to do with excellent play calling. Brent Pease is the new offensive coordinator, replacing Bryan Harsin, who moved on to Texas.
Every time Georgia came with a blitz or a big rush, there was a free receiver ready to dump the ball off to. Some of the credit goes to Kellen Moore, the field general as QB, changing plays on the line to take advantage of changes.
Between the two of them, Boise State always seemed to be calling exactly the right play. Georgia was strong, physical, with talented players, but they always seemed to be off as a defensive team after the first two possessions.
Could it be Georgia was out-coached? Boise State has made a lot of good teams like Virginia Tech and Oregon look that way in past openers.
Heisman finalist QB Kellen Moore made only one notable mistake all night (one of the few times Georgia managed to beat the line and get in his face) and Georgia got an interception in the second quarter out of it.
Georgia returned the favor with QB Aaron Murray being rushed into an interception by Boise CB Jarrell Gavins.
Kellen Moore did not try for many long throws, but hit nine different receivers, and seemed to be able to hit them all at will. He finished with 28-of-34 for 261 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.
Despite losing his top two receivers to the NFL, and his projected major target, WR Geraldo Boldewijn, not making the trip, Kellen Moore seemed to have an easy time hitting his targets. Five wide receivers, two tight ends, and two running backs all caught passes.
Boise State also ran some specialty packages. Coach Chris Petersen showed a lot of confidence in putting in Redshirt Freshman QB Grant Hedrick throughout the game. Hedrick added an option running game to the mix, and he rushed twice for 18 yards.
More importantly, he kept the Georgia defense that little bit more challenged, as they had to switch gears. Hedrick did not throw any passes, but he is a very capable deep ball passer, and I predict sometime during the season he'll throw a touchdown out of that formation.
Georgia also had some success throwing the ball. SEC preseason pick as Quarterback of the year Aaron Murray ended the day with decent stats: 16-of-29 passing for 235 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
He did a lot of that with defensive linemen pressing him, and he was sacked six times for 34 yards. Georgia, on the other hand, had no sacks against Boise State the entire game.
If you had to pick a two keys to the game, here they are:
1) The Georgia Bulldogs never really were consistently able to stop the passing attack of Kellen Moore after the first few possessions. Specifically, despite their size advantage, they did not get enough pressure on Kellen Moore, and made no sacks.
2) Neither team could run against each other consistently inside, and both found a bit of success outside, or off screens. Georgia did get the first-quarter run from Boykin for 80 yards, but otherwise, they never established the power running game despite having one of the biggest offensive lines in college football.
They tried, but outside that one run, getting 56 yards out of 30 carries is just plain awful. Credit goes to the Boise State front line.
Georgia is a talented program with a lot of great young players. They'll improve, and may get better next year.
Collectively, in the west, at Boise State and elsewhere, there is a collective sigh of relief. The SEC is the best conference. We all get it.
But this may finally, six years after the last Georgia/Boise State game, put that game to rest. I've seen it mentioned hundreds of times in articles and comments.
Who knows what would happen if Boise State played an SEC schedule. They are stepping up the competition a bit by moving to the Mountain West.
But Boise State continues to prove they can play with anyone, and since Kellen Moore has been quarterbacking they now move to a sick 39-2. Boise State is a very good football team.
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