The Broncos galloped over the Bulldogs in Week One.
In one of the few marquee games of the college football weekend, the Boise State Broncos stepped into the confines of the Georgia Dome and walked out with a fairly convincing 35-21 victory in front of a largely partisan Georgia crowd.
Both teams came out tentatively, like a pair of heavyweight boxers, feeling each other out, trying to gain an advantage.
However, once the scoring began, courtesy of a Brandon Boykin's 80-yd burst for a Georgia touchdown, and the surgically efficient Kellen Moore and his Boise State offense found their rhythm, there were plenty of fireworks.
But what did we learn from this intriguing season opener?
Join us as we take a look at what we learned from this Week 1 clash of two Top 20 teams.
Boise State's D-line Controlled the Line of Scrimmage All Night.
With four seniors up front defensively for Boise State, they effectively controlled the line of scrimmage all night.
Georgia discovered early on that they couldn't run the ball up the middle, granted they were thin in the backfield. But, if you take away Boykin's lone 80-yard sprint to the outside, the Bulldogs would have finished the game with 57 rushing yards.
The Broncos' front four also put pressure on Aaron Murray, who was sacked five times.
The scary part is that the Broncos' defense didn't really do anything special; they routinely rushed the passer with four or five players and still managed to be dominant.
Richt's job could be in jeopardy very early this season.
With 10 seasons at the helm in Athens, Mark Richt is currently the longest tenured coach in the SEC. Overall, he has a winning percentage of 73 percent at Georgia and he is a consummate gentleman. There is no question regarding his character and practically anyone who knows the man wouldn't have a problem having his son play football under his guidance.
The problem is that, with the Bulldogs' losing season last year (6-7) and Richt's two-year record of 14-12, Georgia fans are starting to get restless.
Add the fact that Richt is now 1-8 in his last nine games against ranked opponents and he is officially on the hot seat.
Granted a loss by Boise State would have been more disastrous to their season and might have cost them a shot at a BCS bowl, but Richt cannot start the season 0-2, unless he engineers a miracle turnaround.
He needed this win.
Boykin tries to live up to his words.
It might not have been in the way he intended, but CB/KR Brandon Boykin can not only talk the talk, but he can walk the walk.
When he called out Boise State head coach Chris Petersen on Twitter earlier in the year, daring him to kick the ball to him, he realized that he might have made a mistake. He told his coach, who didn't explode in a fit of rage, but instead told him to back his words with actions.
Boykin did, sort of.
Not only did Boykin explode for 80 yards to get Georgia on the board first but, in the third quarter, he was one tackle away (made by the Broncos' kicker) from taking a kick-off to the house. In the end, that 41-yard return led to the 'Dawgs second touchdown of the game.
However, in the future, Boykin might want to let his play on the field do all the talking.
Moore's surgical strike was devastating to the Dawgs' Defense.
Boise State's offense runs like a Swiss watch.
Everything is precise, based on split-second timing.
If a team gives Kellen Moore time to sit in the pocket and go through his progression of reads, he will carve up a defense.
The only way to counter that is to jam his receivers as they come off the line and get in Moore's face, thus disrupting their timing.
When the Bulldogs were able to do this (mostly in the first quarter) they were effective in defending the pass.
However, Boise State countered this physical attack by grouping their receivers in a bunch formation, making them harder to jam up and, once Moore found his rhythm, it was pretty much over for Georgia.
Though in the Bulldogs' defense, it didn't hurt things for Moore & Co. after Georgia lost ILB Alec Ogletree, their "defensive QB", who read what the Broncos offense was doing and tried to make defensive adjustments on the fly.
The Broncos will Fight Anyone, Anywhere.
Although it still seems that some Boise State fans like to play up the whole David vs. Goliath bit, it's clear that they can play against the big boys and on the biggest of stages.
Since 2008, they have beaten Top 20 opponents in season openers three different times (Oregon, Virginia Tech and now Georgia) and their bowl exploits are renowned.
Just ask Oklahoma.
So it's time to dispense with all this "little engine that could" nonsense.
However, it would be interesting to see them play week-in and week-out in a conference like the SEC, Big Ten or Pac 12.
Crowell had a baptism by fire against the Broncos.
One of the most anticipated moments for Georgia fans was when freshman RB Isaiah Crowell took his first hand-off. Those clad in red and black waited breathlessly until the moment finally came...and then Crowell slipped and fell.
Nothing against Crowell, he looks like a promising young back and could indeed emerge into a superstar down in Athens, but it just wasn't his night. He finished the game with a pedestrian 60 yards on 15 carries.
He showed a couple of flashes, but did nothing jaw-dropping. In fact, one got the impression that Georgia is, for all intents and purposes, a young squad full of talent and potential.
Crowell should not be discouraged, however.
The Bulldogs were very thin in the backfield with Washaun Ealey leaving the team, Caleb King entering the NFL supplemental draft and Carlton Thomas suspended.
Besides Crowell, there was only Richard Samuel, a tailback converted to linebacker converted to tailback again.
It was just too much of a load for Crowell to shoulder—toiling away as the primary rusher, remembering his assignments and trying to pick up blitzes.
Moore can throw to anyone...and does.
One of the questions going into the game was whether or not Kellen Moore would miss two of his favorite targets, Titus Young and Austin Pettis, now gone.
Moore threw the ball to nine different receivers and his three touchdowns were caught by redshirt freshman WR Matt Miller, senior TE Kyle Efaw and senior WR Tyler Shoemaker.
Moore also completed 82 percent of his passes, so, no, he doesn't miss them that badly at all.
Georgia's Defense Was Gassed in the Third Quarter.
Granted this was the first game of the season and both offenses were trying to run up-tempo, no-huddle attacks, but it seemed that the Georgia players cramped up a lot more than Boise State's.
Now, we all know that there are different personnel packages constantly coming on and off the field and when the Broncos offense was in full swing, it prevented the Georgia defense from taking a breather. So much so that, at one point in the third quarter, Georgia was forced to burn a timeout just to get some of their guys off the field.
That sometimes happens, but that is not to what this writer is referring.
It just seemed that Boise State was conditioned better, that their players didn't drop out due to cramps and dehydration while Georgia seemed to be combating cramps the whole game, which is odd for two reasons.
Georgia plays in Athens where it is humid and this game was played inside a climate-controlled dome.
One would have expected that it wouldn't have been much of an issue.
Failure to convert third downs collared the Bulldogs.
Ideally, a team doesn't want to find themselves in third and long situations, but Georgia found themselves in that spot far too often against the Broncos...and once they got there it seemed there wasn't a damn thing they could do about it.
The Bulldogs converted only two of 13 third down attempts.
Credit the Boise State defense for putting them there and for keeping the 'Dawgs from converting, though Georgia did plenty themselves to create those situations.
That's something that the Bulldogs' offense will need to address to survive in the wild world of the SEC.
To be fair though, the Broncos weren't much better (4-12); however, once their offense got clicking, it didn't really matter.
The Broncos look primed for another BCS run.
On paper, this was the Broncos' toughest game of the season. This was also their first as a member of the Mountain West.
Of course, there is always the chance that they might slip up again, like they did against Nevada last season.
However, a quick glance at their schedule reveals that their toughest remaining game was to be against TCU on the Smurf Turf.
Yes, the TCU that let Baylor hang 50 points on them (no disrespect to Robert Griffin III intended).
Boise State holds their destiny in the hands of a deadly accurate Heisman candidate quarterback. It appears that they have already played their toughest game and they have a Top 5 ranking.