BYU came into Saturday’s matchup with the Boise State Broncos ranked 10th in the country. Their starting quarterback had come back after an injury. And Boise State had been taking a beating. However, it would be the Broncos taking the W in Provo by a 26-17 score. And first-year head coach Andy Avalos netted the program’s first road win over a top-10 team since 2001.
One could say this was a game straight from Bizzaro World, where everything is the exact opposite from reality. BYU came into this game with a turnover differential of +7. Notably, they had only lost one fumble before Saturday. Ironically, it would be the turnovers that would do them in. After taking a 10-0 lead early in the first quarter, Boise State responded with 20 unanswered points. And part of this was due to back-to-back fumbles by BYU. First came from RB Tyler Allgeier. On the other end, Cyrus Habibi-Likio tied it at 10 with an 11-yard scamper. BYU fumbled the kickoff immediately after in their own territory. BSU capitalized with another TD run, this one being from Andrew Van Buren. Boise State took the lead and never let go. Overall, BYU totaled 6 turnovers (3 lost fumbles, 2 TO-on-downs, and a late interception by QB Jaren Hall). Add on nine penalties for the Cougars and that is a recipe for failure.
Boise State’s O-Line Comes Alive
Coming into this game, a big weakness of Boise State was their offensive line play. The running game was anemic, only averaging 70.6 yards a game, ranking 127th in the nation. Quarterback Hank Bachmeier is not exempt, either. Bachmeier had been sacked 12 times through five games. Including the previous game against Nevada, where he was sacked six times in a loss.
Referring back to the Bizzaro World analogy, this game would be a different tale for the Broncos. The running game came awoke. Both Habibi-Likio and Van Buren reached season highs in rushing yards with 75 and 60, respectively. The line managed to keep Bachmeier upright throughout the game as well. While BYU did get to Bachmeier on occasion, with six QB hurries, they only sacked him once all day. As a result, Boise State was able to control the clock
Boise State and BYU Final Thoughts
This could not be a worse loss for BYU. While they do have wins against previously ranked Utah and Arizona State, a loss against a 2-3 team likely slides them way down the top 25. It is their first loss of the season, so the Cougars should still be in the poll. However, this all but ends their chance at the College Football Playoff.
It’s been a rougher start from Boise State than we have become accustomed to seeing. They were under .500 at any multiple games into a season for the first time since 2005. This is an early signature win for Andy Avalos, six games into his first season coaching the team.
Boise State will stay in Boise to host Air Force next Saturday. BYU will travel down to Waco, Texas to face Baylor.
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