Boise up big at half, but leaving opportunities on the Smurf Turf

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A few things stick out thus far during tonight’s game between Boise State and Louisiana Tech.

For starters, the Broncos are not playing to their full potential. Tonight was the first time Boise State failed to score on its opening drive. On six third downs, the Broncos have only converted twice. A missed field goal by backup placekicker Jimmy Pavel had hunting gear-clad Bronco fans nervous for a bit at Bronco Stadium.

Second, Louisiana Tech can play some football. Considering that the Bulldogs traveled nearly two-thousand miles and the Broncos’ home-field advantage–39-1 the past five years–Louisiana Tech has stayed in the game.

Following a quick rushing touchdown by Tech running back Lennon Creer to even it at 7-7, first-year head coach Sonny Dykes decided to go for an onside kick late in the first quarter. A Bulldog specialist was called for going offside, negating Louisiana Tech’s recovery of the fumble. The Bulldogs’ offense, led by quarterback Ross Jenkins, has been in a no-huddle, racehorse mode through the first half, and had Boise State on its heels.

Nonetheless, the Broncos have a 28-7 lead thanks to two passing touchdowns by quarterback Kellen Moore, who completed 15 of 23 passes for 205 yards. The two scores put Moore at 82 for his career, tying former Bronco Ryan Dinwiddie for the school’s career lead. Moore added a 54 yard punt, to boot–See what I did there? Receiver Tyler Shoemaker has also had a great game so far with five catches for 117 yards and a score.

The Broncos clearly have a target on their back. The majority of the Western Athletic Conference schools will not play another team as highly ranked as Boise State, so beating the Broncos would be equivalent to playing for a conference title or national championship. We will see how this one plays out shortly.