The Boise State defense was simply outstanding against BYU on Thursday. The Broncos limited the Cougars to just 61 passing yards - the fewest allowed by the blue and orange since Dec. 4, 2010 against Utah State.
On top of that, they only allowed BYU inside the 20-yardline once, posted three quarterback sacks, and intercepted two more passes.
Broncos taketh and not giveth
- Boise State forced five more turnovers than BYU, but the Broncos also turned the ball over on downs five times.
- The defensive forced three turnovers on BYU’s first eight plays to start the second half.
- Boise State didn’t allow a gain of 10-or-more yards to the BYU offense until over halfway through the second quarter.
BYU yards gained breakdown:
Negative yards: 9
- Senior Jamar Taylor had one of the more complete stat lines you will see out of a cornerback: 5.5 tkl, 1.5 tfl, 1.0 sacks, INT, FF
- The Broncos went 0-for-3 on redzone opportunities. They are now just 6-of-12 on the season and have scored a touchdown on only 25% of those chances. When the Broncos hit the redzone last season, they turned it into six points 74% of the time.
- On Boise State’s three trips to the redzone, their average starting field position on those drives was the BYU 40.
- Quarterback Joe Southwick has been great between the 20s, but the closer he gets to the goal line, the more he struggles:
Between the 20s: 44-66, 553 yds, 1 td, 0 int - 142.0 qb eff.
Inside the redzone: 4-13, 31 yds, td, 2 int - 45.4 qb eff.
Harper roles continues to grow
- Coming into the game, BYU was giving up just 53.0 yards a game on the ground, which ranked 6th in the country. D.J. Harper rushed for 112 yards by himself and recorded the longest run (35 yards) against the Cougar defense this season.
- Harper’s 31 carries were the most in his career, surpassing his previous career high of 24 last season against TCU.
Single-game performances (career):
30+ carries: 1
20+ carries: 2
10+ carries: 14
- Harper touched the ball on 51.5-percent of the plays ran by Boise State against BYU. (The Broncos ran 66 plays. Harper had 34 touches.)
Thats right, offensive line
Harper gained a majority of his rushing yards running the ball to the right against BYU. With left guard Joe Kellogg and right tackle Jake Broyles both nursing injuries, the starters on Thursday were Charles Leno, Jr. at left tackle, Spencer Gerke at left guard, Matt Paradis at center, Michael Ames at right guard and Brennel Myers right tackle.
Rush left: 7 car, 13 yds, 1.9 avg
Rush middle: 13 car, 44 yds, 3.3 avg
Rush right: 9 car, 49 yds, 5.4 avg
Miller right on target
Wide receiver Matt Miller continues to be the go-to-guy for Southwick. The junior had seven catches and was targeted 11 times against BYU. Miller has been thrown to more than twice as much as any other pass-catcher on the roster this season.
Meanwhile, after wide receiver Kirby Moore was targeted a team-high eight times at Michigan State, over the last two games he has only been thrown to four times.
Matt Miller, 26 (16 catches)
Mitch Burroughs, 12 (9)
Kirby Moore, 12 (9)
D.J. Harper, 8 (6)
Chris Potter, 6 (4)
Holden Huff, 5 (3)
Aaron Burks, 4 (3)
Shane Williams-Rhodes, 3 (2)
Gabe Linehan, 3 (1)
Dan Paul, 2 (0)
Hayden Plinke, 1 (1)
— Jay Tust (Follow on Twitter: @KTVBSportsGuy)