I was at the BSU-VT game. I have some relatives from Idaho who travel to big games, and they scored us some sweet seats in the 100 section near the VT end zone. Their seats were in the 200 section on the Bronco side of the 50 yard line. Given all the claptrap about BSU and my own relative impartiality (family ties notwithstanding, my interest in BSU is related to how well they can bust the BCS), I thought I'd share a few things I thought about the game in my one and only blogpost.
The officiating was pretty poor. VT's final touchdown was preceded by a non-call (VT holding BSU) and a shady penalty (roughing the kicker). I haven't seen a clear view of the roughing the kicker penalty, but VT should have been punting, not kicking a field goal. The holding was blatant. I thought the late hit out of bounds was also a pretty shady call by the refs, and it granted BSU significant field position in the last bit of the two-minute drill.
Sloppy play defined the game, and for that reason it's hard to get a bead on where both teams are at. I suspect most of the issues on both sides will be rectified throughout the season. VT will get a mulligan on this one if BSU stinks it up, though it certainly cost them an MNC run. BSU probably didn't do enough to impress people, especially since their conference schedule isn't much to write home about (through no fault of their own, it must be said). The early-season loss against a good BSU squad won't hurt VT as much as if they'd played someone like Jacksonville State (I'll give you a few minutes to finish laughing).
Boise State is a legit football team. I've never quite understood the logic behind rooting against BCS busters; any one of the major conference teams who wins out will have a better schedule and be rewarded for it. BSU has consistently beaten top-tier teams when given the chance, and as far as I'm concerned, that's reason enough to give them the benefit of the doubt. Several VT fans played the loss down after the game, arguing that BSU really wasn't better than VT—that VT just "gave the game away." And that's true; but that's what the worse football team does. The better team capitalizes on the mistakes. BSU won, deservedly so, and in so doing didn't expose a paper tiger or show that VT was terrible—we'll find that out by the end of the season. One game is an insufficient sample. Come back at the end of the season.
All that said, I think VT outplayed BSU for most of the game—just not when it counted. They stumbled out of the gate, then played a pretty fantastic few quarters of football.
The game was super entertaining. The atmosphere was awesome the entire game, the fans on both sides were pretty gracious (except for the stray VT fan who was drunkenly narrating every play until a lady on the BSU side told him he was ruining her experience of the game).
The parking was terrible. FedEx Field must have the worst flow control of anywhere I have ever been; we sat in the parking lot from 11:45 to 1 after the game finished.
It was loud, and there were still 20,000 people less than a typical OSU game (announced crowd of ca. 86k). When BSU scored the final touchdown, it sounded like speakers popping in my ears. I wish I'd taken ear plugs.
Tyrod Taylor is pretty good. Loved the competitive streak he showed, especially the athleticism to avoid going down.
- Not too impressed with BSU's secondary; their corners were getting burned often in the game, it seemed. Despite playing pretty well, towards the end the D-Line wasn't looking so hot, either. I commented to my brother that I figured the game was over after VT ran three straight runs up the gut and got four ypc. If VT had stuck with running the ball, they would have pulled out the 30-26 victory.