The scenario for each of these match-ups is a simple process, I take the current roster and set up multiple dynasties and simulate the seasons, to collect my data. To make sure I had a large enough sample size I simulated 7 seasons to gather the right information. To make it easier to follow I edited the roster to include actual names of the players and aside from that we are all EA sports. With each opponent I will try to give you a best case scenario, worst case scenario, and a possible outcome. The one change that I have made for this game and all future games, is Boise State will be running out of a pistol offense to keep it as close to reality as possible.
Leading into the match-up with Air Force question marks still haunted Boise State. Would this team be able to continue the offense rhythm they had against UTM or would the unfamiliar offensive struggles against Washington return? Would our defense be able to stop the ever difficult triple option that Air Force presented?
The Falcons received the opening kick and after gaining a little traction were forced to punt the ball. After a fair catch the Broncos started their drive from their own 18 yard line. Joe and company charged down the field and finished the drive off with an in stride throw to Kirby Moore for a 54 yard touchdown.
On the Falcon’s second drive, they couldn’t get anything and after a quick three and out Southwick again lead the Bronco charge down the field. Geraldo Boldewijn got some separation from the defender and Southwick found him open for a 27 yard touchdown. The defense then returned to the field and after two first downs forced a fumble that was recovered at the Air Force 49 yard line. Jay Ajayi led this drive, while rushing for three first downs, shouldering the load and allowing the play action game to get set up. Boldewijn lined up on the outside and Southwick threw a fade to the corner which gave Boise State another score and put the Broncos up 21-0.
After the progress that Boise State had made during the first quarter the second would appear a letdown. Boise State couldn’t seem to find the rhythm that gave them success early in the game and scored with 9:02 in the second quarter with Jay Ajayi using his strength to carry two defenders into the end zone from 3 yards out and increase the lead to 28-0. Air Force on the other hand was able to get their offense into rhythm and drove the ball into Boise State territory, but the defense again stymied the triple option, and Air Force had another scoreless quarter leading into halftime.
With Boise State up 28-0 coming back onto the field fans again began to leave the stadium as they had at halftime against UTM. The Broncos didn’t take notice and took their first drive 83 yards and capped it off with Boldewijn again finding himself open in the end zone and being rewarded for another score. The Boise State defense continued their dominance and didn’t allow more than a couple first downs before the Falcons were forced to punt the ball. With time in the third quarter drawing towards an end Southwick completed his day by finding Geraldo Boldewijn open in the end zone for the fourth time of the day. With Boise State now up 42-0 Chris Petersen had seen enough from his starters. The rest of the game was dominated by the youngsters trying to prove they deserved playing time.
As we’ve grown accustomed to with the second stringer’s in the game, the offense appeared stagnant and weren’t able to sustain a long drive. Thankfully slow and steady wins the race as Boise State again leaned on their running game to orchestrate a drive with less than 5 minutes left in the game. They capped off the drive with an Aaron Baltazar touchdown run from 6 yards out for the finals score of the game.
Final Score: Boise State 49 – Air Force 0
As kickoff drew closer rain started to drizzle while clouds continued to roll in and filled the sky with a dark grey overcast. The triple option had been a cause of concern numerous times for the Boise State defense and today would be a true test to the defense’s emphasis on tackling. The opening drive of the game for Air Force ended with the Broncos forcing a punt after allowing thirty yards on the ground from the running game.
Boise State showed their dominance while pushing Air Force around on their way to the end zone. The drive was finished off with Aaron Baltazar taking the hand-off and running 3 yards for the score. With less than four minutes left in the quarter Bryan Douglas read the quarterback’s eyes and intercepted a pass, he then returned it 13 yards for the Broncos’ second score of the game.
To start off the second quarter Joe Southwick found a wide open Dallas Burroughs for 45 yards and increased their lead to 21-0. The defense held strong on another drive and again forced a punt that Shane Williams-Rhodes returned for a gain of 21. The Southwick to Burroughs connection returned as Dallas found himself celebrating another score after a perfectly thrown pass. The second quarter hadn’t seen the last of Dallas as right before halftime he slipped into the back of the end zone and after Southwick was forced to roll to his right he found a wide open Burroughs for their third touchdown of the quarter.
With the Broncos up 35-0 coming out of halftime Chris Peterson gave Southwick one final drive, before giving him a headset for the rest of the game. Joe didn’t disappoint as Burroughs, the speedster, ran past the coverage and caught a 43 yard touchdown pass. The defense then trotted onto the field and after a couple missed assignments and broken tackles Air Force scored on an 83 yard run to cut the lead to 42-7. Air Force’s defense again stopped the Broncos’ attack and forced them to punt. After a long methodical drive the Falcons again found the end zone this time courtesy of a one yard touchdown pass.
The fourth quarter was nothing more than clean up time as the Broncos subbed in their back up defense and were able to stop all of Air Force’s possessions. With Hedrick at the helm, the Broncos led one final score with 10:33 left in the game. Jack Fields lowered his shoulder and bulldozed his way in for his first score of the season. It appeared as though whatever rhythm was lacking from the Washington game was officially over as the Broncos again came away with a win.
Final Score: Boise State 49 – Air Force 14
Heading into the first Friday night game of the season for Boise State, a newfound buzz seemed to be echoing through the city after the Broncos’ offensive production against UTM. As the captains made their way to the field the stadium continued to fill up and shortly after the game was ready to begin. Boise State won the coin flip and elected to defer to the second half. Air Force started their first drive at the 25 yard line after a touch back from Dan Goodale.
The Falcons opened up the game with three running plays that never made it past the first down marker and were forced to punt the ball. Southwick came onto the field and began to orchestrate a drive with short quick passes to Shane Williams-Rhodes and power running from Jay Ajayi. The Broncos put the first points on the board as Jay Ajayi ran in from 8 yards out on a sweep to the left. Air Force couldn’t seem to get their offense going for more than a couple first downs and was again forced to punt the ball. Southwick then led a drive towards the end zone, and finished it off with a deep throw to Geraldo Boldewijn for 32 yards and the score.
The second quarter began with Air Force running the ball right down the field, but unable to get into the end zone, settled for a field goal. The Broncos again found success in the running game until a well faked hand-off froze the defense. Southwick found Dallas Burroughs open for a 20 yard gain which after a missed tackle turned into a 34 yard touchdown. Air Force ended the half with another long drive, but again couldn’t capitalize and kicked another field goal.
The Broncos received to open up the second half and Williams-Rhodes took the kick back to the 41 yard line to give Boise State great field position. Southwick returned to field and led a balanced attack down to the 22 yard line only to have the Air Force defense force Boise State into kicking a field goal and a 24-6 lead. Air Force turned the ball over once again, this time giving Boise State a drive starting at the Falcon’s 39 yard line. Southwick made quick work of this drive and found an open Boldewijn in the end zone to increase the lead to 31-6 with 5:03 left in the third quarter.
The Boise State defense appeared to have the Falcon’s number, as another drive was stopped at the Air Force 46 yard line. After a short punt Boise State took the field one last time and after alternating runs between Ajayi and Baltazar the Broncos found themselves 6 yards from another score with 3:13 left in the quarter. Baltazar got the ball and ran in for the first score of young career to give the Broncos a 38-6 lead.
Air Force orchestrated a drive against the second team down to the Boise State 18 yard line. On a third and two the Falcon’s quarterback kept the ball and avoided defenders on his way into the end zone for the final points of the game. As time expired Boise State had calmed the ever evasive triple option and given themselves a winning record just in time for their next match-up against Fresno State.
Final Score: Boise State 38 – Air Force 13
Stats from Game:
Joe Southwick: 14-24, 3 td – 1 int, 249 yards
Jay Ajayi: 13 carries, 81 yards, 1 td
Aaron Baltazar: 10 carries, 52 yards, 1 td
Geraldo Boldewijn: 8 rec, 141 yards, 2 td
Dallas Burroughs: 2 rec, 52 yards, 1 td
Demarcus Lawrence: 5 tackles, 1 TFL
Head to Head: Boise State 7 – Air Force 0
Follow me on Twitter @bluenorangguru