Robert Prince’s impact on the Boise State offense can still be seen to this day.
The Broncos’ former offensive coordinator, now the wide receivers coach for the Detroit Lions of the NFL, can be mentioned in the same conversation as Colin Kaepernick as reasons for Boise State’s decline.
Despite word from current head coach Bryan Harsin and offensive coordinator Mike Sanford that the offense would look more like it did when Kellen Moore set passing records, there was more evidence that Prince’s offense from last season was still the base.
While Harsin and Sanford did away with the pistol formation for the most, there are still plenty of remnants of Prince’s monstrosity that were seen against Ole Miss.
For all the talk of needing to take more downfield shots, Boise State’s longest pass play was a 32-yard catch and run from running back Jay Ajayi.
Boise State’s attempts to gain quick, easy yards were met with fierce opposition from Ole Miss’ defense. Wide receivers Matt Miller and Shane Williams-Rhodes were quickly stopped before they could move the ball upfield.
Miller’s longest play of the game was a 22-yard reception while Williams-Rhodes finished the game with 14 catches for only 53 yards.
The big-play ability that has been associated with the Broncos since that Statue of Liberty against Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl is gone.
In 83 plays ran against Ole Miss, Boise State managed only 399 yards of offense, an average of 4.65 yards per play.
The balance of the Boise State offense just wasn’t there. Only four Broncos tallied a reception in the game, with Ajayi and Williams-Rhodes both breaking through the double-digits.
The imbalance in the passing game was just as evident in the run game.
Take away Ajayi and Hedrick’s 20 and 14 carries respectively and the Broncos only ran the ball twice. An end around to Williams-Rhodes, who broke through for 23 yards, and a three yard rush by Devan Demas.
To sum up the Broncos’ offense in one word: predictable.
Predictable doesn’t lead the nation in offense.
Predictable doesn’t put points on the board.
Predictable isn’t going to win any one a conference title.
Fan’s expecting to see Boise State light up the scoreboard as they did under Kellen Moore were met with vast disappointment in Thursday’s opener. The question remains to be seen if the Broncos can make amends against Colorado State.