The Boise State opener against Ole Miss didn’t exactly go the way the Broncos wanted, as they were stomped 35-13 by the Rebels. So, besides a loss, let’s look at what we can take away from this game.
1. The defense played well.
It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the game got out of hand, with the Rebels outscoring the Broncos 28-7. Until that point, though, the defense for the most part held the Ole Miss offense and 2nd team All-SEC quarterback Bo Wallace in check. Wallace had a pretty mediocre first half and threw three interceptions before really excelling in the fourth quarter with three touchdown passes.
2. The offensive line has some learning to do.
The Ole Miss defensive front line proved to be too much for the young, inexperienced Boise State offensive line to handle. The offensive line was unable to get any blocks and didn’t give quarterback Grant Hedrick any time in the pocket. Going forward, the offensive line must improve at protecting Hedrick and creating space for Ajayi to run the ball.
3. Grant Hedrick has to make better choices with the ball.
Hedrick made some poor choices with the ball, throwing four interceptions in the game as well as some errant throws. Hedrick must be more patient instead of forcing throws that are not there if the offense is going to be successful this season.
4. The offense runs through Ajayi.
Ajayi carried the ball 20 times for 86 yards, but perhaps even more impressive was his 12 receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown. Ajayi will indeed be the focal point of the offense this year and could have his best season yet.
5. Don’t lose hope for the Broncos just yet.
With their most difficult game behind them, Boise State should play better the rest of the season. The Broncos have enough talent on both sides of the ball to be one of the favorites to win the Mountain West. They have a favorable schedule going forward, with their toughest games against Utah State, San Diego State, and BYU all taking place at home, a place where the Broncos rarely lose. Don’t push the panic button just yet.