By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
The Boise State blackout has been a hit in stores.
Travis Hawkes, the owner of The Blue & Orange Store, and Mike Reed, the director of the Bronco Shops, are featured in our weekly Q&A in Saturday’s paper.
Here are a couple highlights about Saturday’s blackout:
Hawkes: “It’s been really good in two ways. One, sales have been great. It’s been kind of a throwback week for us as far as from the last couple years some of our biggest game weeks — high excitement. It’s been by far the best game week of the season. The other way it’s been good is the fans have seemed just really positive and really excited about it. There hasn’t been complaining.”
Reed: “It has been phenomenal. It has been crazy. All our seven stores have been off the charts with customers. The fan support and just the excitement they’re showing, it’s just been great. … Some of us had, not doubts, but ‘OK, how are the fans going to respond to that?’ When they unveiled the jersey, we knew that it was going to be a great color scheme. Going off the fans’ normal colors is always kind of a risk, but I’ll tell you what, it’s blown away all my expectations.”
Boise State has dominated field position in three of its past four games — holding an 18-yard edge in starting position against Fresno State, a 23-yard edge against Southern Miss and an 11-yard edge against BYU.
For the season, the Broncos have started 19 drives in their opponents’ territory. Opponents have started just six drives in the Broncos’ territory.
That disparity is 10-1 in the past two games.
The Broncos’ success in turnover margin (plus-11) has helped. But the special-teams units, which have lacked the flashy play this season, have quietly made an impact.
“There’s some solid, subtle football being played in there that I do think is helping the field position, defense situation,” coach Chris Petersen said.
I’ve been asked several times this year, and wondered myself, how this year’s defense stacks up with the recent Boise State defenses. I crunched a bunch of numbers last night, including a comparison of opponents. The chart appeared in today’s paper and shows that while this year’s defense has done a great job, it has not been as dominant — or faced as strong of competition (based on scoring offense) — as recent defenses. The chart is not online, unfortunately.
Boise State sophomore wide receiver Matt Miller finished with one catch last week against Fresno State. The Bulldogs were physical with him, taking him out of his route on a couple of plays the Broncos ran early in the game.
“It was kind of a weird type of game, how it played out,” Miller said. “We kind of got the run game going. The receivers went to the run game as blockers and tried to be part of the game that way.
“Fresno did a good job of kind of taking us away. Their corners kind of locked us down. They had good safety help, too, but that did allow us to run the ball.
“I thought it was the best we blocked all year. I think we had a season high for knockdown blocks as receivers.”
Miller, on the offense:
“We’re right there. It’s kind of how we’ve been all season. We’re really close to blowing things open.”
Senior tailback D.J. Harper on the offense:
“We’ve kind of reduced our game plan a little bit. It’s really just simplifying and using the plays we’re really used to.”