You would actually think that the Broncos had lost the game at La Tech if you talked to most fans. Frustration continues to boil to the surface whenever the conversation turns to the defense between fans around the water coolers and message boards. Everyone wants to know what the heck is wrong with the Defense.
I think what we all need is a little reminder from years past. The fact of the matter is that BSU has never won a blow-out in Ruston, furthermore the only time the Broncos have held La Tech under 30 points in Louisiana was a day where the field was so mired in mud that the Broncos had to seal the deal by running the ball almost 20 times consecutively to put a finishing score in the cupboard. Ruston is one hell of a home field advantage and we should know a little something about that!
In 98 & 01 BSU lost both games in Ruston giving up a combined 111 points. The last three games in the South have been wins but with an average margin of victory of 12.3 points, that is not bad all things considered, but to most Bronco fans that is fairly hard to swallow.
Regardless, the game unfolded as the Coach Chris Petersen expected "It's a hard place to come and play. We really thought it would be a hard-fought game and we'd have to win it in the second half - and that's really what happened." The second half was the story as both teams started it tied at 17 a piece.
The Offense really poured it on with Jeremy Avery and [db]Jeremy Childs/db]. Avery set the tone for the offense early. Following an interception by Safety [db]Marty Tadman[/db], Avery, the running back formerly known as "peanut", ran and caught for all 44 yards of the drive capping it off with a 20 yard scamper for a touchdown. This one drive was just a portion of the 114 yards rushing, 79 yards receiving and 2 TD's 'TRBFKAP'* brought in his first game as the primary back. Child aside from being always there for a crucial first down personally iced the game away with an 83 yard TD reception midway through the 4th quarter.
The untold story of the second half was the opportunistic defense. How this went unnoticed by so many is worrisome. The defense in the second half generated 3 punts and 4 turnovers. Two interceptions, 1 fumble and one possession change on downs. Not only did the turnovers happen they happened at crucial times. Tadman's aforementioned pick placed the ball on La Techs 44 which set up the Avery drive. But perhaps the most crucial turnover was provided by the somewhat maligned Orlando Scandrick. He stopped what may have been a drive to tie the game by stripping the ball inside the Bronco twenty.
No Doubt there are things to work on but this team can take this win and know that this team can and will win tough games on the road. The Dogs from down South came to fight but in the end the defense finished the job!