December 23, 2010 8:06 AM
There were four bowl games played prior to last night, including a good game with Louisville's 31-28 win over Southern Miss on Tuesday, but for all practical purposes, the college postseason really kicked off last night in Las Vegas when Boise State played Utah. The Utes just looked completely in over their head. They played well in the first quarter and one wondered if the Broncos were having a problem getting pumped up for this game after losing out on a Rose Bowl on the final play of the regular season. But whatever the problem was, be it strategic or mental, Boise got it fixed and took the game over. They muscled Utah on the ground, piling up over 200 rushing yards, led by Doug Martin's 147. Wide receiver Austin Pettis had 147 yards of his own, catching the bullets Kellen Moore was firing all over the lot. And Utah kept beating themselves. They committed ten penalties and at least two of them directly cost them points. Utah was unlikely to win the game in any case, but giving away points ensured a long night and it was just that, and Boise rolled to a 26-3 win.
Boise's win wraps up their year at 12-1 and while beating a fellow mid-major--even a highly qualified midmajor, who's bound for the Pac-12 next season--won't impress the BCS cartel, this game does at least separate the Broncos from other pretenders. Where Boise fits in the overall national picture is the subject of legitimate debate, but last night showed they do indeed belong where they've been all year--being discussed and measured against schools like Ohio State, Oregon, Auburn, Alabama, etc, and not simply dismissed. Congrats to Chris Peterson's team for another excellent season.
Image from US Presswire
Dan Flaherty is the editor of the Sports Notebook Family, published through the Real Clear Sports Blog Network, offering daily commentary in the NFL, coverage of college basketball. and bowl commentary in college football. He is the author of The Last New Year's, a book that revisits the historic high points of college football's New Year's Day bowl games.