What Punch? Broncos-Ducks Round III
I have interviewed at least eight Boise State football players concerning the upcoming Las Vegas Bowl against Oregon and during each interview someone asked about "the punch."
Players were asked about the history of Boise State vs. Oregon football. What punch, what history?
Quite frankly there is so little history between these two schools the only thing that's left to talk about to hype the game was a punch thrown eight years ago before any of the current Bronco or Oregon players were even in high school.
Lets talk about history. Boise State is 2-0 against the Ducks and that's not much history. Two games doesn't make a rivalry or even a significant series. Boise State won 37-32 in 2008 as a redshirt freshman named Kellen Moore showed BSU Fans a glimpse of four great years to come. Moore would go 50-3 as BSU's quarterback. To put that in perspective, in a sport where a 10 game win season is a mark of excellence, Moore and BSU averaged 12.5 wins per season!
Okay, that's more about Boise State history than BSU-Oregon lore. In 2009 the Broncos beat Oregon 19-8 this time on the blue in Boise. The game was over and players walking off the field when Ducks running back LeGarette Blount ko'd BSU linebacker Byron Hout with a punch no one saw coming.
To their credit, other players and coaches kept the peace and the incident was isolated albeit headline news.
Eight years later the "punch" is being referred to as if a common occurrence during a Boise State-Oregon football game. All two of them!
The reality is much different. This is a rare chance for Boise State and Oregon to collide on the football field, an opportunity for the Broncos to play a quality Pac 12 opponent. That alone is reason for motivation as is an 11-3 season.
As for the punch, each player said they had heard about it, a few had seen the video but none of the players interviewed really gave the punch a second thought.
If you are looking for motivation how about the fact Oregon is favored to win by a touchdown but Boise State is the team 10-3 and ranked #25. The Ducks are 7-5. Did I mention Boise State is 3-0 in Previous Las Vegas Bowls with wins over Arizona State, Washington and Utah. All Pac 12 teams!
Despite the Broncos national reputation there is still an absence of respect BSU covets in the college football world.
There you go, some timely motivation meaning there's no need to dip back into ancient history, or lack of history to get up for this game.
Saturdays kickoff is 1:30 p.m. on ABC.
Footnote: The Broncos arrived in Las Vegas Tuesday afternoon and went right to practice. Head coach Bryan Harsin said he is hopeful tight end Jake Roh and running back Alexander Mattison will be able to play but that each will be a game day decision.
Roh has missed two games with a lower leg injury, Mattison was injured late in the Mountain West Title game, also a lower leg injury.