Boise State. Virginia. National television. Prime time. Mike London firing up his Cavaliers before kickoff.
This was going to be a great game, right?
Boise State ambushed Virginia – recording a pick-six on the first play from scrimmage – and never looked back, holding the Cavaliers scoreless in the second half and winning 56-14.
“It was a whole defensive effort,” Boise State linebacker Ben Weaver said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Offensively we played extremely well also.”
Boise State forced five turnovers, had two pick-sixes and a safety. The first pick-six, which came on a 21-yard return by Justin Taimatuia, clearly rattled Virginia.
“Yeah, that’s kind of what we’re meaning to do,” said Weaver, who had a team-high nine tackles. “When you come in and you’re this far away, you don’t have too much road fans and you know the other team is going to have a lot of momentum coming into the game. So it’s extremely important to start fast as a defense and we did that.”
The Broncos were just as good offensively, as quarterback Brett Rypien finished 24-of-35 for 321 yards and three touchdowns.
“Rypien’s just a great player,” Weaver said. “He practices like how he plays. He’s first one in, last one out of the film room. We could also see this coming. The kid’s been training to be the starter and finally got his opportunity and made the most out of it.”
Thomas Sperbeck, meanwhile, finished with five catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns. He was one of three Broncos to finish with five catches, the others being Jake Roh and Jeremy McNichols.
Boise State (3-1) has now outscored the opposition 108-14 after losing at BYU, 35-24, on Sept. 12. The Broncos were outscored 21-0 in the fourth quarter, with BYU snagging a pick-six in the final minute to seal the win.
What happened that night?
“I don’t know,” Weaver said. “I really can’t answer that. I wish we would have won the game. We gave everything we had. Give credit to BYU. They made a good play.”
Whatever happens, the Broncos appear back on track. The host Hawaii on Oct. 3 at 10:15 p.m. ET and still hope to play in a major bowl game.
“We know the final goal of what we want to do, but you can’t look too far ahead because you always let a game slip,” Weaver said. “So we win this one (against Virginia), we’ll celebrate this for 24 hours and then we’re on to the next week trying to go 1-0 again.”