Saturday, August 13, 2011

2010 Boise State Upends Miami of Florida in SFL Semi

(Note:  The regular season games were played with just one simulation and the result was recorded.  To ensure the best chance for an accurate result in the playoffs, 50 simulations were played (they take about five seconds each.)  For the team that won the most simulations in those 50, an appropriate sample was chosen for the game below.)

2010 Boise State 33, 2001 Miami of Florida 22
The 2010 Boise State Broncos came back from deficits of 9-0 in the first quarter and 19-17 at the half to defeat the Championship Division first-place Miami Hurricanes this afternoon 33-23 in the Simulation Football League Playoffs.

Miami raced to a 9-0 lead, the result of a Clinton Portis 25-yard run midway through the first quarter and a Todd Sievers 22-yard field goal with 2:38 left.  After Boise State had penetrated to the Miami 36 on the opening drive, the Broncos elected to punt on a fourth and five.  But Ken Dorsey completed two 25-yard passes, one to Andre Johnson and the other to Ethenic Sands, and a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness placed the ball on the Bronco 25.  Portis squirted through the Bronco line for the game's first score.  The extra point attempt by Sievers was no good.

The Broncos were unable to generate any offense on the ensuing possession and had to punt.  Miami threw a mix of pass and run to drive to the Boise State five before making way for Sievers.

Down 9-0, Boise State came charging back.  A good kick return by Titus Young put the Broncos in business at their 36.  Bronco quarterback Kellen Moore found Young open for 22.  Two plays later, Doug Martin bulled ahead for 11 yards on a sweep to the left.  After a Jeremy Avery run of four yards on a draw play, the quarter ended.  When play resumed, Moore dropped back and spotted tight end Tommy Gallarda, who caught the 21-yard pass for Boise State's first score.

It did not take long for the Hurricanes to answer, four plays in fact.  On the fourth play of the drive, Dorsey hit  Jeremy Shockey in stride and the big tight end found paydirt for a 55-yard touchdown.  That gave Miami a 16-7 lead and once again the Broncos were against the wall.  

Boise State's ensuing drive was more methodical, an 11-play march down the field, with the big play being a Moore to Tyler Shoemaker 26-yard play that gave Boise State a first down on the Miami 16.  On a third-and-10, Moore swung the ball to Martin in the flat, and the talented junior did the rest on his own to make it 16-14.  

Consecutive sacks by Michael Atkinson and Winston Venable put Miami into a hole and forced a punt.  The Broncos advanced the ball to the Miami six before Kyle Brotzman came on to boot home a field goal.  Coach Chris Petersen's team had their first lead at 17-16 with 4:04 remaining in the half.  Sievers answered with a field goal of his own (26 yards) with 45 seconds left and the half ended with Miami clinging to a 19-17 lead.

The two heavyweight teams entered a defensive struggle, where Brotzman's 25-yard field goal was the only score of the third quarter.  The third lead change of the game gave Boise State a 20-19 advantage.  Dorsey then engineered a time-consuming 15-play drive that took 6:16 but Boise State's defense kept the Hurricanes to a Sievers field goal from 20 yards.  

That was a key turning point for the bend-but-don't break Bronco defense.  Moore guided the Broncos on a 10-play drive of their own, hitting Geraldo Hiwat for 11 and Austin Pettis for 19 to put Brotzman within range and the senior delivered with a 46-yard field goal to once again put Boise State ahead 23-22.

The Bronco defense took over from there.  Jerrell Gavins picked off an errant Dorsey pass and returned it 15 yards to the Miami 19.  Moore hooked up with Young once again for a 17-yard gain to the one-yard line and Avery dove over from there.  Brotzman's PAT made it a 30-22 game with 7:51 remaining in the game.  The Broncos forced Miami into a three-and-out and when Brotzman tacked on his fourth field goal of the game with 4:07 remaining, the Broncos could sense the victory.

A Ryan Winterswyck interception at the Boise State 16 on the next Miami possession effectively ended the game.

It was definitely a team victory for Boise State--they were outgained 515-398 as the Bronco running game struggled (65 yards on 33 carries).  But the Broncos made the plays they had to in coming out victorious.  Moore was 26-42 for 303 yards and the two scores while Joe Southwick came on briefly and hit 4-5 for 30. Senior receivers Austin Pettis (6-91) and Titus Young (6-64) were key targets as they have been all year.   

For Miami, Portis finished with 127 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.  Dorsey hit 27-44 for 376 yards and a touchdown but also the costly interception.  Johnson (5-91) and Sands (5-75) paced the Hurricane receivers while Shockey had four receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown.

Boise State advances to the SFL Championship next Saturday against the 2009 Boise State team, which downed USC 59-37 earlier this afternoon.  The 2010 Broncos are now 12-1 while the 2009 team is 10-3.  Miami ends the season 11-2 with consecutive losses to the 2009 Alabama team on the final weekend of the regular season and the loss today.

2009 Boise State Downs 2004 USC in SFL Playoffs

(Note:  The regular season games were played with just one simulation and the result was recorded.  To ensure the best chance for an accurate result in the playoffs, 50 simulations were played (they take about five seconds each.)  For the team that won the most simulations in those 50, an appropriate sample was chosen for the game below.)

2009 Boise State 59, 2004 USC 37
The Boise State defense limited the high-flying 2004 USC offense to just eight second half points as the Broncos broke open a close game to run away from the Trojans 52-37 this afternoon in the first Simulation Football League semifinal.

The Boise State offense was balanced in all areas, rushing for 268 yards while passing for 278 and scoring 31 points in the first half and 28 in the second half.  Junior field general Kellen Moore's heady play sparked the Broncos, connecting on 20-of-32 passes for 278 yards and three scores with zero interceptions while leading his team on eight touchdown drives.  Doug Martin, Jeremy Avery and D.J. Harper continually kept the aggressive Trojan defense off guard, then played ball control once the Broncos gained the upper hand.  Martin ran for 136 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries, while Avery picked up 110 yards and two TD's on 21 carries and Harper gained 51 yards on eight.

It didn't take long for Boise State to get the first break.  On the third play from scrimmage, esteemed Trojan running back Reggie Bush fumbled, with Bronco safety George Iloka recovering the loose ball on the USC 44.  Moore backed up and tossed a strike to Austin Pettis at the 42, who maneuvered past a couple of defenders to the USC 27.  On the next play, Avery took a pitch, cut right, and scampered down the sideline untouched to put Coach Chris Petersen's team up 7-0.  

                                       Jarrett's great end-zone catch gave USC their first lead.

The Broncos held USC on their next possession to force a punt which stopped on the Bronco nine-yard line. But consecutive sacks of Moore by Travis Tofi and Ryan Ting resulted in a safety.  USC took advantage on the ensuing kick as quarterback Matt Leinart completed two passes which put the Trojans on the Bronco seven.  Leinart's first pass to Steve Smith was underthrown, and his second attempt to Smith was just past Smith's outstretched fingertips.  On third down, Leinart floated a pass to Dwayne Jarrett, who came down with the ball in the end zone for a 9-7 USC lead.

Moore and the Broncos drove to the USC nine on their next possession but again penetration led to two sacks and Kyle Brotzman had to come on to kick a 29-yard field goal.  That put Boise State ahead once again 10-9.  USC's Ryan Killeen answered with a 32-yarder of his own early in the second quarter and the early see-saw game was living up to all expectations.  

                          Kirby Moore is off to the races on 47-yard TD

An exchange of punts gave Boise State the ball in good field goal position at the Boise State 46 after Kyle Wilson returned a punt for 34 yards.    The brother-to-brother combination that Bronco fans had been dreaming of hooked up as Moore hit brother Kirby on the run for a 47-yard scoring play.  With Brotzman's extra point, the Broncos regained the lead 17-12.  That lead was short-lived, as 21 seconds later, LenDale White exposed an opening in the Bronco defense for a brilliant 68-yard run to paydirt and the Trojans were out in front 19-17.

        White fools the Broncos a second time

The wild second quarter continued as five plays into Boise State's sixth drive of the game, Martin burst through tacklers for a 45-yard run of his own that gave Boise State a 24-19 lead.  But USC returned to the same play call that had resulted in their last touchdown, and once again White broke free for a 60-yard touchdown.  The bewildered Broncos lined up for the PAT by Killeen, and USC was ahead 26-24.  In a game that had so far included just two punts, Boise State drove down the field on their next possession, capitalizing on another Moore-to-Moore play, this one from eight yards out.  It was the eighth lead change of the half and the Broncos now led 31-26.

Knowing every point was precious, USC Coach Pete Carroll ordered Leinart in a hurry-up offense as the Trojans had 1:19 to work with and the ball on their 32.  Leinart completed a couple of passes and his 18-yard scramble with 17 seconds left put Killeen in range, and the senior responded with a 33-yarder with four seconds left.  The Broncos clung to a narrow 31-29 advantage as the battle-torn warriors went into the locker room.

On Boise State's opening possession of the second half, the Bronco running game took over, and Martin finished the drive with a punctuating 29-yard run.  Bronco fans went wild in the stands as their team went up two scores.  The tough Boise State defense forced USC's second punt of the game with 11:49 remaining in the third quarter, and the Broncos drove to the USC 31, but a 48-yard attempt by Brotzman was wide left.  The Trojans charged forward to the Boise State 42, but Bush fumbled for the second time on a jarring hit by Jeron Johnson and Brandyn Thompson dove on the loose ball.

Consecutive 25-yard plays by Harper (run) and Pettis (pass) paved the way for an 11-yard TD run as Avery went between center Thomas Byrd and guard Will Lawrence.  The Bronco senior back, who rushed for 1,573 yards and was second only to Brotzman with 162 points in the regular season, gave Boise State a commanding 45-29 lead.

USC drove to the Boise State 40 yard-line on its next possession, but a Ryan Winterswyck interception effectively ended the game.

Pettis was the top Bronco receiver with five receptions for 83 yards while tight end Kyle Efaw had four catches for 48 yards and Tyler Shoemaker hauled in three passes for 38.

White was magnificent for the Trojans with 250 yards rushing.  Leinart finished 17-31 for 217 yards and two TD's.  Smith topped the USC receiving corps with five catches for 79 yards.  USC finished the SFL season with a 9-4 record.

The Broncos, who won the Boise State Division with an 11-1 record, are now in the SFL Championship against the winner of the other semifinal between the 2010 Broncos and the exciting 2001 team from Miami of Florida.