OPINIONATOR: Laser-Focused Brett Rypien Playing At A Tom Brady Level? More Like A Kellen Moore Level Going Into The San Diego State Game

BY MIKE PRATER
@KTIK.COM

Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien was compared to NFL legend Tom Brady at least twice during Saturday night’s game broadcast at Wyoming, where the Broncos opened their Mountain West schedule with a dominant 34-14 victory.

That’s ridiculous … because, right now, the Broncos’ senior is producing better results than Brady.

The more realistic comparison? Rypien is playing football at a Kellen Moore level, which is standard operating procedure for most senior quarterbacks at Boise State (see chart below).

  • Rypien’s last 18 Mountain West games: 15 wins, 33 touchdowns – and two interceptions.
  • Saturday night at Wyoming: Rypien completed 28-of-42 passes for 342 yards, two TDs and no picks.
  • Rypien’s stats this season: He’s completing 70 percent of his passes, and is averaging 347.3 yards a game with 12 TDs and no interceptions. He has thrown for 300-plus yards in five consecutive games, a school record. He has completed passes to 13 different players and has hit seven for TDs.

“He’s as consistent week-to-week as I’ve been around and in the game it carries over. … He’s playing at a high level and he’s playing fast,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said.

The coach added four specific words to describe Rypien’s play, which will attract Heisman attention if it continues over the next two months:

Focused

Patient

Smart

Tough

Let’s add one more: Humble.

“I’m just practicing well, my film studies have been well and our receivers are making plays. … And our offensive line is doing a great job of protecting. I don’t think that’s been talked about enough,” Rypien said after the Wyoming win.

Playing football at a high level is the norm for Boise State senior quarterbacks. Of the past seven, dating back to 2000, five have finished their careers with strong seasons. Grant Hedrick, Moore, Jared Zabransky, Ryan Dinwiddie and Bart Hendricks were dominant.

Moore is the standard-bearer – and Rypien has a strong chance to match the success of No. 11’s senior season. Maybe even surpass it, if Rypien can win a league title, which Moore did not in his final season.

Rypien can’t win a MW title by himself, and the Broncos continue to struggle in the run game, producing only 161 yards on 46 carries (3.5 yards per carry) against Wyoming. The lack of production has turned into a trend, and a potential concern for the future.

But the way Rypien is throwing the ball right now, it doesn’t seem to matter.

  • NEXT GAME: San Diego State (3-1, 0-0 MW) at Boise State (3-1, 1-0), 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Albertsons Stadium, 93.1 FM and 670 AM, ESPNU. The Aztecs had a bye this week.
  • CLICK HERE FOR POST-GAME AUDIO FROM RYPIEN
  • CLICK HERE FOR POST-GAME AUDIO FROM HARSIN

BSU QUARTERBACKS – SENIOR SEASONS SINCE 2000

GRANT HEDRICK, 2014

  • Played all 14 games
  • Passing: 294-415, 3,696 yards, 23 TDs, 14 INTs
  • Rushing: 592 yards, 8 TDs
  • 12-2 record, Mountain West title, beat Arizona in Fiesta Bowl

JOE SOUTHWICK, 2013

  • Started 8 of 13 games
  • Passing: 151-208, 1,654, 12-5
  • Rushing: 111 yards, 3 TDs
  • 8-5 (Southwick record as a starter was 6-2), no league title, BSU lost to Oregon State in Hawaii Bowl (Southwick sent home before game)

KELLEN MOORE, 2011

  • Played all 13 games
  • Passing: 326-439, 3,800, 43-9
  • 12-1, no league title (lost to TCU), beat Arizona State in Vegas Bowl

TAYLOR THARP, 2007

  • Played all 13 games
  • Passing: 289-423, 3,340, 30-11
  • 10-3, no league title (lost at Hawaii), lost to East Carolina in Hawaii Bowl

JARED ZABRANSKY, 2006

  • Played all 13 games
  • Passing: 191-288, 2,587, 23-8
  • Rushing: 166 yards, 6 TDs
  • 13-0, WAC title, beat Oklahoma in Fiesta Bowl

RYAN DINWIDDIE, 2003

  • Played all 14 games
  • Passing: 276-446, 4,356, 31-7
  • 13-1, WAC title, beat TCU in Fort Worth Bowl

BART HENDRICKS, 2000

  • Played all 12 games                                        
  • Passing: 227-376, 3,611, 36-9
  • Rushing: 338 yards, 8 TDs
  • 10-2, Big West title, beat UTEP in Humanitarian Bowl

 

Mike Prater, editor of The Opinionator, co-hosts Idaho Sports Talk with Caves & Prater weekdays from 3-6 p.m. on KTIK 93.1 FM The Ticket and can be heard on Bronco GameNight after BSU football games on KBOI 670 AM and KTIK 93.1 FM. He can be reached at mike.prater@cumulus.com, and found @CavesandPrater(Facebook) and @MikeFPrater (Twitter).

Brett Rypien photo courtesy of Marc Young Photography

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