Ryan Dinwiddie played his first year with Boise State in 2000, the Broncos last year in the Big West. He experienced minimal playing time his freshman year, attempting only 19 passes, while backing up Bart Hendricks. It was the next three years that some may even say were the greatest quarterback years in Boise State history, including those of Kellen Moore.
In 2001, Dinwiddie’s first year as a starter, he threw for more than 3,000 yards and 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His receiving corp consisted on no one with more than 50 receptions and five players had 27 or more. He was great at spreading the ball around, finding the open target. He would lead Boise to a 8 – 4 record, 6 – 2 in conference. The conference champion that year was Louisiana Tech led by future NFL quarterback Luck McCown.
Boise State didn’t play in a bowl game that year; however, they played in what was at that time the greatest game in Boise State history and some would say was a bit a coming out party for the Broncos. On October 19, 2001, the Broncos would host undefeated and 8th ranked Fresno State Bulldogs. Dinwiddie would throw for 297 yards and four touchdowns in that game leading Boise State to a 35 – 30 upset victory.
The following year, 2002, Ryan would deal with injuries giving way to B.J. Rhode at times. Still, the Broncos finished 12 – 1, which culminated in a bowl win against Iowa State and final AP ranking of 15th.
Ryan Dinwiddie’s senior year was his best from a statistical stand point and what it meant for the growth of the football program. He compiled 4,356 yards and 31 touchdowns, both career highs. He was selected as the WAC Offensive Player of the Year and won 13 games, including the Texas Fort Worth Bowl against the TCU Horned Frogs and a final AP ranking of 16th. Dinwiddie would toss 325 yards and three touchdowns in that game. A game many say was another massive stepping stone in the rise of Bronco football and incidentally my first Bronco’s bowl game.
Ryan Dinwiddie amassed impressive numbers. He totaled nearly 10,000 yards in the air and 82 touchdowns, while throwing only 21 interceptions. His career quarterback efficiency rating of 168.9 was an NCAA record at the time. During his three years as the starting quarterback, the Broncos won 33 games and lost only six. He was 2 – 0 in bowl games.
Dinwiddie would sign with the Chicago Bears after completing his college career; however, he would not make it past training camp when he was later cut. He went on to play in NFL Europe with the Hamburg Sea Devils followed by a career in the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. His stint in the CFL included a start in the 2007 Grey cup (CFL version of the Super Bowl) after an injury to the starting quarterback Kevin Glenn in the game prior. Unfortunately, his performance was not very good as he set a Grey Cup record by throwing three interceptions.
There is no question of Ryan Dinwiddie's importance to the Bronco's rise to power in college football. His numbers rank up there with some of the best, not only in Boise State history but the history of the game. Was he the greatest quarterback in Boise State history? The Fresno State and TCU wins were probably his signature wins. Both huge wins for the program and helped shape what we see today.
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