Broncos Win Mountain West Championship Game
Boise State tops Fresno State to win the Mountain West title.
Boise State’s defense sealed the win.
The Mountain West title game was a lot like the week prior game when Fresno State hosted Boise State. Points were at a premium in this game which saw the Broncos win, 17-14.
The game ended when the Mountain West defensive player of the year Leighton Vander Esch picked off Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion when the Bulldogs were down three trying to not only come back to tie or win, but also were trying to score its only points of the half.
The game itself can be summed up in a few words. Missed chances and a defensive slugfest. The opening drive of this game saw Fresno State begin the barrage of miscues as the opening field goal boinked off the field goal, Boise State also missed its own long field goal and both quarterbacks missed wide open receivers throughout the game.
This game was a defensive struggle throughout the night with each unit harassing the other quarterback with multiple sacks and tackles for loss in this game on both sides.
The game seemed to be turning for Fresno State in the fourth quarter when Boise State running back Alexander Mattison left the game with a left leg injury which was followed by a 4th and 1 attempt that failed due to a false start and then the Broncos punted.
Fresno State looked to have the game in ultimate control when they had back-to-back sacks and Boise State was forced to punt with 9:53 left in the game.
However, the Bulldogs offense did basically nothing in the second half and relied on its defense to stop Boise State. It worked for most of the game, until it didn’t.
The Broncos finally broke through against this Fresno State defense with a Brett Rypien to Cedrick Wilson 59-yard pass which ultimately setup the go ahead touchdown on a 2-yard run by Ryan Wolpin.
Another key play on this Broncos touchdown drive was a defensive pass interference call on the Bulldogs. Anthoula Kelly did not turn around to make a play on the ball as he face-guarded Wilson. The pass was under thrown and had Kelly turned around it would have been an incomplete pass.
The Boise State defense held Fresno State in check the entire game and specifically held McMaryion’s legs in check in the second half. The Fresno State quarterback ran the ball well in the first half and had the only two Bulldogs touchdowns.
For the game Boise State was pressuring McMaryion all night and while there were no turnovers until that last pass he was making smart plays with short passes. The deep ball was an issue all night for Fresno State, so when the short passing game and the offensive line was failing for the Bulldogs its offense was non-existent.
The MVP’s of this game were Boise State QB Brett Rypien and the defensive award went to Leighton Vander Esch.