Boise State Recap: Broncos Hold Off Air Force, 48-38
Broncos escape with a win over the pesky Falcons.
Broncos earn first win in Colorado Springs
Air Force comes into the matchup 3-3 all-time against the Broncos and is one of few programs that can boast that they have won 3 of the last 4 matchups with Boise State. With nose tackle Sonatane Lui being limited and David Moa out for the season, the Broncos have struggled against the run recently and Air Force is a bad team to go against not at full strength on the defensive line.
Air Force also comes in boasting the 3rd ranked total defense in Mountain West so this game has the potential to be a game where the unexpected can definitely happen.
Boise State wasted little time getting their first tally on the board. Moving the ball we both through the air and on the ground in their first drive they finish their opening drive the same way they have in 4 out of their 7 games with a score. Brett Rypien waited for John Hightower to use his speed to get behind the Air Force defense for a 44-yard touchdown completion.
The injuries to the Bronco defense showed on the opening drive as Air Force responded with a touchdown of their own. Fullback Cole Fagan rumbled 17 yards for a touchdown to finish off a drive that surprisingly had almost as many yards through the air as they did on the ground.
Boise State answered back with a wide receiver screen to Hightower for his 2nd TD of the game. This closed out a 9 play 75-yard drive in a quarter were neither defense made an appearance.
Boise State 14, Air Force 7
Continuing the back and forth nature of the game Air Force’s Isaiah Sanders got the Falcons on the board again with a pass to Marcus Bennett for a 20-yard touchdown culminating an 11 play, 6-minute drive that began in the 1st quarter.
Not wanting to be left out, A.J. Richardson got himself a 21-yard touchdown pass reception from Rypien for the Broncos to pull ahead once again 21-14.
On the ensuing drive, Boise State’s defensive line took another hit as Durant Miles was forced to leave the game with a shoulder injury. The Falcons wasted little time completing a 51-yard pass from Sanders to Joseph Saucier and closing out the drive 2 plays later on a Sanders 5 yard rush for a touchdown.
In a dramatic change of events, both teams were forced to punt with Boise State coming out ahead of the exchange by getting the ball back on their own 43-yard line. After almost turning the ball over on a couple fumbles, Boise State opened up the door for the Falcons by turning the ball over on downs on the Air Force 40 yard line. The Falcons capitalized on the momentum, repeatedly gouging the Broncos defense and finding the end zone with a 32-yard pass from running back Joseph Sauser to Andrew Smith.
With the momentum fully on Air Force’s side, the Broncos needed to respond as they were nearing the end of the half and would be kicking the ball back to Air Force to start the second half.
Boise State was able to put together a drive covering most of the field but it looked like the drive was going to stall out with a 4th and 10 on the Air Force 35 years line. Opting not to send Haden Hoggarth out for a 50 plus yard field goal, Coach Harsin sent the offense out onto the field with 16 seconds left. Rypien responded as he has throughout the year and not only converted the 4th down but got the Broncos into the end zone with a 35-yard touchdown pass to C.T. Thomas to close out a wild 1st half.
Boise State 28, Air Force 28