The third quarter started in the worst way possible for the Broncos. After allowing the field goal to close the first half, Boise State gave up a quick score to the Bulldogs. Fresno State received the 2nd half kick off and quickly covered 75 yards on 7 plays, scoring on a Ronnie Rivers 1 yard dive, to push the Bronco deficit to 17-3.
The Bronco offense continued with the blueprint they had established in the 1st half. They moved the ball well and pushed Fresno State around play after play. Boise State did upgrade one aspect of their blueprint however as the Broncos finally got into the end zone. Alex Mattison got into the end zone on an impressive 7-yard run to cap off another long 12 play, 70-yard drive.
The touchdown drive by the Broncos seems to have awoken the defense.
After getting gouged for big plays to start the second half the defense forces a 3 and out from the Bulldogs. Boise State received the ball with just under 6 minutes left in the quarter and once again moved the ball effectively with Mattison, Khalil Shakir, and Rypien moving the ball well on the ground. The final play of the drive looked to be a touchdown run by Brett Rypien but came up centimeters short.
Boise State 10, Fresno State 17
Alexander Mattison continued to put the Broncos on is back and charged his way into the end zone from.1 yard out to tie the game at 17.
The defense continued to harass McMaryion and kept the Bulldogs to 5 plays before they had to punt the ball back to the Broncos. With the success of the running game, the Fresno State defense needed to start to creep up to slow the Broncos down.
That inevitably lead to the quick strike play the Bulldogs don’t usually give up. After using 6 plays to get from the 17 to the Fresno State 49, Khalil Shakir got behind the Bulldog defense for a 49-yard touchdown pass from Rypien.
Fresno State looked to right their ship and were putting together a solid drive to at least get some points on the board to slow the bleeding. Relying more on the passing game the Bulldogs moved the ball to the Boise State 33 and attempted a field goal. To get the ball to cover the 50 yards to the goal post, Fuller had to drive the ball a little more than he is used to and Avery Williams got a hand out to block it behind the line, which was recovered by Tyler Horton and ran back to the Fresno State 49.
Boise State was unable to do anything with the field position and punted the ball back to Fresno State. The Bulldogs moved the ball well getting bailed out of a penalty-induced 2nd and 18 with a debatable pass interference call on Tyler Horton. The Broncos continued to pressure Fresno State’s offense, sacking McMaryion to force a 4th and 12 and forced a turnover on downs.
Final: Boise St 24, Fresno State 17
3Q 5:56 – Mattison scores his First touchdown that sparks a 21-0 run to finish the game.
Player of the Game:
Alexander Mattison. 30 carries for 144 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Boise State needed a big game from Mattison and that is exactly what they got. H carried the team, shortened the game, and kept Fresno State’s offense off the field.
This was a big game for the outlook on the season and the defense and running game stepped up when they were needed the most. The Broncos responded well to the pressure and finally made the adjustments to get and keep the run game going. With the win, Boise State is still can win the Mountain Division and play in the MW Championship game and returned the Milk Can Trophy to Boise!
Boise State plays at New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico next Friday 11/16 at 7:00 PM. ESPN’s Matchup Predictor gives Boise State an 89.7% chance to win.