Boise State vs. Utah State Recap: Broncos Outlast Aggies, 33-24
Broncos hosting Mountain West title game.
Boise State repeats
There had been a lot of pageantry leading up to Saturday nights game. Both teams on winning streaks, both ranked, winner, hosts Fresno State in the Mountain West Championship game, to name the big ones. If you are reading this chances are pretty good you have read the rest of the articles so hopefully, you’ll forgive me for going a little light on the introduction and just get into the game.
Utah State and Jordan Love came out with the speed and pace that has been expected of them and the depleted Bronco defense struggled to keep up. Needing only 6 plays the Aggies made short work of their first drive covering 75 yards, capping the drive off with an impressive back shoulder pass from Love to Jalen Greene for a 9-yard touchdown.
Boise States first possession was marred by early mistakes. A holding play one 1st down and an incomplete pass one what should have been an easy catch by John Bates proved too much to overcome, forcing the Broncos to have a rare 3 and out on their first drive. Fortunately for the Broncos, after a 10 years gain on first down the defense held the Aggies to only 5 yards and forced a punt of their own.
Early downs continued to be a struggle for the Broncos as the Aggies defense pinned their ears back and sacked Brett Rypien for a 13-yard loss on first down leading their way to a 2nd 3 and out.
The Broncos were the first to force a mistake and more importantly capitalize on that mistake. On 2nd and 10 from the Utah State 43, Kekaula Kaniho jumped a route and intercepted Loves pass returning it to the 39. The Broncos were finally able to put together a solid drive covering 39 yards in 7 plays with Alex Mattison reaching the end zone on a 2-yard dive.
Boise State 7, Utah State 7
Flipping the script on the Aggies, Boise State was able to force a 3 and out on the next drive with the Broncos getting the ball on their own 24-yard line. The Broncos showed a little more of the form that we are used to as Brett Rypien was able to connect with Sean Modster for a 51-yard pass. Mattison continued to run the ball well and the Broncos moved down to the Utah State 6 before the Aggies defense forced Rypien to throw the ball away to force a 4th down. Haden Hoggarth easily converted on his 23-yard attempt to give the Broncos a 10-7 edge.
Utah State, looking to steal some of the momentum back, decided to try to avoid another 3 and out by running a fake punt on 4th and 1. Boise State was able to quickly read the play and stop Aggie’s Up Man Dax Raymond for no gain. The Broncos offense came back out and did their best impression of a yo-yo on their way to the end zone.
John Malchon and Garrett Larson were both called for Personal Fouls on the drive but the offense was able to overcome the penalties with 15+ yard plays to keep the chains moving. Mattison covered the final yard of the drive on the ground for his second touchdown carry of the game.
Utah State was able to get their pace and rhythm back, scoring on their following drive. Continuing to rely heavily on Jordan Love, the Aggies were able to dink and dunk their way down to score on a 12-yard pass from Love to Ron’quavion Tarver. Running back Darwin Thompson added a 17 yard gain as well to help move the Aggies down the field and provide some balance.
After a rather lackluster exchange of punts, the Broncos put together an 11 play drive to close in on another score to open up the lead a little more before the half. Haden Hoggarth was called on again to kick a field goal and extend the lead. Hoggarth was unable to get a good kick off as the snap came in a bit low and pulled the kick to the left of the uprights, leaving the Broncos with less of a lead before receiving the ball for the second half.
Boise State 17, Utah State 14