Fresno State opened the 2nd half with the ball and did not look that sharp as the moved the ball down the field. The Broncos helped them out with a defensive holding call on a 3rd down play and other than that the only big play was a 29 yard run by McMaryion. The Bulldogs did extend their lead, however, with an Asa Fuller field goal from 38 yards out.
Enter Alexander Mattison on Boise State’s next drive. Mattison had 15 carries for 59 yards coming into the drive so it’s not like he wasn’t a part of the game plan before this, but he took center stage on this drive. Of the 9 plays on the drive, 7 of them were carries by Mattison, gaining 47 yards on the drive. Unfortunately, Boise State’s kicking woes continued as Haden Hoggarth pulled his 43-yard field goal attempt left of the posts and the Broncos walked away empty handed.
Boise State 7, Fresno State 13
The defenses dominated the end of the third and start of the 4th, forcing 7 consecutive punts.
That streak came to a merciful end at the 8:01 mark in the 4th quarter. With the ball on their 13-yard line, Rypien hit John Bates for a 29 yard gain, instantly flipping the field on the Bulldogs. They didn’t stop there as Mattison continued to be the feature of the offense carrying the ball 4 times, including a 34-yard touchdown run. The kicking game showed its ugly head again as Hoggarth had a point after attempt for the first time this season, leaving the game tied at 13.
After another exchanging of punts Fresno State almost took the momentum back. The Broncos looked to have them stopped well short of on a 3rd and 10 play but Jared Rice was able to break loose of several Bronco tacklers to gain 14 yards and keep the drive alive. Shortly after, the Bulldogs looked to be on their way to another first down but Tyson Maeve stripped the ball form Michiah Quick that Kekaula Kaniho recovered on the Fresno State 43 yard line.
The Bronco offense was unable to do anything with the turnover, going 3 and out and once again punting. Fresno State put together a decent drive including a 16 yard run by Ronnie Rivers and an 18-yard pass from McMaryion to Jamie Jordan. The Bronco defense did eventually step up and forced the Bulldogs to punt from their 46-yard line.
Boise State 13, Fresno State 13
Boise State opened up with the ball in the first overtime period and continued to feed Mattison the ball. They were unable to find the end zone and settled for a risky 23-yard Hoggarth field goal attempt, which was good despite almost being blocked once again.
Fresno State got their turn with the ball knowing they needed just a field goal to keep playing. A 16-yard pass from McMaryion to Jared Rice set Fresno up in a great position to go for a touchdown and their first win on The Blue. The Bulldogs followed that with a Ronnie Rivers 8 yard run and he finished off the game with a 1 yard run two plays later.
Final Score: Boise State 16, Fresno State 19
To this point, the key moment has always been a positive one, but there is no looking past the blocked extra point that kept the game tied, proving to be exactly what Fresno State needed.
Player of the Game:
Hands down the player of the game is Alexander Mattison. 40 carries for 200 yards and a touchdown.
I am conflicted all the way around with this game. It was frustrating to watch with how sloppy the play was from both sides, but it was also amazing and everything you want in a championship game. I am happy the Broncos had the season they had but upset that they didn’t bring home the title.
There is still a bowl game to look forward to, and we can’t take anything away from the season both of these teams had. Congratulations to Fresno State on the victory today and congratulations to Boise State on a tremendous regular season and title game. On to the bowl game!