Boise State vs. UNLV Game Recap: Broncos Have Few Issues Against Rebels
Broncos take care of business, despite a few hiccups.
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Boise State remains undefeated
UNLV comes into tonight’s game looking to right their ship. After winning their first game the Rebels have not only struggled to win but have struggled to even be competitive in their last 3, with their closest loss being 14-30 at Northwestern. A win in this game could be a springboard to turn around their season, and save Head Coach Tony Sanchez’s job.
Boise State comes into the game off of a bye week after starting their season 4-0 and looking to improve on their 4 game win streak in conference road openers. The Broncos were in need of the bye week after being inconsistent offensively in their first four games. The extra time off gives their offensive line to heal up and gives Freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier a chance to recover from being hit an incredible amount of times in each game.
UNLV opened up with the ball, hoping to get on the board first. That hope did not last long as Boise State’s defense came out strong, allowing only 3 yards to be gained by the Rebels, forcing a punt after a 3 and out.
The Bronco offense rode the run game to get on the field, but it wasn’t on the legs of their high powered running backs, but by John Hightower, who gained 51 yards on two plays on the way to the red zone. After a pass interference call in the end zone, Bachmeier was able to hit Garrett Collingham in the flat for the first touchdown of the game.
UNLV’s offense was able to get a little more traction on their next drive, gaining a first down after a 7-yard run and late hit penalty, but fell short of being truly productive since they never gained a first down on their own.
The Broncos were able to put together a 10 play drive on their next possession that only covered 18 yards. Robert mahone was able to get 2 yards on a 4th and 1 play, but an illegal blindside block put the Broncos in a hole that they could not overcome, forcing them to punt the ball away.
Boise State’s defense continued to dominate, forcing the Rebels to punt after another 3 and out. The Broncos got the ball on their own 28-yard line and quickly flipped the field, getting to the UNLV 31 yard line on two Bachmeier completions to Akilian Butler and Mahone for 20 and 21 yards respectively. The quarter ended with the Broncos mulling over going for it on 4th and 1 again after the Rebels were able to slow the Broncos after the two big plays.
Boise State 7, UNLV 0
Coach Harsin elected to keep Eric Sachse on the sideline and go for it on 4th and 1, this time the Rebel defense was able to stop Andrew Van Buren short of the line to gain.
UNLV continued their struggles on offense and once again were completely unable to get anything going to capitalize on the turnover on downs. There was a bit of a scare as STUD Curtis Weaver limped off the field before the punt. Boise State started their following drive on their 24-yard line and were able to strike quickly.
John Hightower was able to get behind the Rebel defense on the very first play and Bachmeier hit him in stride as he ran 76 yards to the end zone. At this stage of the game, Hightower had 134 all-purpose yards, which was over 100 more than UNLV, who had 31.
Curtis Weaver returned on the next UNLV drive, but still seemed hobbled as he turned the corner on UNLV’s 3rd and 7 play. Boise State continued to overpower the Rebel offense, limiting them to only 3 plays.
With as much as UNLV was struggling, the Broncos prepared to seemingly put the game away with another score. Keeping balanced, Boise State moved the ball 49 yards on just 5 plays before Robert Mahone lost the handle on the ball trying to convert on 3rd and 1 and the fumble was recovered by UNLV’s Kolo Uasike.
The Broncos and Rebels traded punts with UNLV getting the ball on their own 31-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, UNLV was able to get a first down under their own power for the first time in the game.
Relying heavily on the run game the Rebels were able to put together some momentum with the first half coming to a close, moving the ball to the Boise State 39-yard line. After converting on their first 4th down attempt on the drive, the Rebels wanted to keep the ball in their possession and decided to go for again on 4th and 4.
Feeling that running the ball wouldn’t give them their best chance to convert, the Rebels when with a quick pass to the outside. Unfortunately, UNLV quarterback Kenyon Oblad’s pass, which was as close to being intercepted as it was being completed, was knocked to the ground.
Flipping the script, the Rebel defense held the Broncos to a three and out, getting the ball back at their own 5-yard line with 2:13 left on the clock. Charles Williams was able to break free to the outside and gained 29 yards on the first play of the drive, followed by a 16-yard completion from Oblad to Darren Woods Jr. and the Rebels were at midfield looking to get some kind of points on the board before the end of the half. Boise State’s defense stiffened up, allowing only 2 more yards, and forced UNLV’s seventh punt of their first eight possessions.
Even though they received the 2nd half kickoff, Boise State did not want to rest on a 14 point lead. Starting the drive on their 12-yard line, the Broncos aired it out against the Rebels, needed in just 4 plays to cover 53 yards. Lining up for a 52-yard attempt, Boise State called on Joel Velazquez for the field goal attempt. Velazquez was able to convert the attempt, giving the Broncos the 17-0 lead going into the half.
Boise State 17, UNLV 0