Boise State opened the second half with the ball and started the second half the same way they started the game, with a lackluster thre and out. Holani was able to pick up six yards on his first carry, but not much else on his next following two.
In a minor victory, the Bronco defense held Josh Love to only 19 passing yards on the first Spartan drive of the second half. San Jose State was still able to get a 35-yard field goal from Matt Mercurio due to a couple of pass interference calls on Boise State.
The Broncos continued to try to get the running game going on their following drive. Holani opened the drive with a 19-yard gain. At the conclusion of the play linebacker Jesse Osuna, who missed the first half of the game for targeting in the second half last week, was called for targeting, adding another 15 yards to the end of the play. Holani scored two plays later on a 6-yard run to cut the Bronco deficit to just three points.
The defense made more adjustments and was able to force a 3 and out on their following drive. The offense responded by continuing to out physical the Spartan defense on their side of the ball as well. The Broncos behind runs from Holani, Bachmeier, Van Buren, and Chase Cord pounded their way 63-yards down the field over 9 plays. Hightower had a run on the drive as well on an end-around pass that he just tucked and ran for a 5-yard gain. Chase Cord got the touchdown on an 8-yard run after taking over for Bachmeier who had a 16 yard run on the previous play. The Broncos now had their first lead of the game 31-27.
The Spartans came back on the field trailing for the first time in the game and responded well. San Jose State mixed the run in a little but mostly continued their assault on the Bronco secondary. Love found his favorite target Tre Walker a 40 yard gain on the first play of the drive, running his tally to 8 catches for 170 yards.
Boise State 31, San Jose State 34
Sticking with the formula that has been working, the Bronco offense pounded the ball down the field with Holani getting six touches on the drive, including a 6-yard touchdown run to pull the Broncos back into the lead. Bachmeier completed both of his pass attempts, taking a hard hit on one of them, for 39 yards on the drive after coming back out of the locker room after getting checked out by the medical staff.
The Bronco defense capitalized on the momentum that the offense had swung back into their favor on their next drive. After a 19-yard completion was mostly negated by an illegal block in the back, the Broncos held and had the Spartans in a 3rd and 17.
Love had proven that he is more than capable of getting 17 yards in a chunk play so Boise State dialed up the pressure allowing Curtis Weaver came off the edge of the formation, got a hand on Love’s shoulder pads, and was able to twist and pull him down for his first sack of the game. Facing a 4th and 25 San Jose State punted the ball away.
After a couple of carries and a fumble that was recovered by tight end Garrett Collingham by Holani, Andrew Van Buren came into the game to continue grinding the game out on the ground. With 3 carries Van Buren was able to get runs of 3, 16, and a touchdown run of 32-yards to extend the Bronco lead to nine points.
Facing a two-score hole Love and the Spartans returned to the field to close the gap. Love continued to play well under pressure adding 46 yards to his yardage total, bringing him up to 438 at this stage of the game, and getting an assist from a late hit penalty, got the Spartans into the end zone on a 9-yard pass to Bailey Gaither. The Spartans were able to get the two-point conversion on a pick play in the endzone to cut the Bronco lead to 45-42.
San Jose State attempted unsuccessfully to get the ball back on an onside kick and the Broncos took the ball over at the Spartan 39 yard line. The George Holani Show continued for the Broncos with Holani getting all but one carry on the 7 play drive. John Hightower got the other carry on the drive and was able to take it 15 yards down to the San Jose State 8 yard line leading to Holani covering the final 8 yards to the endzone on the next carry for his 4th touchdown of the game.
San Jose State, down 10 points now, wanted to move the ball quickly down the field while using as little time as possible. On the first play, Love launched the ball downfield towards Tre Walker who drew a pass interference penalty on the play. Finally, Love made his first mistake of the night trying to get the ball down the seam, overlooking Bronco linebacker Benton Wickersham dropping into coverage. Love hit Wickersham right between the numbers making for an easy interception. With the Spartans out for timeouts, the Broncos were able to seal the win from the victory formation.
FINAL: Boise State 52, San Jose State 42
Moment Of The Game:
10:27 left in the 3rd Quarter. After the Bronco defense held San Jose State to a field goal, the Spartans went with another short kickoff to Akilian Butler who returned it to the San Jose State 45 yard line. After a targeting penalty got tacked on to a 19-yard Holani run, the Broncos were able to score just twp plays later. This drive was the first of five straight touchdowns scored by Boise State.
Player Of The Game:
George Holani stepped up in Robert Mahone’s absence and is easily the player of the game. 29 touches, 143 total yards, and 4 touchdowns.
This is the best Spartan team that the Broncos have seen, probably ever. Josh Love is an impressive quarterback and picked the Bronco defense apart for the vast majority of the game and they have earned credit for giving Boise State all the could handle.
The Broncos showed their resiliency and like against Florida State and were able to come away with a road victory. As frustrating as this team can be, we have yet to see all phases for the game click at the same time, they are able to pull out victories in just about every way possible. The final four games of the season will likely be an interesting and exciting road to close the season.
After almost a month away from Albertsons Stadium, the Broncos return to face Wyoming on Saturday, November 9th at 8:15 PM.