Boise State Takes Care Of Utah State
Broncos win, 42-23
Undefeated in league play
One of the best things about a black Friday game is that you can be on national network TV. This game also comes with an early 10 AM MT kickoff. The early start led to a sluggish start for both Utah State and the Broncos, as they combined for five punts to start the game. The first non-punt drive was by Utah State, which got into field goal range with the help of 30 penalty yards by the Broncos, only to miss the 52-yard attempt when Aggie kicker Connor Cole drove the kick into the back of his right guard’s head.
One of the penalties included a targeting call on a fake punt attempt that led to Broncos Safty JL Skinner being ejected from the game. Since the ejection was in the first half, Skinner will be available for next week’s Mountain West championship game.
Boise State found the endzone on the following drive going 65 yards on plays and ending with a 6-yard pass from Taylon Green to Eric McAllister. The Broncos added two more touchdowns over their next three possessions to get out to a 21-0 lead, with Green’s arm featured on both scores. Green completed a 50-yard pass to Latrell Caples, and McAllister got his second touchdown with a 25-yard pass.
Utah State finally got some offense going on their final drive before halftime taking 11 plays to move the 75 yards to get in the endzone to cut the Bronco lead to 21-7 for the half. The Aggies needed a 3-yard run from receiver Terrell Vaughn on 4th down to finally get themselves in the endzone. Utah State needed any momentum they could get in hopes of carrying it over to the second half.
The Aggies did carry some of the momentum over, driving down for a 22-yard field goal to close their deficit to 21-10. The Broncos responded with a touchdown drive led by Taylon Green through the air and George Holani on the ground. Holani Split the workload with Ashton Jeanty for most of the game but was still able to surpass 1,000 rushing yards on the season on the drive.
Green connected on his fourth touchdown pass of the day, with defensive lineman Scott Matlock getting the second touchdown catch of his career to extend the Bronco lead to 28-10. Interestingly enough, Matlock’s first was in last year’s matchup against Utah State.
Boise State’s defense was stingy in the first half but showed some cracks in the second. Like most games, the secondary gave up a deep pass and the Aggies were able to take it all the way to the endzone. Utah State quarterback Cooper Legas found Terrell Vaughn, who had put a slick double move on the defensive back to go 75-yards to close the Bronco lead back to 11, 28-17. With no response for the Broncos, Utah State was able to chew up more yardage and found the endzone after a 13-play drive capped off by an 8-yard run by running back Calvin Tyler Jr to close the gap down to 28-23 and failing on the 2-point conversion.
After forcing another punt from the Broncos, the Aggies continued to move the ball, getting themselves down to the Boise State 10-yard line before Legas threw an interception attempting to convert on a 4th down from the Bronco 14-yard line. After a 1-yard loss on first down, Taylen Green found a little room to get loose for a Bronco-record 91-yard touchdown run to give the Broncos some breathing room at 35-23 with just over a minute left in the game. The Bronco defense forced an interception on the next possession that Seyi Oladipo returned 48 yards for a touchdown sealing the 42-23 victory for Boise State.
Player Of The Game:
Quarterback Taylen Green. Green completed 14 of 23 passes for 220 yards and four touchdowns while adding 91 yards on six carries and an additional touchdown for good measure.
There is an honorable mention here as well, freshman linebacker Andrew Simpson who had ten tackles and a sack while stepping in for injured Ezekiel Noa.
This game feels like a mixed bag. Boise State controlled the game early, then struggled on both sides for most of the second half. Coming up with the big plays needed to close out the game showed the maturity that the team has built throughout the season, but they also made mental mistakes that we shouldn’t see at this point of the season.
Overall, players stepped up when they needed to, and the Broncos were able to finish undefeated in conference play. Boise State needs to carry the momentum into next week’s championship game.
Boise State will host the Mountain West championship game against Fresno State on FOX. Kickoff will be at 2:00 PM MT.