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Boise State suffers rare home loss to Virginia, 42-23

Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien delivers a pass in the first half of Friday's game against Virginia. (Photo Credit Chris Bronson IPT)

The Boise State football team suffered its worst home loss since 2001 Friday in an ugly 42-23 loss to the Virginia Cavaliers at Albertsons Stadium.

Loud boos rained down from the crowd throughout the second half and many fans headed for the exits early in the fourth quarter.

The loss was Boise State’s worst at home in more than 16 years. The Broncos hadn’t suffered a defeat like this in front of the home crowd since a 41-20 loss to Washington State on Sept. 8, 2001.

“Bottom line, that was a poor performance overall and every guy in that locker room would say that, and that starts with me,” Harsin said. “Playing at home and playing that poorly, that’s a tough one. That’s tough. Bottom line is there’s no accepting losing. There’s no accepting the performance we had today.

“What can we do about it? Nothing at this point, but we can go back and learn from it and as long as guys look at it and learn from it and we do the work we need to do on a day to day basis…we’ll find out what were made of.”

Not much went right for the Broncos on Friday.

Boise State had at least three costly penalties on kick or punt returns that ruined what would have been good starting field position. They were whistled for nine penalties for 64 yards compared to just three penalties on Virginia.

On offense the Broncos went just 4 of 16 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down and committed the only turnover in the game. They also were sacked four times.

Defensively the Broncos gave up four touchdowns of at least 27 yards and two of more than 50 yards. Boise State’s defense struggled to slow Virginia in all areas, allowing 273 passing yard and 167 rushing yards.

“There’s going to be some changes, bottom line,” Harsin said. “There’s going to be some changes. What those changes are, I don’t know yet, but there are going to be some changes. We need to fix right now the consistency of our entire team, all three phases. It just can’t be about one side or one phase.

Brett Rypien returned for Boise State after missing last week’s game with an undisclosed injury. He completed 24 of 42 passes for 285 yards and no touchdowns.

Cedrick Wilson had 13 catches for 209 yards and a touchdown to lead the offense, while Leighton Vander Esch had 10 tackles to leas the defense.

Boise State took an early 7-0 lead on a 5-yard touchdown run from Ryan Wolpin on the Broncos' opening drive. Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien, who returned after missing last week's game, completed 4 of 5 passes for 62 yards on the drive.

Virginia responded with a 9-play, 53-yard drive and tied the game on a 2-yard run from Jordan Ellis with 3:07 left in the first quarter.

David Moa didn't play in the first quarter following his arrest last weekend on suspicion of disturbing the peace. He took the field with the defense for the first play of the second quarter.

The Cavaliers took a 14-7 lead on a 30-yard pass from Kurt Benkert to Andre Levrone with 4:11 left in the second quarter.

Boise State attempted a fake punt on its next possession, but Alec Dhaenens dropped the snap and Virginia took over at the Bronco 35-yard line.

Virginia took advantage of the Bronco miscue and extended the lead to 21-7 just 31 seconds later on a 27-yard pass from Benkert to Doni Dowing with 1:07 to play in the half.

But Boise State charged back with an important late touchdown, a 2-yard run from tight end Jake Roh out of the wildcat formation with 21 seconds left in the first half, to cut the Virginia lead to 21-14.

Virginia wasted little time adding to the lead to start the third quarter. A perfect pass from Benkert hit Levrone in stride for a 64-yard touchdown pass just 89 seconds into the third quarter to make it 28-14.

The Cavaliers added to their lead with a 56-yard run from Olamide Zaccheaus late in the third quarter that made it 35-14. Another score early in the fourth quarter made it 42-14.

Boise State blocked a punt and earned a safety on the play to make it 42-16.

A 40-yard touchdown from Montell Cozart to Cedrick Wilson with 1:03 left in the game made the score look a little more respectable at 42-23.

“It’s demoralizing,” Boise State defensive end Durrant Miles said. “But I think it gives us something to fuel the fire with.”

Boise State is off next week before tough road games at BYU and San Diego State the next two weeks.

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