Broncos have ‘business trip’ approach while in Las Vegas

Broncos Vegas Bowl practice (Photo Courtesy KVAL)

LAS VEGAS – The Boise State football team enjoyed a buffet dinner and entertainment at the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas Wednesday night in the first official bowl event for Saturday’s Las Vegas Bowl.

But make no mistake about it. The Broncos are here to win a football game.

Boise State will mix fun with football in the days leading up to Saturday’s matchup with Oregon in the Las Vegas, but appear to be plenty focused on the real reason they are in Sin City.

“This trip has felt more like a business trip than a bowl game to be honest,” Boise State defensive end Durrant Miles said Wednesday. “I think the guys have a great mentality. We’re excited.”

Asked why it felt that way, Miles said because the Broncos still haven’t achieved the goal written in the team meeting room back in Boise.

“We’re only halfway there to our final goal,” Miles saud. “Our goal as a team is to win the Mountain West championship and a bowl game, so that’s what we’re looking to do out here. I think the team has the right mindset. We just have to go get it done.”

Boise State practiced again Wednesday at Rebels Park, the practice fields for fellow Mountain West member UNLV. Jake Roh and Alexander Mattison, two injured Broncos hoping to return Saturday, didn’t practice. Mattison did some light running on his own, while Roh watched from the side. The Broncos remain hopeful both will be able to play in some capacity on Saturday.

The Broncos are looking to do something they couldn’t do last season – finish the year with a bowl win. Boise State suffered an ugly 32-13 loss to Baylor in the Cactus Bowl last December, and had to deal with the taste of the lopsided loss for eight months before the 2017 season began.

They get another shot at a marquee win to finish the year Saturday and are hoping to make the most of it, which explains the business-like approach the Broncos have here so far.

“All the coaches talk about ending the season on a high note and obviously last season we weren’t able to do that,” Miles said. “I think it’s something that’s very important and something our team has bought into so far that I can tell. We’re coming out here and working our hardest and putting our best foot forward to get the win.”

Boise State did get some bad news Wednesday when quarterback commit Zach Wilson of Draper, Utah announced on Twitter that he was de-committing from the Broncos and reopening his recruitment.

Wilson saw his recruitment pick up after a solid senior season in which he passed for 2,986 yards and 24 touchdowns while also rushing for 752 yards and eight touchdowns.

He had been committed to the Broncos since June, and just a few days ago posted a photo of coach Bryan Harsin and quarterbacks coach Zak Hill visiting with his family at their home in Utah.

Boise State was practicing Wednesday in Las Vegas at the time Wilson made the news public with a lengthy note that said in part, "...sometimes life presents opportunities that need to be considered. Especially when it impacts my family, which is number ONE on my priority list."

The Broncos now have just about a week before the new early signing period begins on Dec. 20 to try and lock in a quarterback.

Up next: Boise State will practice again Thursday at UNLV before taking a ride on the High Roller, a 550-foot giant Ferris Wheel that offers 360-degree views of the Las Vegas strip and beyond.

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