Broncos set for rematch with Fresno State in Mountain West title game

(AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger)

It’s rare for two college football teams to place twice in the same season. But two weeks in a row? It’s almost unheard of.

After losing to Fresno State last week in the regular season finale, the Boise State football team will welcome the Bulldogs to Albertsons Stadium Saturday afternoon for a rematch in the Mountain West title game.

It will be just the second time since 1935 that two teams played in the final game of the regular season and again in the conference championship game the following week.

“It’s definitely different,” Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien said.

But Boise State couldn’t care less about last week’s loss. The Broncos knew they were playing in the Mountain West title game, and they knew they’d be playing Fresno State. Sure a win in Fresno would have kept the Broncos in the top 25 and extended their winning streak to eight, but the scenario for this week’s would have been the exact same.

If anything, the loss helped motivate and re-focus Boise State even more as they get set to play a team that just beast them last week.

“I definitely think there’s an edge to us,” Bronco receiver Cedrick Wilson said. You usually don’t get to play people again that you lost to until the next year. The fact that we get to play them back to back, there’s definitely a chip on our shoulder after we lost the first time.”

Added quarterback Montell Cozart: “We owe these guys one.”

The Bulldogs have orchestrated one of the best turnarounds in college football history. They went just 1-11 last season, but new coach Jeff Tedford has led them to a 9-3 record and a spot in the conference title game. The eight win improvement is the most this season, and one more win would give them the biggest turnaround ever.

The Broncos saw up close and personal last week that the Bulldogs are no fluke. Fresno State had success through the air, passing for a FBS season-high 332 yards, and limited the Broncos to a season-low 17 points.

But Boise State, though they won’t admit it, didn’t have much reason to open up the playbook or dial up a crazy hard game plan against the Bulldogs last week knowing they were playing them again - with more on the line - this week.

Boise State will likely give a much more spirited effort Saturday night as they look to get revenge on the Bulldogs, and bring home just the second overall Mountain West title since they joined the league in 2011.

Whether or not it will be enough to beat a talented Fresno State team remains to be seen.

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