BOISE, Idaho (CBS 2) — The result: Boise State’s defense sacked BYU quarterback Zach Wilson just four yards from a game-winning touchdown as time expired and the Broncos hung on for a dramatic 21-16 win on The Blue Saturday night. The Broncos were unable to run out the clock on offense and punted the ball back to BYU with 2:05 to play. The Cougars went from their own 17-yard line down to within two yards of the end zone and had the ball at the 2 with seven seconds left on the clock. Wilson, a former Boise State commit, was unable to find an open receiver and was sacked by Tyson Maeva and Scale Igiehon as time ran out. Boise State’s players stormed onto the field in celebration as they celebrated yet another close win against their rivals.
The offense: Boise State’s balanced offense was on display again Saturday night as nine different players recorded catches and five had rushing attempts. The Broncos, who have seemingly had a different star receiver every game, had seven players record at least two catches for at least 18 yards. Fittingly it was running back Alexander Mattison who led the offense with five catches, while A.J. Richardson had four catches for a team-high 53 yards. Mattison, who had 40 receiving yards, also had 25 rushes for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Robert Mahone added five rushes for 24 yards, and both Andrew Van Buren and Khalil Shakir had rushes as well. Mahone also added three catches for 17 yards, while Shakir had three catches for 15 yards. CT Thomas had two catches for 41 yards, Akilian Butler had two catches for 22 yards and Sean Modster had two catches for 18 yards.
The defense: The Broncos won thanks to a dominant defensive effort that included three turnovers and seven sacks – the most for the Broncos since they had eight sacks in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl. BYU appeared set for a potential game-tying score in the third quarter before the Broncos’ Tyler Horton stripped the ball at the 3-yard line and recovered it in the end zone to give Boise State’s defense a huge turnover. Boise State also recovered a fumble on a bad snap that Wilson couldn’t corral, and recovered another fumble on a BYU kick return. Curtis Weaver had seven tackles and two sacks, while Jabril Frazier had seven tackles and one sack.
Rypien approaches history: Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien nearly added his name to the history books Saturday, finishing just 36 yards shy of becoming the Mountain West all-time leader for career passing yards. The senior entered the game with 12,441 passing yards, which was just 250 shy of former San Diego State quarterback Ryan Lindley’s record of 12,690. Lindley has held the record since his career with the Aztecs ended in 2011. Rypien now has 12,655 for his career. Rypien completed 23 of 34 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown and also had an interception. He previously had six games with at least 300 yards passing in eight games this season. He did continue his rise up the NCAA’s all-time passing list. He started the game No. 28 all-time but moved into 25th place. He remains just behind former Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel (No. 26; 12,515) and former Ohio State star J.T Barrett (No. 23; 12,697).
He said it
“Pretty exciting game wasn’t it? Our guys at the end, bottom line - we found a way to win. They displayed a lot of guts, and we made one more play than they did to win the game. Our defense stepped up. It’s a credit to our team in that moment. There were plenty of things that we didn’t do well enough throughout the night but we did it well enough in that situation. In a long game you get to the fourth quarter and the last seven seconds and that’s what matters most and it did tonight and we won it.”
-Boise State coach Bryan Harsin
Boise State (7-2, 4-1) hosts Fresno State (8-1, 5-0) in the game of the year Friday night at 8:15 p.m. The Broncos need a win to stay in control of their own destiny in the Mountain Division race.