Alas the final game (as of right now) in the somewhat longish series between Boise State and BYU. This series has always been such a weird rivalry in that the teams always have had not so fun matchups and weird wins/defeats. From one of the most painful games in history, the 2012 7-6 Boise State win to the surprising 26-17 Broncos win in 2021 (the game was inexplicably canceled in 2020, so sad!).
So with that being said, the hope is Boise State is able to end the series on a positive note.
The very first play of the game had two Broncos injured: Demitri Washington and Zeke Noa. Noa did make a brief appearance a little later on, Washington did not come back at all for the Broncos. Not a fun time for the Broncos.
BYU marched down the field, almost quite effortlessly, on the first series to score. Jaren Hall opened the game 7-7 passing before eventually missing. The secondary was playing somewhat soft allowing underneath passes. Unfortunately for Boise State’s first series, not much to comment on as the Broncos went three-and-out.
Second BYU series ended with a turnover on downs for the Cougars. Boise State had a pretty incredible stop to ensure the Cougars couldn’t score again.
On the series that the Broncos offense somewhat came to life, Caples really came through for Green catching all three passes that were thrown his way. Which did include a beautiful pass play (that included a pick) to Caples for the Broncos’ sole touchdown of the half.
BYU was marching down the field, but Skinner picks off Hall for the game’s first turnover (of which there were quite a few). Broncos weren’t able to do much with it though. Refs did miss a PI call. The Broncos punted away.
BYU did an effective job of moving down the field. But stalled out close-ish to midfield. Jaren Hall did take a deep shot into double-coverage. Thankfully, for the Broncos, the ball fell to the ground. Boise State couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity with the possession and ended with another three-and-out and had to punt away.
BYU started in Boise State territory and proceeded to move the ball. Rodney Robinson intercepts it.
BYU gets a strip sack and manages to get to the one before the half. There is a bit of controversy to end the half as the Broncos get the stop, and the refs upheld, but it was super-close. Had the call gone the other way, it wouldn’t have gotten overturned. Luckily it did go the Broncos’ way and the refs upheld.
The Broncos would go into the half with some sort of momentum despite the score being knotted up at seven apiece.
The Broncos opened the second half with a masterful scoring drive that ended with Taylen Green hitting Eric McAlister for a beautiful TD pass. It was a pretty decent throw with McAlister able to get his foot in just in time. This was the first time all game the Broncos led, 14-7.
This is where things proceeded to get nuts.
BYU moved the ball pretty effectively down the field and made it all the way down the Boise State one yard line (again). On fourth and one BYU had all intentions of going for it on fourth down. BUT Bronco Nation came through and caused an offsides penalty that pushed the Cougars beyond Sitaki’s comfort zone so the Cougars settled for the three to close the score gap, 14-10.
Broncos couldn’t do anything on the subsequent drive so they punted away. Which, of course, led to BYU drive down the field and Hall throws a 24-yard pass to Nacua to put BYU up 17-14.
And, of course, not to be outdone, Taylen Green led the Broncos back down the field and got Holani another rushing TD to add to his awesome total, Boise State up 21-17.
The Broncos and the Cougars trading shots throughout the entire second half with the lead changing several times.
BYU gets a final touchdown on a fourth down shot that looks sketchy on review and puts the Cougars up 31-28, but the refs confirm the call.
Luckily for the Broncos this loss doesn’t do anything outside of hand bragging rights back to the Cougars for the foreseeable future. The Mountain West Conference title is still within reach and the Broncos have the ability to sustain some momentum heading into the post season.
Broncos drop to 6-3 and are down in Reno on November 12.