Boise State 41, Nevada 3
In front of a sparse crowd and on a field that accumulated varying levels of that wet, white, flaky stuff from the sky, Boise State traveled to the (somewhat surprisingly snowy) confines of Reno to take on the Wolpack of Nevada.
The Broncos got wild from the get-go, with Taylen Green running a pass route on the first drive. He was actually even pretty open…so much so that that the defender blatantly interfered with the pass and drew a flag. As cool as it would have been, it was also somewhat of a moot point. Just a few plays later, Taylen Green hit a wide open Billy Bowens from 31 yards out to put the Broncos up 7.
Broncos 7, Nevada 0
At that point, it became clear that weather was becoming a factor. The Wolfpack was not only unable to answer on the ensuing drive, but their special teams handed the ball back to Boise State by way of a Kaniho-blocked field goal attempt. Unfortunately, despite quite easily moving down the field, the Broncos also had trouble wrangling a slippery ball on a field goal attempt soon after and gave the ball back. At least that time. Two drives later, Taylen Green ended up putting the Broncos up 14-0 on a keeper from nine yards out, capping an 80 yard drive.
Broncos 14, Nevada 0
The Broncos and Wolpack traded a few possessions before George Holani finally got bored and decided to break the stalemate while breaking some ankles. He took a handoff, cut right, and mostly evaded defenders 49 yards to the endzone. I say “mostly” because he broke some arm tackles and finished off the run with a nice spin move as he fell into the paint.
Boise State 21, Nevada 0
Still unable to mount any kind of answer in the face of swirling snow and swarming Broncos, the Wolfpack ended up giving Boise State one more chance to add points with about 4 minutes to go before halftime. The Wolfpack defense bunched up in the red zone and held on before forcing another appearance by Dalmas. He came out to attempt another field goal…but then weather intervened again and another bobbled snap resulted in a second failed field goal attempt. The Pack moved down the field the other way before fumbling a snap in the Boise State red zone with less than 20 seconds before halftime. They recovered, but absent any remaining timeouts, Nevada rushed their FG team onto the field and finally got on the board as time expired with a 26 yarder.
Boise State 21, Nevada 3
Nevada started the second half with the ball, but was unable to get anything going and their first drive was ended on a third down sack from Andrew Simpson. With an absurd amount of injuries (and a transfer) in the front seven in recent weeks, the Broncos relied heavily on some newer faces in this game–among them Gabe Hunter (#54) and Andrew Simpson (#10). Deven Wright (#15) also had a sack early in the game.
Latrell Caples took the ensuing punt–that easily could have been justified as fair-catchable–and instead sliced by a few fast-closing punt coverage guys and advanced it all the way to the Nevada 29. A few plays later, Dalmas came on for his third attempted attempt of the night. Everything went right this time, though, and he added 3 points to Boise State’s total.
Boise State 24, Nevada 3
Boise State’s defense really came out on fire in the second half. After their first defensive series ended with a 3 and out and a sack, the Broncos next defensive possession allowed a whopping -2 yards. Once they got the ball back, Boise State just chipped their way down the field, Holani crossed the century mark, and eventually tacked on his second rushing touchdown of the game from 9 yards out.
Boise State 31, Nevada 3
Remember how the defense was great today? Yeah. The next Wolfpack drive ended after 11 yards because Andrew Simpson forced a fumble that was recovered by Gabe Hunter. It took two plays for the Broncos to capitalize the other way. A thirty yard pass to Tyneil Hopper was followed by Jeanty chewing up the remaining six yards for an additional 6 points.
Boise State 38, Nevada 3
After trading possessions in a more conventional fashion and a moderately successful drive for Boise State, Dalmas came out for another field goal attempt and was on target again. He split the uprights from 31 yards.
Boise State 41, Nevada 3
After trading fumbles, a Vidlak and Fulton-led Boise State offense utilized two 4th down conversions to drive to the Nevada red zone and kneel out the clock, well within scoring range. Vidlak and Fulton were actually the third and fourth Boise State QBs to play on the night, as Maddux Madsen came in to relieve Taylen Green once the starters started subbing out. Vidlak came in after him and then as the final, clock-killing drive extended, Fulton came in and immediately ran to convert a 4th and 7, but then it was victory formation time.
Final Score: Boise State 41, Nevada 3
Boise State came into Reno and took care of business from start to finish. Despite the weather, Taylen had good accuracy on his passes and operated the offense very very well, while also taking care of the football. He had 218 yards and a TD through the air, added another score and 22 rushing yards on the ground, and committed 0 turnovers. Holani had another great day, this time going for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Jeanty also had a great performance with 73 highly physical yards and a TD, but don’t sleep on the local kid! Because it was actually Tyler Crowe that was the Broncos second leading rusher on the night, with 78 yards. That included a 46 yard burst toward the end of the third quarter.
The wide receivers didn’t necessarily account for a ton of yards tonight in Reno, but they absolutely had some great plays. The scoring started with Bowens’ aforementioned TD grab, but McAlister and Cobbs both had phenomenal deep ball receptions. If things don’t work out for him in football, Cobbs can always try his hand as an acrobat because…whoa:
The night obviously would not have been as successful without an impressive performance by the defense. Down a few starters already, the Broncos lost Tyreque Jones during the game as well. Still, they managed to collect four sacks, recover a fumble, and hold Nevada to just 250 yards and three points on their home field.
Be sure to comment your thoughts on the performance and the challenges ahead in the section below. The Broncos will be back at it next Saturday, in Laramie, as they look to knock off their next-closest conference challenger in Wyoming.
Until then, and as ALWAYS,