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Broncos Overcome 5 Turnovers to Hang On vs BYU

BYU v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

Final Score 28-27, Broncos

In front of a crowd of 34,575, Boise State elected to receive to start the game. Channeling their inner 2009 Poinsettia Bowl, Boise State started the contest with the old lay-down-on-one-side-of-the-field-and-have-the-returner-lateral-it trick. It didn’t work though, and the lateral flew out of bounds. Not that it mattered. After 3 plays, Jeremy McNichols had already put the Broncos ahead on a 76 yard TD reception.

7-0, Broncos

After an extremely quick 3-and-out for the Cougars, the Broncos took over at about the BYU 30. 8 plays and 58 yards later, Boise State was in the end zone again on a beautiful pass to Sperbeck. At that point, Rypien was 6-7 for 129 yards and 2 TDs, making his QB rating 334.8 and his candidacy for president of Bronco Nation all but secured.

14-0 Broncos

After the Cougars were unable to do anything with their next drive, their MVP of the game to that point—the punter—pinned the Broncos inside the 5. Not that it mattered either. Two plays later, a Rypien to Sperbeck connection pulled the Broncos out of the shadow of their own endzone, and pulled Sperbeck into the record books. The catch put him above Titus Young’s record of 3,063 yards to become the new owner of the all-time, career receiving yards record for a Boise State wide receiver. Unfortunately the drive ended when a Rypien scramble couldn’t secure a first down in the Cougar red zone, and the ensuing FG attempt was blocked and returned to about the 50. It could have been a touchdown, were it not for Alec Dhaenens pretending he was Usain Bolt for a second and chasing the ballcarrier, Nacua, down. Definitely not something one sees every day: A blocking specialist TE chasing down a premiere safety...from behind.

After 7 plays and 36 yards, the cougars were able to chip into the lead with a 35 yard FG.

14-3, Broncos

On the ensuing Bronco return, Jonathan Moxey showed some moxie and advanced it to the 44. Unfortunately, on the next play, a Cougar linebacker—Fred Warner—was able to take a wayward Rypien pass all the way the other direction for 6 points. First time I can remember a guy named Fred being able to house a pick. But, whatever...

14-10, Cougars

After trading possessions, the only change was that we learned BYU had a rusher named ‘Algernon’, because Jamaal Williams was out for the game. The leading rusher for BYU on the night ended up being one-time, former Bronco commit, Squally Canada. Yes, that's his real name. And speaking of weird names, do you think people get Algernon flowers after games, as a joke?


I suppose we also learned that BYU coach, Kalani Sitake, is a riverboat gambler in the offseason, because he called for a fake punt on 4th and 19 at the 2. It failed. Because...honestly, what else was it going to do? Unfortunately, the Broncos were unable to capitalize on the prime field position. After failing to score a TD, they settled for a field goal attempt, but it went wide left.

After trading possessions again, Boise State’s offense was back on the field, but only made it a few plays before a tipped pass from Rypien put the ball in the hands of the same Cougar defender that had blocked the field goal before—Dyan Lake. He had no one fast enough in front of him, and it too was taken to the house. At that point, BYU’s offense had generated 3 points. Their defense, 14.

17-14, Cougars

The Broncos had the ball with 4:35 left in the half, and after a beautiful 20 yard run, McNichols uncharacteristically coughed up the ball. Luckily, the Cougars were unable to do anything with the turnover, and they turned the ball over on downs themselves minutes later.

The Broncos got the ball back again with 1:41 until the half. Apparently, despite some struggles afflicting the rest of the rest of the offense, the 2 minute ‘O’ was still functioning just fine. After 7 plays and 69 yards, Rypien threw an absolutely flawless pass to Wilson for another 6. Modster got a few solid catches on the drive also, which bodes well for the future of the receiving corp.

21-17, Broncos

On the first Cougar possession of the second half, BYU was able to drive 58 yards down the field and, after a long bomb, got the ball to the half yard line. Taysom Hill punched it in a play later for 6.

24-21, Cougars

The Broncos got the ball back, but after their 5th turnover of the game, the Cougars were able to drive down the field for 3.

27-21, Cougars

The Broncos got the ball back after what seemed like an eternity, and after a few runs, we got to see a spin-off of Christopher Nolan’s 2012 DC superhero epic; This one titled ‘The Jake Knight Rises’. He took a short pass between two defenders and turned on the jets for 46 yards. McNichols finished the drive off a play later, punching it in from the 4.

28-27, Broncos

The Cougars ended up with the ball on what would be the final possession of the game. After a couple of firsts, BYU attempted a field goal on 2nd down that was blocked. Game over, right?!

Nope. Because the ball didn't pass the line of scrimmage, the attempt came on a 2nd down, and BYU recovered, they got the ball back on the 42 with 10 seconds left on the clock. Boise State's defense had to rush back onto the field.

After the game, Coach Harsin said that it was that moment that was the most stressful of the entire night for him. The reason being that star nose tackle, David 'The Moa Constrictor', was struggling to get a shoe back on to get back to the field...but he made it

3rd and 25. BYU ball. 10 seconds left. Pass attempt!


5 seconds left on the clock, 4th and 25. Taysom Hill passes, and it's...

Incomplete again!

BSU wins!

Prior to this game, teams that gave up 5 turnovers in a game were 8-230 in college football. Boise State altered that ratio tonight, from the winning side. This was because, when it counted, the offense got yards and scores. The defense continued to be so strong, especially on 3rd down. They held the Cougars to 4 conversions on 17 attempts.

Thomas Sperbeck came out of the game with the record for all-time receiving yards at BSU. A fitting present to himself as today was his birthday.

McNichols logged yet another 200 yard all-purpose game: 141 rushing and 109 receiving. His streak of consecutive games played with a score extends to 19 (he had 2 total tonight), and the Broncos are now 7-0 on the season.

BSU will now have a few extra days off, and the coaches will be taking advantage of a rare Friday off to get in some recruiting. The Broncos will resume conference play October 29th at a surging Wyoming.

Now Bronco Nation can try to get their collective heart rates down from tonight, and get some sleep to finish off the business week.

Best of luck with that.

In the meantime...

Go Broncos!