Boise State 44, Air Force Falcons 19
In front of a crowd of 33,030, the Broncos’ revenge tilt started off hot with a turnover on the Falcons’ second play. Sonatane Lui recovered a bobbled snap and the Broncos took over in Falcon territory. Unfortunately a Ryp-to-Richardson pass on third down didn’t connect, and the Broncos had to settle for three points off the leg of Haden Hoggarth.
The Bronco defense allowed one long scamper, but otherwise stifled the Air Force attempt to answer. They then took over at their own 13 yard line, after a Williams fair catch. It took them one play to add to their lead. Rypien to AJ Richardson for 87 yards (!!!) and six points!
Air Force got the ball back, but after one first down a wayward pitch missed its mark, and the Falcons had fumbled again! Gabe Perez came up with the recovery. The Falcons appeared to have the Broncos in position to settle for a field goal, but an offsides call gave them a second life. Ryp connected with Modster three plays later to capitalize with his 2nd passing TD of the first quarter.
Late in the first quarter, the Falcons decided to try and change up their gameplan and start passing the ball. They had immediate success, going 3/3, with two 15+ yard plays, to get down to the Bronco 3. Two plays later, AFA’s QB, Romine, ran it in for a touchdown.
The Broncos were able to put another drive together, jumpstarted by an Alexander Mattison catch-and-run for 36 yards (Cozart throw). If he’d had an extra quarter of an inch of space when he split to Falcons defenders, he would have had a touchdown. The Broncos, instead, had the drive stalled by a holding penalty in the red zone and had to settle for a field goal.
The Broncos next drive was another that only took one play, but this one had a unique twist. It featured precisely ZERO Boise State offensive plays. Gabe Perez connected hard with a Falcon ball carrier to force yet another fumble. This time Tyler Horton scooped it up and ran it in, from 21 yards out, for six points.
After gaining very few yards on several possessions, the Air Force Academy was able to get the ball down within field goal range, with 4 seconds left in the half. After multiple Boise State attempts to ice the kicker, they finally completed an attempt from 45 yards out.
HALFTIME SHOW: A live look at the collective mood of the Boise State fanbase
The Broncos started the second half with the ball, and made quick work of the Falcons’ defense. The drive was carried thanks to two very long completions to Cedrick Wilson, and was finished off with a 7 yard TD pass to Octavius Evans.
The Broncos stifled the Academy’s next possession, and then moved down the field easily themselves. Richardson went over 100 yards receiving for the first time in his career on the drive, but the Broncos stalled in the red zone again and had to settle for another Hoggarth field goal.
On the next Air Force possession, the Falcons got most of their yards on one play. They then converted one 4th down, but opted for three points when 4th down came up again. The kick was good from 43 yards.
The Falcons were able to engineer another scoring drive, late in the 4th quarter, thanks to a bevy of defensive backups in the game, and a drive-extending unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Curtis Weaver. Air Force fullback, Taven Birdow ended up taking it in to the end zone from 7 yards out for a touchdown. The Falcons attempted a two point conversion, but it failed.
The Broncos were able to put together another drive that culminated in a Ryan Wolpin touchdown. If was a fitting end to Senior Night for the Bronco tailback. Especially in a game where he had almost triple Mattison’s YPC.
44-19, Broncos. Final Score.
The dragon has finally been slayed. After an 0-3 drought against the Falcons, to begin Harsin’s head coaching career at Boise State, the Academy was finally grounded. The Bronco run game struggled, but so did the Falcons’. An efficient passing attack put Rypien over 300 yards passing (again) and both Wilson and Richardson cracked the century mark, individually. Modster also had another solid game with 42 yards and a score. Between his improving game, Richardson's breaking out, and Evans growing into a force, the impending departure of Wilson looks just a little less scary.
The defense capitalized on three Falcon turnovers, converting one directly into a score, and getting points on the other two.
The Broncos clinched the Mountain Division earlier in the day, and will finish the regular season next week, in Fresno, at 1:30 PM on CBSSN. We’ll see you then. In the meantime...