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Broncos escape Reno with a crucial Mountain West Conference win

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It was an ugly first half, but a good second half showing by Bret Rypien powered the Broncos.

San Diego State v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

Well that was interesting.

The first half was a little over two hours. The Broncos had a bevy of turnovers. We had a drunk fan on the Boise State sideline.

After their first series ended in a three-and-out, the Broncos were able to capitalize on a UNR fumble (recovered by Sonatane Lui) and send the speedy John Hightower on a jet sweep that covered 88 yards for the first score to take a 7-3 lead against the Wolf Pack.

An unfortunate turnover (stop me if you’ve heard that before) for the Broncos let the Wolf Pack have a short field and only need two plays to retake their lead, 10-7.

The Wolf Pack defense was able to turn the ball over—again—this time with a Brett Rypien pass that went DIRECTLY TO Dameon Baber. The Wolf Pack try to go deep but we got to see one of the coolest pick-sixes ever with Tyler Horton snagging one from the receiver and taking it back 99 yards for his score, giving him three TDs on the Year.

After an couple of back and forths (and pretty ugly football) John Hightower fumbles it, giving the Wolf Pack another opportunity to score. Which they do to put themselves up 17-14.

Luckily, the Broncos were able to end the first half on a high note with a FG of their own from Haden Hogarth to go into the half tied and with the first possession of the second half.

The second half was surprisingly crisp with Rypien nailing his first nine passes. We also got to see some changes on the right side of the offensive line with Isiah Moore and John Ojukwu getting some playing time.

Oh! And we had one of these.

That was a catch by Akilian Butler because of course he caught it (and of course it was caught like that).

The Broncos managed to score two touchdowns in the second half, both TDs from Rypien. Rypien DID have another INT, but popped off CT Thomas’ hands into the loving arms of the Wolf packs Sewell. (I get why Rypien is credited with it, but that certainly wasn’t his fault. Rypien hit Thomas in the possible spot: in Thomas’ hands!)

Nevada, for their part, did not give up. And score twice as well, but only a TD and a fieldgoal.

With a 31-27 lead, the Broncos started their final drive with a shade more than seven minutes left on the clock. Impressively enough, they were able to wittle it down with some impressive runs and some gutsy calls.

The final series stretched all of 17 plays!

One of the gutsier plays came with a little more than three minutes on the clock and Nevada had just burned their last time out. They had forced the Broncos to go for it on fourth-and-forever (it was actually 8 yards) and Rypien beamed the ball to CT Thomas, who stretched out for the first down.

That provided enough for the Broncos to grind the clock down to six seconds left for Nevada. To which had a weird, but good ending. Ty “My leg is hurt and I am pretty much immobile” Gangi was able to scramble out of bounds with one second remaining. On the last play he was able to connect with a Wolf Pack receiver down field. But some laterals (that looked like they went forward in some spots) eventually lead to a fumble that the Broncos recovered with time expired.

The Broncos were able to grit out a tough win, 31-27, down in Reno. And, wow, I am glad we don’t have to go back there for some time.

Go Broncos!