Final: Boise State 16, San Diego State 27
Boise State entered San Diego (also not a state) absolutely needing a win to have a shot at a conference championship game appearance. They were unable to complete step 1.
Things got off to a great start for Boise State as they got on the board first. The Broncos and Aztecs traded a few possessions before Boise State moved the ball 69 (nice) yards on six plays. The drive culminated with a touchdown pass from Bachmeier to Very Tall Person, Kurt Rafdal, from 20 yards out for his first career touchdown.
The Aztecs were able to answer on the ensuing drive after moving the ball 66 yards in 12 plays. They had missed a field goal on one of their earlier possessions, but did not make that mistake a second time, putting it through the uprights from 31 yards.
After a Bachmeier pick, the Broncos forced a punt and made their next possession count. They leaned heavily on the pass in an 80 yard drive that included an incredible, 23 yard, toe-tapping sideline catch by Latrell Caples.
Khalil Shakir capped the effort off with a 12 yard TD catch on the 10th play. The extra point hooked into the left post.
The Broncos added another field goal after the Aztecs failed to convert a fake punt from their own 31. The offense wasn’t able to get 6 points after 7 plays and 26 yards, but Jonah Dalmas ensured they came away with something. His kick was good from 22 yards.
The Broncos had been doing a phenomenal job shutting down the strength of the Aztecs all game: The run. On San Diego’s next scoring possession, they pulled a struggling Lucas Johnson, due to a bad knee. Jordan Brookshire entered the game at QB for San Diego State and their offense suddenly came alive. He led a 78 yard drive on five plays for a touchdown. After a Boise State punt, he took the offense another 38 yards on 5 plays and Araiza put a 37 yarder through the uprights for three more.
The Aztecs came out of the half absolutely on fire and took their first possession 75 yards on 11 plays for a touchdown.
San Diego State picked off a tipped Bachmeier pass, immediately got 27 yards on a long pass and then the new quarterback, Brookshire, took it in from 16 to put the Aztecs up by another score after just three plays and 43 yards.
No scoring in the fourth quarter.
27-16 would be the final score for the game as neither team’s offense was able to generate points in the final period. The Aztecs will now go on to host the conference championship game, likely against Utah State.
The Broncos pulled Hank for the last two possessions, presumably due to a shattered rib cage and a super-concussion as he was sacked approximately one billion times today. Sears wasn’t able to make anything happen either, however, and ended the game with basically a hail mary that was intercepted.
Boise State will head into bowl season without passing through the conference championship game for the first time since 2016.
Assuming this season is motivating for the team, there were certainly some positive signs—particularly on the back half of the schedule—going into 2022. The Broncos completed a brutal schedule, where they played 10 teams that are bowl eligible, which is the most in the country. They beat two ranked teams on the road and really should have won against an Okahoma State squad that is currently ranked 7th (yes, I am STILL mad about the errant whistle that wiped away the scoop and score and would have probably won the game). Assuming the recruiting class holds together, some new pieces are added to it, and the Broncos get some injury luck, they could be in for a special season in Bachmeier’s senior year. In the meantime, we will await the bowl invitation results.
Until then, and as always...