Boise State seemingly caught every break it needed over the past two weeks to make a run at another Bowl Championship Series berth.
But one BCS analyst said even with losses by No. 16 UCLA, No. 17 Kent State and No. 18 Texas this weekend, Boise State No. 20 in the BCS Standings doesnt stand a chance of getting into one of college footballs five most lucrative bowl games.
Boise State needs to reach No. 16 in the final BCS Standings, released at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, to secure a BCS spot.
I consider Boise eliminated, CBSs Jerry Palm said.
The reason: MAC champion Northern Illinois, ranked No. 21 in the BCS, is expected to pass the Broncos by virtue of its title game victory against Kent State.
The Broncos are expected to end up in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas for the third consecutive year. Washington of the Pac-12 is the expected opponent, with Arizona also having a chance at the spot.
Coach Chris Petersen is a hot name in the coaching rumor mill again.
Im sure hes on everybodys short list. Its a credit to who he is. Hes done such a phenomenal job here, people are going to take notice of Chris Petersen, Athletic Director Mark Coyle said.
But Petersen has given no indication in multiple conversations with Coyle that he is considering leaving Boise.
This program rose so quickly, and sometimes those next steps are the hardest ones to take to elevate it to the next level. I feel like Coach Pete is truly committed to that. He knows that the administration is committed to that, Coyle said. I think hes excited about Boise State and what we have here.
When asked after the game whether he would consider other positions, Petersen smiled and ended his interview session. Good seeing you guys, he said.
True freshman cornerback Donte Deayon made his first start in place of senior Jerrell Gavins. A little in-house stuff, Petersen said. Gavins played on defense and special teams but exited the game in the second half with a left leg injury.
Senior nickel Dextrell Simmons (hamstring) did not make the trip. Simmons had missed two games and was limited in another.
Junior defensive end Kharyee Marshall didnt make the trip because of injury.
Senior wide receiver Mitch Burroughs didnt play much in his return from a wrist injury.
STILL ON THEIR MINDS
Senior cornerback Jamar Taylors phone was flooded with messages from former teammates who were part of the Broncos 34-31 overtime loss in 2010 at Nevada.
You got texts, you got calls, you got it all, Taylor said. Do not lose to Nevada again. Do not lose. I got a long text message from (former nickel) Winston Venable about bringing the energy. Its a big game, and we did it for them.
Sophomore wide receiver Matt Miller produced the first 100-yard receiving game of his career. Miller, who tied for the team lead in catches last year and is the clear leader this year, made seven catches for 127 yards and a 52-yard touchdown.
He scored when Nevada bit on a fake screen to wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes. Miller ran wide open down the sideline. All he had to do was catch the pass from quarterback Joe Southwick.
I knew we had them because Shane sold that really well and they came up on him fast, Miller said. I knew it was going to be a good play for us. My first thought was dont drop it. I was wide open just catch it and I almost did drop it.
Almost as importantly, Miller made a 7-yard catch on third-and-5 in tight coverage and a 20-yard reception on third-and-2 in the fourth quarter. One helped the Broncos eat some clock; the other led to a field goal.
(Offensive coordinator Robert) Prince told me last week, Hey, were going to ride you when we need you, Miller said. I expected it. I love to play like that, to kind of have the game in my hands.
ANOTHER HALF SHUTOUT
Boise State set a school record with its seventh first-half shutout of the season. In two other games, the opponent only scored on a kickoff return before halftime. The previous mark of six was set in 2009 and matched in 2010.
The Broncos are the only team this year to hold the Wolf Pack to fewer than 10 points in the first half.
Captains were offensive lineman Joe Kellogg, fullback Dan Paul, linebacker Tommy Smith and Taylor. Nevada held its pregame warm-ups on the practice field adjacent to Mackay Stadium. Boise State senior wide receiver Chris Potter caught his fourth TD pass of the season.