BSU QB BRETT RYPIEN VS. NIU CORNERBACKS
Northern Illinois sophomore cornerback Shawun Lurry leads the nation with nine interceptions and was named a first-team All-American. Senior Paris Logan, who mans the other side, is a former All-MAC first-teamer.
They’ll provide quite the final exam for Boise State true freshman quarterback Brett Rypien.
“They look really, really, really good on film — very disciplined with their read keys, very sound technically,” Rypien said. “I think it will be a great challenge for us. ... At the same time, I feel like we have guys that can go out and make plays as well.”
Rypien has thrown three interceptions in 235 attempts since Utah State. All three were passes that deflected off receivers against New Mexico.
He has done a good job not taking chances with the ball. But he also has struggled recently to hit vertical passes.
“It’s going to be a challenge for us to make sure we’re detailed in running our routes and making precise decisions,” offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz said. “Those guys are very aggressive. We’ve got to do a good job of creating separation and being accurate with the football.”
Rypien is coming off a clean performance against San Jose State. He was 25-for-33 for 197 yards and two touchdowns in the regular-season finale. But his yardage total was the lowest in his nine starts.
For the season, Rypien has completed 62.5 percent of his passes and averaged 297.3 yards per game.
“Everybody keeps saying he’s going to be really good,” Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey said. “As I look at it, he is really good.”
Poinsettia Bowl: Boise State vs. Northern Illinois
▪ When: 2:30 p.m. Wednesday
▪ Where: Qualcomm Stadium (71,500, grass), San Diego
▪ TV: ESPN, Beth Mowins, David Diaz-Infante, Shelley Smith
▪ Radio: KBOI (670 AM) and KTIK (93.1 FM), Bob Behler, Pete Cavender
▪ Records: Boise State (8-4, 5-3 Mountain West); Northern Illinois (8-5, 6-2 Mid-American)
▪ Coaches: Boise State, Bryan Harsin (20-6, second year; 27-11, third year overall); Northern Illinois, Rod Carey (31-11, third year)
▪ Series: First meeting
▪ Vegas line: Boise State favored by 9 points; over/under is 56
▪ Kickoff weather: Low 60s and mostly cloudy, with 7 mph winds and a 10 percent chance of rain.