Boise State won its Mountain West opener behind three touchdowns from redshirt senior tight end Jake Roh in a 28-14 victory over New Mexico on Thursday night at Albertsons Stadium.
Roh now has seven career touchdowns, including his first rushing TD. The 6-foot-3, 227-pounder lined up in the wildcat at the start of the fourth quarter, running in from 6 yards out.
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BSU — Montell Cozart 28 run (Haden Hoggarth kick), 9:49. Drive: 5 plays, 46 yards, 2:03. Key plays: Boise State got the ball in New Mexico territory after Kekoa Nawahine recovered a fumble forced by Leighton Vander Esch on a fourth-down attempt. On third-and-3, Cozart, starting for Brett Rypien, pulled down on a draw and went untouched for the score up the middle. Boise State 7, New Mexico 0
UNM — Tyrone Owens 5 run (Jason Sanders kick), 14:15. Drive: 10 plays, 42 yards, 4:37. Key plays: The Lobos got prime field position thanks to a 15-yard punt by Boise State’s Quinn Skillin. Richard McQuarley had an 8-yard run on third-and-3 on the drive’s third play. He was stopped for no gain on third-and-1 at the 5 later, but QB Lamar Jordan and Owens had a 2-on-1 on the outside and Owens was able to walk into the end zone. Boise State 7, New Mexico 7
BSU — Jake Roh 5 pass from Cozart (Hoggarth kick), 9:47. Drive: 8 plays, 90 yards, 4:28. Key plays: On the third play of the drive, Cozart tossed a beauty of a deep pass to receiver Cedrick Wilson for 47 yards. Facing a third-and-7 a trio of plays later, Cozart connected with Wilson on an 11-yard screen for the first down. Boise State 14, New Mexico 7
BSU — Roh 6 run (Hoggarth kick), 14:15. Drive: 3 plays, 17 yards, 1:01. Key plays: Boise State’s stagnant offense got a big boost from special teams. After Joel Velazquez’s punt was downed at the 1, the defense forced a three-and-out, and Avery Williams had a 29-yard return to the 17. Ryan Wolpin carried twice for 11 yards, then Roh took a direct snap, found a hole and ran it in for his first career rushing score. Boise State 21, New Mexico 7
BSU — Roh 15 pass from Cozart (Hoggarth kick), 3:11. Drive: 8 plays, 58 yards, 4:57. Key plays: The Broncos finally got the run game going a bit, picking up 43 yards on the first seven plays, including a 10-yard run by Cozart on third-and-9 two plays before he scrambled and tossed the shovel pass to Roh, who dove into the end zone for his third TD of the game. Boise State 28, New Mexico 7
UNM — Anselem Umeh 14 pass from Gerhart, 1:11. Key plays: Gerhart ran for 18 yards and Boise State was flagged for pass interference in the end zone. Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards, 2:00. Boise State 28, New Mexico 14
NEWS & NOTES
▪ Boise State junior quarterback Brett Rypien won’t play for the Broncos after he left the Washington State game with an injury on Saturday. Rypien was hit hard on a sack and his helmet banged into the turf. Boise State coach Bryan Harsin hasn’t said what his exact injury is. (Here is Boise State’s concussion protocol.) Senior Montell Cozart, a graduate transfer from Kansas, started in Rypien’s place.
Cozart is the third backup quarterback in five seasons to start because of an injury, joining Grant Hedrick (2013 for Joe Southwick) and Rypien (2015 for Ryan Finley). The Broncos had gone 11 years without starting a backup because of injury before that.
Redshirt junior tight end Chase Blakley also didn’t suit up for the Broncos. The Coeur d’Alene High graduate started the first two games of the season and had one catch for 13 yards against Troy. Blakley left the game against Washington State with what appeared to be a lower-leg injury.
▪ New Mexico was forced to turn to its third-string quarterback late in the second quarter after starter Lamar Jordan went out with an injury. Tevaka Tuioti, the Lobos’ backup QB, didn’t make the trip to Boise for undisclosed reasons.
That meant junior Coltin Gerhart, a graduate transfer from Arizona State, made his debut for New Mexico. Gerhart completed 1 of 2 passes for 8 yards and rushed twice for 15 yards as the Lobos trailed 14-7 at the half.
Jordan was injured on a third-and-11 play from the New Mexico 18-yard line when he was hit hard by Boise State defensive end Chase Hatada, who was ejected for a targeting penalty. Hatada led with his helmet.
Because Hatada’s ejection happened in the first half, he will be eligible to play next week against Virginia.
This marked the second straight game the Broncos forced a team to turn to their bench at quarterback. Washington State starter Luke Falk was injured on a sack and fumble in the fourth quarter that led to Boise State defensive tackle Curtis Weaver’s 55-yard touchdown return.
▪ The announced attendance for Thursday’s game against New Mexico was 28,385. The last time the Broncos played in front of a regular-season crowd fewer than 30,000 at Albertsons Stadium — aside from one game played in single-digit temperatures — was Chris Petersen’s debut as head coach on Aug. 31, 2006.
Boise State beat Sacramento State 45-0 that game in front of 29,647 fans.
In 67 of the Broncos’ previous 68 homes games, there were 30,000 or more fans in attendance. The only exception was a crowd of 27,478 for a Nov. 15, 2014, game against San Diego State when temperatures at kickoff were in the single digits.
▪ With Rypien sidelined and the Broncos struggling to run the ball, offensive coordinator Zak Hill got creative. On first-and-goal at the start of the fourth quarter, Jake Roh — who starts at tight end — lined up in the wildcat and scored from 6 yards out for a 21-7 Boise State lead. It was the first rushing touchdown of Roh’s career. Roh had four career touchdowns coming into the game, but upped his total to seven with a 5-yard TD catch in the second quarter, and fourth-quarter rushing and receiving TDs.
▪ Quick hits: Boise State wore orange helmets, jerseys and pants. New Mexico wore all white. … Boise State’s single-game captain was junior defensive tackle David Moa, alongside season-long captains Rypien, Leighton Vander Esch and Cedrick Wilson. … Junior safety Skyler Seibold carried the Hammer.
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