Boise State sophomore tailback Jeremy McNichols didn’t play Friday night at Utah State after absorbing a helmet-to-helmet hit six days earlier against Colorado State.
McNichols led the nation with 14 touchdowns. Boise State didn’t provide any updates on his status during the week or at the game. McNichols participated in some warmups but didn’t take snaps with the first-team offense.
Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said earlier in the week that McNichols was “looked at” for a possible concussion.
After the game, Harsin said he expects McNichols to play next week against Wyoming. Warmups were part of his rehab process, Harsin said.
Senior Kelsey Young started and junior Devan Demas played more than usual in the backfield. They combined for 17 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Demas lost a fumble. Each added a touchdown in the second half.
Young finished with 20 carries for 60 yards overall. Demas had six carries for 19 yards.
Worst half since ...
Boise State trailed 45-10 at halftime. It was the Broncos’ largest halftime deficit since falling behind 42-0 on Oct. 3, 1998, at Louisiana Tech — in coach Dirk Koetter’s first season.
Louisiana Tech won that game 63-28.
Boise State committed seven turnovers in the half — three Brett Rypien interceptions, two Rypien fumbles and fumbles by Demas and wide receiver Chaz Anderson. ESPN reported that no FBS team had committed that many turnovers in the first half in 10 seasons.
Wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck added a fumble in the second half. The total of eight turnovers was the most for the Broncos in their FBS era (since 1996).
Broncos’ title hopes
Utah State moved into first place in the Mountain West Mountain Division at 3-0. Air Force is 2-0. Boise State is 2-1.
Boise State’s clearest path to the division title would be to win its final five conference games and have Utah State lose twice.
Another option: If Air Force beats Utah State and Boise State beats Air Force to force a three-way tie at 7-1, the tiebreaker system would come down to the College Football Playoff rankings. And since none of the teams likely would be ranked, the decider would be a composite of selected computer rankings.
Rausa keeps firing
Boise State junior kicker Tyler Rausa made field-goal attempts of 46 and 41 yards. He’s 13-for-13 on kicks of 51 yards or less this season.
He also has made 10 field goals in the past four games.
His misses this year were from 54 and 55 yards.
The Broncos wore all white. ... The single-game captains were linebacker Joe Martarano and defensive tackle Armand Nance. ... Junior nickel Chanceller James carried the Hammer for the second consecutive week. He hammered the end zone after running onto the field. ... Boise State won the coin toss and deferred.