Boise State Football

McNichols vs. Hill: Running back matchup as good as advertised

Boise State coach Bryan Harsin after 30-28 loss to Wyoming

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The Mountain West has a trio of running backs whose production is unrivaled by any other conference in college football. Two went head-to-head Saturday.

They didn’t disappoint.

Junior running backs Jeremy McNichols (Boise State) and Brian Hill (Wyoming) had more than 100 yards apiece on the ground by halftime at War Memorial Stadium. McNichols had 121 yards on 11 carries, scoring a pair of touchdowns, while Hill had 101 yards on 14 carries at the break.

McNichols went over the 1,000-yard plateau on the season during the game, rushing for 143 yards on 18 carries, adding two receptions for 18 yards. He has 1,058 yards on the season.

Hill came into the contest No. 2 in the nation with 1,010 rushing yards. He finished with 146 yards Saturday on 28 carries, sealing the win with a third-down conversion in the final minute.

“We face (a great) running back every day. (McNichols) is an incredible running back,” Boise State linebacker Ben Weaver said. “... (Hill) is a great running back. They run it extremely well. He knows exactly how to run it, get behind the O-line and push the pile.”

Coming into this week’s games, the Mountain West had running backs ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 6 in the nation in rushing: San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey, Hill and McNichols.

McNichols scored touchdowns from 5 and 2 yards out, the first two scores of the game, giving him touchdowns in 20 straight games. It ties former Alabama running back Derrick Henry for the longest such streak the past 10 seasons. Wisconsin’s Montee Ball has the top mark at 21.

Dave Southorn: 208-377-6420, @IDS_southorn

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