Hawaii came into Saturday’s game as one of the nation’s worst teams against the run. Boise State’s rushing attack came in red hot.
That was the recipe for a huge day for junior running back Jeremy McNichols, and he delivered.
McNichols rushed 16 times for 153 yards, scoring touchdowns from 36 and 5 yards out. He did not have a carry after the Broncos’ first drive of the second half, with the 52-16 win well in hand.
McNichols stretched his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown to 22, the longest in the Football Bowl Subdivision in the last 10 years. He has 1,369 rushing yards this season, sixth most by a Boise State running back and his 22 total touchdowns this season are fifth most.
“Teams are going to try to stop him. They know we’re going to run the ball, and our job is to put him in a position to be successful, but he certainly makes things happen, too,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “You get him in space, you can’t coach all those things up. He’s a special player. He did it again tonight.”
Hawaii’s defense stacked the box against McNichols, who said he used that opportunity to break runs outside, picking up four runs of 10 yards or more. The 246 yards Boise State picked up on the ground are actually a slight improvement for the Warriors, who were yielding 259 yards per game.
“The film, how those guys play and the plays coach Harsin, (co-offensive coordinator Zak) Hill, the offensive staff drew up, I felt confident in the game plan,” McNichols said.
Following up a season-high 298 rushing yards eight days earlier against San Jose State, Boise State freshman Alexander Mattison added 40 yards on 10 carries, junior Ryan Wolpin had five carries and sophomore Cory Young’s six carries were his first in a game since last October.
McNichols felt he was on the same page with the big guys in front of him, not just breaking down games with other backs.
“I like watching a lot of film during the week with the offensive line,” McNichols said.
Said quarterback Brett Rypien: “(McNichols) does a great job of coming and playing tough every single night. ... I’m proud of him, been proud of him all year.”