Consider any demons lingering around Maverik Stadium exorcised.
Making their first visit to Logan since turning in one of the worst offensive performances in Boise State football history, the Broncos delivered their best offensive outing of the year Saturday night.
In a 41-14 win over Utah State, the Broncos had a season-high 533 yards and their most points in regulation this year. Boise State’s offense entered the game ranked 111th nationally in total yardage and 66th in scoring.
Two years ago in Logan, Boise State had seven turnovers in the first half in a 52-26 loss.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Idaho Statesman
“Feel a lot better than we did last time we were here,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “... You certainly remember it, you practice with a little bit of purpose during the week.”
On Saturday, the Broncos went into the break with a 28-7 lead and 299 yards of offense, with no turnovers. The Broncos finished the game without giving away the ball and have not turned it over in their last 237 minutes, 56 seconds of game time.
It was evident right off the bat that Boise State (6-2, 4-0 Mountain West) was an inspired team offensively. The Broncos took just 2 minutes and five plays to go 75 yards and score on a 19-yard pass from Brett Rypien to Cedrick Wilson on the game’s first drive.
Rypien, who was responsible for five turnovers as a true freshman in that last trip to Logan, completed his first eight pass attempts. He finished 19-of-27 passing for 260 yards and three touchdowns Saturday, admitting he thought “a little bit” about that 2015 game.
“I definitely knew how I played here the last time I was here. ... It felt good to come out here and get the win,” Rypien said.
Coming into the game, Rypien had two touchdown passes all season and 301 yards in the previous three games. But against the Aggies (4-5, 2-3), the junior connected with Wilson, freshman receiver Octavius Evans and senior tight end Jake Roh for scores.
As has been the recipe during the Broncos’ four-game win streak, Rypien was spelled throughout the game by senior Montell Cozart, who was 5-of-7 passing for 110 yards and two touchdowns. It was the first time since Nov. 17, 2007, the Broncos had two quarterbacks throw for two or more touchdowns apiece.
“I feel like Montell and I are doing a better job playing off each other, and it’s been really fun,” Rypien said. “It wasn’t easy at first. ... I think it’s just taken both of us to put our egos aside and be unselfish and do what’s best for the team.”
Sophomore running back Alexander Mattison had 110 rushing yards and scored on a 3-yard pass from Cozart in the second quarter. The Broncos’ defense held the Aggies to 279 yards and have held opponents to 49 points during the winning streak.
“We never could get anything going, and that falls squarely on me,” Utah State coach Matt Wells said. “I didn’t have them ready to play and we didn’t play well. They’re a good team and they came out and dominated from the get-go. We couldn’t make up any ground.”
This time in Logan, it was enjoyable for all on the Boise State sideline. From seven players catching passes to the two quarterbacks to the suffocating defense, the happiness was obvious. The Broncos recorded nine plays of 20 yards or longer.
“It all came together,” Mattison said. “In the moment, I just knew I was having a lot of fun. It was a great time out there.”
The Broncos, who now have 20 consecutive seasons with at least six wins, host Nevada (1-7, 1-3) at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Now the lone team unbeaten in Mountain West play, the Broncos are putting together their best football entering the final month of the regular season.
“Things are definitely starting to click for us,” sophomore linebacker Tyson Maeva said. “... We’re definitely on pace, but we can’t let a win streak get to our heads, have to keep a pretty mellow mind and prepare for each game like any other game.”