Boise State Football

Final: Boise State 38, Oregon 28; Broncos top Ducks in Las Vegas Bowl

Here's how the Broncos' star linebacker celebrated a victory in Vegas

Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch celebrates with friends, family and fans after the Broncos' 38-28 win against Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday.
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Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch celebrates with friends, family and fans after the Broncos' 38-28 win against Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday.

The Boise State football team improved to 4-0 in the Las Vegas Bowl with a 38-28 win over Oregon on Saturday afternoon at Sam Boyd Stadium.

The No. 25 Broncos finish the season 11-3 overall. The Ducks finished 7-6.

Boise State senior wide receiver Cedrick Wilson was named the game MVP. He finished with 10 catches for 221 yards and a touchdown.

[GAME COVERAGE: Boise State’s dominant D, big-play O beat Oregon again; Cedrick Wilson’s incredible effort inspires; Punches, pirouettes and pick-sixes; Vander Esch faces NFL decision]

SCORING SUMMARY

Fourth quarter

UO — Jaylon Redd 8 pass from Justin Herbert (Aidan Schneider kick), 1:12. Key plays: On the first play of the drive, Herbert found WR Dillon Mitchell for 67 yards to the Boise State 8. On fourth down, Herbert threw a strike to Redd for the TD. Drive: 4 plays, 75 yards, 1:04. Boise State 38, Oregon 28

BSU — Ryan Wolpin 1 run (Haden Hoggarth kick), 2:22. Key plays: Facing a third-and-7 at the Oregon 48, and the Ducks without timeouts, Boise State cued up a high-risk, high-reward 41-yard pass to WR Cedrick Wilson from QB Brett Rypien. Earlier in the drive on a third-and-9 from his own 15, Rypien bought extra time and found freshman WR CT Thomas for 22 yards to keep the clock moving. Drive: 11 plays, 86 yards, 5:19. Boise State 38, Oregon 21

UO — Brenden Schooler 24 pass from Justin Herbert (Aidan Schneider kick), 10:07. Key plays: Herbert had a 15-yard run the first play of the drive, and Boise State was called for holding, adding to the play. From midfield, Herbert found WR Dillon Mitchell for a 13-yard pass, then facing fourth-and-1, had a 3-yard run the play before he found an open Schooler for the score. Drive: 8 plays, 78 yards, 1:54. Boise State 31, Oregon 21

Third quarter

BSU — Alec Dhaenens 13 pass from Brett Rypien (Haden Hoggarth kick), 9:41. Key plays: The Broncos converted a pair of third downs on the drive, including a 5-yard pass from Rypien to WR Sean Modster on a third-and-4 to get to the 15. Rypien also hit WR Cedrick Wilson for a 30-yard strike to get into Oregon territory. Dhaenens made a great spin move off a defender on a short flare, then dove into the end zone for the TD. Drive: 12 plays, 75 yards, 5:19. Boise State 31, Oregon 14

Second quarter

UO — Tyree Robinson 100 interception return (Aidan Schneider kick), 0:07. Key plays: The Broncos answered an Oregon defensive TD with a 65-yard pass from QB Brett Rypien to WR Cedrick Wilson, who broke the Boise State single-season record for receiving yards in the process. On the next play, Rypien lofted a pass near the goal line that Robinson jumped, and he sped away for the longest interception return in Oregon history. Boise State 24, Oregon 14

UO — Troy Dye 86 fumble return (Aidan Schneider kick), 0:37. Key plays: Boise State tried to run a version of the play that won the Broncos the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, the Statue of Liberty, but the exchange between QB Brett Rypien and RB Robert Mahone was flubbed. Dye picked up the ball and sped off unabated for the score. Boise State 24, Oregon 7

BSU — Kekaula Kaniho 53 interception return (Haden Hoggarth kick), 5:11. Key plays: Kaniho scored his second touchdown of the season and forced Boise State’s fourth takeaway of the game, as he sniffed out QB Justin Herbert’s poor pass and went untouched for the score. Boise State 24, Oregon 0

BSU — Haden Hoggarth 39 field goal, 8:59. Key plays: Oregon aided Boise State with a holding penalty on a third-down incompletion and a roughing-the-passer penalty that put Boise State inside the Oregon 30. Drive: 12 plays, 62 yards, 3:56. Boise State 17, Oregon 0

First quarter

BSU — Cedrick Wilson 26 pass from Brett Rypien (Haden Hoggarth kick), 1:21. Key plays: LB Leighton Vander Esch tackled Oregon RB Tony Brooks-James almost immediately after catching a swing pass, forcing a fumble that was recovered by STUD end Jabril Frazier. Rypien’s TD pass to Wilson looked easy. He was open on a slant, and no one was there to stop him on the back end from running free. Drive: 3 plays, 32 yards, 1:17. Boise State 14, Oregon 0

BSU — Ryan Wolpin 1 run (Haden Hoggarth kick), 8:17. Key plays: Boise State entered the game last in the nation in fourth-down percentage (2-of-16), but converted one on a 4-yard pass from QB Brett Rypien to TE Alec Dhaenens to get to the Ducks’ 1 two plays before the score. Rypien had 40 passing yards on the drive. Wolpin had a run and a catch that covered 24 yards the first two plays of the drive. Drive: 13 plays, 67 yards, 5:12. Boise State 7, Oregon 0

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NEWS & NOTES

Broncos dazzle, dance their way to end zone

When in Vegas, why not put on a show?

The Boise State football team delighted a national audience Saturday afternoon on its opening possession against Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl.

The Broncos ended their first touchdown drive with a diamond pirouette play lined up wide right. After the synchronized, four-player pirouette, senior Ryan Wolpin — who was at the base of the diamond formation — caught a lateral from quarterback Brett Rypien and ran it in for a 1-yard score as the three other players in the diamond blocked in front of him.

On the play prior to the touchdown, the same four players lined up in the same diamond formation wide right and spun but then moved to the left side of the field instead of staying in place.

Moments after the play, GIFs of the pirouette began flooding Twitter.

The game got weird in the final minute of the first half.

With Boise State up 24-0, another attempt at a trick play didn’t end up in the Broncos’ favor.

In a throwback to Boise State’s win over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, the Broncos attempted the Statue of Liberty handoff, but the exchange between Rypien and running back Robert Mahone resulted in a fumble, which Oregon’s Troy Dye returned 86 yards for a touchdown.

On the Broncos’ next possession, receiver A.J. Richardson attempted to escape Oregon defender Tyree Robinson on a fade rout. But Robinson jumped in front of the pass for a 100-yard pick six, cutting Boise State’s lead to 24-14 at halftime.

Oregon is the first team with two defensive touchdowns of at least 80 yards in a quarter in the last 10 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Wilson sets record before halftime

With his eight catches for 133 yards, senior receiver Cedrick Wilson set Boise State’s single-season receiving record by halftime against Oregon.

It was Wilson’s 11th career 100-yard receiving game and gave him 1,423 yards this season.

He surpassed Thomas Sperbeck’s record of 1,412 yards from 2015.

Injury updates

Boise State coach Bryan Harsin told sideline reporter Molly McGrath before Saturday’s Las Vegas Bowl that running back Alexander Mattison will play after dealing with a lower leg injury for the last two weeks.

Mattison, who has rushed for 1,074 yards, left in the third quarter of Dec. 2’s Mountain West championship, and has not fully practiced most of the time since. Senior tight end Jake Roh, dealing with a similar injury, will not play.

A Boise State spokesman said junior cornerback Tyler Horton, who has started all 13 games this season, will not play because of an injury. Horton was a first-team All-Mountain West selection.

Boise State and Oregon kick off at 1:30 p.m. MT on ABC.

Broncos add commit who had Notre Dame offer

In addition to the gifts from the Las Vegas Bowl, Boise State got another during bowl week in the form of a new recruit.

Defensive back Chris Mitchell, from Mission Viejo (Calif.) High, committed to the Broncos on Friday. Mitchell (6-foot, 190 pounds) also had offers from Notre Dame, Colorado State and Washington State.

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Links to our coverage this week:

Brett Rypien’s odd junior year has been his ‘most successful’

Broncos and Ducks should play more

Boise State vs. Oregon breakdown: who has the edge and more

How Boise State can beat Oregon, plus prediction

In his first bowl experience, QB Cozart soaking it in

Most valuable playmaker: Williams gave BSU a big spark

After fantastic first season as starter, Vander Esch to weigh NFL

Roh hopes to overcome injury to play in final game for Broncos

A punch and a phenom: Boise State and Oregon’s wild history

Oregon’s record-setting RB won’t play against Broncos

QB Justin Herbert could stoke Heisman hype for Oregon in bowl

Boise State loses its quarterback commit

New signing day clashes with bowl prep for Boise State, Oregon

Related stories from Idaho Statesman

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