Boise State Football

Punches, pirouettes and pick-sixes highlight Round 3 of Boise State vs. Oregon

Boise State QB Brett Rypien, RB Ryan Wolpin on bowl win

Boise State QB Brett Rypien explains some of the big and wacky plays that happened against Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl. RB Ryan Wolpin discusses his role.
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Boise State QB Brett Rypien explains some of the big and wacky plays that happened against Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl. RB Ryan Wolpin discusses his role.

Well, it just wouldn’t be a Boise State-Oregon football game without a punch.

Late in the third quarter with Oregon facing third-and-2, the Broncos and Ducks engaged in a bit of bad behavior when Boise State linebacker Tyson Maeva punched Oregon receiver Dillon Mitchell in the helmet.

Not knowing who punched him, Mitchell responded by backhanding Boise State cornerback Avery Williams.

No flags were thrown on the play.

In 2009, Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount slugged Boise State’s Byron Hout following the Broncos’ 19-8 win at Albertsons Stadium.

Related: The wild, wacky history of the Boise State-Oregon football series

Broncos dance way to end zone

When in Vegas, why not put on a show?

The Boise State football team delighted a national audience on its opening possession against Oregon.

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

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 — caught a lateral from quarterback Brett Rypien and ran it in for a 1-yard score as the three other players 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.

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

Boise State offensive coordinator Zak Hill said goal-line plays go in late in the week, and the Broncos like to add wrinkles. The two plays were designed as a pair.

“Our coaches have fun with it and so do our players,” Hill said.

Following Boise State's 38-28 win over Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl, coach Bryan Harsin talks about the team's resilience and dominant defensive effort.

With Boise State up 24-0 late in the second quarter, another attempt at a trick play didn’t end well. The Broncos attempted the ol’ 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 rub route. But Robinson jumped in front of the fade 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 past 10 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Info. And BSU also had a pick-six in the game.

“It was a weird situation. It was really up and down within a minute there,” Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien said. “I thought we did a good job of kind of letting that get past us and came out in the second half and scored on the first drive.”

The Broncos brought back the pirouette move again late in the fourth quarter, this time leading to another 1-yard score for Wolpin.

“That’s a big-boy play right there,” Rypien said. “You’ve got to get in the end zone. Everybody’s stacked up on the line. Everybody knows what’s coming, and we got in.”

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, @byrachelroberts

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