Boise State Football

‘He’s been a warrior’: Mattison churns out more hard-earned yards as he passes 1,000

It was very fitting for Alexander Mattison, after a season full of earning every single yard, that he crossed the 1,000-yard plateau on an easy 41-yard touchdown run.

The score, Mattison’s last carry of the game Friday at Dreamstyle Stadium, put him at 1,015 yards on the season. It also was his longest run of the year, a play he savored on his 225th carry of the season.

“It felt good. The offensive line blocked amazing on that play and it just opened up,” Mattison said. “To see (tackle) Ezra (Cleveland) come down and the joy on his face after the touchdown. We had to bring our energy today and that’s what we brought. It was amazing.”

[Related: Broncos avoid the trap in lopsided win; Former teammates react to Jack Fields’ death; Boise State-New Mexico scoring summary]

Mattison had 20 carries Friday for a season-high 145 yards rushing. He had 144 yards the previous Friday against Fresno State, giving him back-to-back 100-yard games for the second time in his career. Coming into the game, he had only two runs of more than 20 yards this season.

“They have been a lot of tough (yards),” Boise State senior quarterback Brett Rypien said. “I came off the sideline, I was like ‘that might’ve been the first run we’ve had over 40 yards this year.’ I was trying to go back and think, I didn’t think we’d hit that big one. … To get over 1,000, he’s been running tough all year, it’s not been easy, having to break tackles. He’s been a warrior.”

Now with his second consecutive 1,000-yard season, Mattison has pushed Boise State’s streak to 10 straight years with a rusher who has hit the mark. That is tied for the third-longest in FBS history, and the team entered the game tied with Auburn for the best active streak with nine.

“It’s an honor, it’s a blessing to be in the situation and be given the opportunity to accomplish that,” Mattison said. “I think we’re one of only two in the nation or something like that, so that’s an amazing honor to accomplish that and continue that streak.”


Boise State senior wide receiver Sean Modster was Rypien’s preferred target Friday night, hauling in a career-best nine receptions for 129 yards, scoring touchdowns of 15, 16 and 5 yards on the Broncos’ first six possessions.

“Our other guys are going to be hungry now that Sean had three touchdowns,” Rypien said. “I’m sure that there are some other guys in that room that are going to want some red zone action.”

With three receivers sidelined because of injury, Modster became the top option, taking advantage of a New Mexico defense that often gave him man coverage looks, and one-on-one opportunities.

“Our gameplan was pretty good, and I did the most I can,” said Modster, who leads the team with 59 catches and 852 yards.


Sophomore STUD end Curtis Weaver was credited with two assisted sacks, which gives him 20.5 in his career and 9.5 this season. His career total is already tied for sixth in Boise State history with Shea McClellin (2008-11). He needs 1.5 to surpass Ryan Winterswyk for the most among Boise State players to spend their entire careers at the FBS level.


Wide receiver Octavius Evans, receiver Khalil Shakir, receiver John Hightower, safety Tyreque Jones, tight end Matt Pistone and defensive tackle Chase Hatada were held out Friday with injuries.

Shakir and Jones are new additions to the injury report. Shakir, a true freshman, scored a go-ahead 49-yard touchdown a week earlier in a 24-17 win over Fresno State. Jones has started five games this season but was replaced in the lineup by sophomore Jordan Happle in the previous game.

Evans has not played since Oct. 19 against Colorado State. Coach Bryan Harsin said Wednesday the injury he had in fall camp has not properly healed, but did not say he won’t play the rest of the season. He has two receptions for 12 yards in five games.

Hightower also did not play against Fresno State. He is second on the team with 163 yards rushing and third with 496 yards receiving and has eight total touchdowns. Hatada missed Nov. 3’s game against BYU, but played last week, though he was taken off the field with an apparent injury during the win.


Mattison was selected as the single-game captain. … The Broncos wore all white. ... Freshman wide receiver Billy Bowens switched his number from No. 27 to 18. ... Sophomore linebacker Bruno DeRose carried the Hammer. ... Two true freshmen, STUD end Demitri Washington and tight end Cole Ramseyer, made their Boise State debuts. ... Boise State completed its first 4-0 Mountain West road record in a season under coach Bryan Harsin. ... The Broncos have scored 217 points in five visits to Dreamstyle Stadium.