Boise State’s incoming freshmen weren’t yet in kindergarten the last time the Broncos didn’t face Fresno State or Nevada. This season, they won’t play either.
Thanks to the Mountain West’s schedule rotation, Boise State will not face the two rivals out of the West Division, nor will it play newfound rival San Diego State.
Instead, the Broncos draw Hawaii, UNLV and San Jose State. They won’t play the Bulldogs, Wolf Pack and Aztecs until 2017.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Nevada running back Don Jackson said. “You always look forward to playing that game. It’s my senior year, I was mad. I wanted another stab at them.”
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The Broncos and Wolf Pack have played 41 times, including annually since 2001.
“I wish we had it, but we don’t,” Nevada coach Brian Polian said. “If you want those things, then there is going to be some bad with it, and in this case, a 15-year rivalry has to take a break for two years.”
Boise State and Fresno State have had some key conference battles since 2001, including last year’s Mountain West championship game.
“I like playing them, I know our fanbase likes playing them,” Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter said. “When you’re playing against the best teams in your conference, it makes you work a little harder. ... It’s a different feeling, as we go through and don’t get to play them, then (I’ll) get the withdrawal shakes.”
San Diego State coach Rocky Long, whose team beat Boise State in 2012 and 2013, said “we’re disappointed, we love playing Boise.”
The West Division rivals could yet face the Broncos this season — in the Mountain West championship Dec. 6.
“We know if we want to play them that bad,’’ Jackson said, “we have to make it happen.’’