Bronco Beat

Boise State’s McNichols, Wale earn Mountain West weekly honors

For the second straight week following a game, the No. 24 Boise State football team has a player that earned Mountain West player of the week awards. This time, after a 38-24 win at Oregon State on Saturday, it was two Broncos honored.

Junior running back Jeremy McNichols was named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week, and senior punter Sean Wale earned Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week.

McNichols rushed 28 times for a career-high 208 yards and had a career-best four touchdowns against the Beavers. Wale averaged 46.5 yards per punt Saturday, with three traveling at least 50 yards. He is the first Boise State punter to earn the weekly Mountain West honor since the Broncos joined the conference in 2011.

Cornerback Tyler Horton was the defensive player of the week after the Broncos’ previous game, a 31-28 win over Washington State on Sept. 10, when he had an 85-yard interception return for a touchdown.

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In case you missed it, the Broncos cracked the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time this season on Sunday.

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Boise State Athletic Director Curt Apsey, senior defensive tackle Elliot Hoyte and senior offensive lineman Travis Averill spoke to the media Monday. Check out video interviews above.

Apsey covered a range of topics, including alcohol sales at Albertsons Stadium. He noted that while it has become more of a trend nationwide, and studies have shown it to be slightly safer to allow them inside the stadium, it is not necessarily an issue the school will press. Apsey also said improvements to the east side of the stadium are being looked at, and hopes to “get moving on this a lot quicker than people might think.” That could include adding/renovating bathrooms or loge-type seating, with the idea it can create revenue to help pay for the changes. Finally, he said the football team has open dates for 2019, 2020 and 2021 that he hopes to fill by the end of this year. The 2019 date is likely to be a home game.

Hoyte was open about being motivated by the Broncos’ 52-26 loss at Utah State last season, and facing the Aggies again “I think we have a point to prove this week.” He also is the only starter on the defensive line not to have a sack, and said “my goal this week ... is to get my first one.”

Averill wasn’t quite as keen to discuss facing the Aggies, but he reflected on not having McNichols in that game (concussion), saying “he could have made a definite impact.” The Broncos had 34 rushing yards in the game. On the second half issues, he said “we’ve got to come out with better energy and focus ... it’s on all of us.”

On Monday at the Bronco Athletic Association luncheon, coach Bryan Harsin said senior linebacker Tanner Vallejo “is banged up,” but did not offer any additional information. He said he was expecting to get an injury report Monday night. Harsin will meet with the media Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. The Broncos’ depth chart remained nearly unchanged, but true freshman running back Alexander Mattison is listed as a co-backup with senior Devan Demas.

The Broncos (3-0) will host Utah State (2-2) at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, televised on ESPN2. The Aggies have rushed for 179.2 yards per game, but leading rusher Devante Mays, who has 27 carries for 234 yards, is battling a knee injury. Safety Dallin Leavitt (29 tackles, two interceptions) also left with an injury. Coach Matt Wells said Monday, “We’ll see about Leavitt and Mays, I’ll know more tonight, this afternoon, once X-rays, MRIs and all that stuff are back. If they are out for an extended time, I’ll let you know. If they’re not, it’ll be day-to-day and we won’t really talk about it anymore.”

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A few highlights from the Oregon State game, courtesy Boise State:

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