Bronco Beat

Live coverage: Boise State holds on to beat BYU 28-27

kgreen@idahostatesman.com

Boise State sophomore defensive tackle David Moa blocked BYU’s 44-yard field goal attempt with 16 seconds left, and though BYU recovered and had two more pass attempts, the defense forced incompletions and held on for the 28-27.

The Broncos improved to 7-0, the Cougars are 4-4.

SCORING SUMMARY

Fourth quarter

BSU—Jeremy McNichols 4 run (Tyler Rausa kick), 10:37. Key plays: On a third-and-6 on the previous play, quarterback Brett Rypien hit tight end Jake Knight on a crossing route, and the sophomore took it 46 yards. It was Knight’s second career reception and the first by a Boise State tight end since Oct. 1 against Utah State. Drive: 10 plays, 90 yard, 2:56 elapsed. Boise State 28, BYU 27.

BYU—Rhett Almond 37 field goal, 13:33. Key plays: Boise State receiver Thomas Sperbeck fumbled trying to make a cut for extra yardage on Boise State’s previous drive, and BYU’s Troy Warner recovered, giving the Cougars the ball at the Broncos’ 21, but the BSU defense stepped up strong, forcing the field goal. Drive: 4 plays, 1 yard, 2:19 elapsed. BYU 27, Boise State 21.

Third quarter

BYU—Taysom Hill 1 run (Rhett Almond kick), 6:55. Key plays: Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien was sacked on fourth down, giving the Cougars the ball on their own 42 to start the drive .Hill ran for 18 yards on a third-and-2 to get inside the Boise State red zone, to the 19. After a penalty created a second-and-25, Hill hit Mitchell Juergens on a pinpoint pass down to the 1. Drive: 8 plays, 58 yards, 1:57 elapsed. BYU 24, Boise State 21.

Second quarter

BSU—Cedrick Wilson 36 pass from Brett Rypien (Tyler Rausa kick), 0:35. Key plays: The Boise State defense stopped a fourth down attempt at their 31-yard line after BYU recovered a Jeremy McNichols fumble at the 41. Rypien was 5-for-5 on the drive, capping it off with a perfect strike into Wilson’s outstretched arms in the end zone on a post route. Drive: 7 plays, 69 yards, 1:06 elapsed. Boise State 21, BYU 17.

BYU—Dayan Lake 50 interception return (Rhett Almond kick), 4:54. Key plays: Lake stepped in front of a Rypien pass and raced up the same sideline as Warner for the second pick-six of the game. Drive: none. BYU 17, Boise State 14.

BYU—Fred Warner 59 interception return (Rhett Almond kick), 14:22. Key plays: Warner intercepted Brett Rypien along the east sideline and broke through any tackle attempts by the Broncos’ offense, diving into the end zone for the score. The Cougars also had an interception return for a touchdown last year against Boise State. Drive: none. Boise State 14, BYU 10.

BYU—Rhett Almond 35 field goal, 14:49. Key plays: The Cougars got the ball to start at their own 47-yard line after safety Kai Nacua picked up a blocked Tyler Rausa field goal and returned it 25 yards. Drive: 7 plays, 36 yards, 2:00 elapsed. Boise State 14, BYU 3.

First quarter

BSU—Thomas Sperbeck 12 pass from Brett Rypien (Tyler Rausa kick), 8:13. Key plays: Rypien was 5-of-5 for 53 yards on the drive, starting with a 15-yard completion the first play to Cedrick Wilson to get into BYU territory, the last on third-and-10 to get the touchdown. Drive: 8 plays, 58 yards, 3:52 elapsed. Boise State 14, BYU 0.

BSU—Jeremy McNichols 76 pass from Brett Rypien (Tyler Rausa kick), 14:11. Key plays: Boise State attempted a trick play on the kickoff return, as Cedrick Wilson lateraled across the field to Jonathan Moxey, but the pass went out of bounds. After it appeared Thomas Sperbeck was held on second down, Rypien hit McNichols wide open down the seam for the score. Drive: 3 plays, 82 yards, 0:49 elapsed. Boise State 7, BYU 0.

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Boise State will look for a little revenge when it hosts BYU at 8:15 p.m. Thursday on ESPN. The Cougars beat the Broncos 35-24 in Provo last year.

This season, Boise State is off to a 6-0 start, while BYU is 4-3, though all three losses have been by a combined seven points.

Senior right tackle Mario Yakoo, who has four starts at tackle and two at guard the first six games, is out for Boise State. Also, redshirt freshman defensive end Sam Whitney and sophomore linebacker Leighton Vander Esch will not play. Junior STUD Gabe Perez also is not suited up.

Live Blog Boise State-BYU football live coverage 2016
 

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Boise State players were not available for interviews this week, but coaches were. Head coach Bryan Harsin spoke Wednesday, and running backs coach Lee Mark on Tuesday evening. Here’s a quick recap of what they said.

Harsin

On facing BYU: “They’re going to throw (figurative) punches out there, we’ve got to be able to absorb them at times, we’ve got to be able to throw them back. To me, I think just understanding the battle. When we get our opportunities to make a play ... we need to do that.”

BYU is 14th in the FBS, converting 49 percent of third downs and tied for third in red zone offense (96.3 percent): “When we get a chance to get in those third downs, situational football, find a way to win it.”

The defense only had 10 players on the field late in CSU’s scoring drive that cut the lead to 28-10: “We had them on there for a couple plays. ... on the defensive side, we’ve talked about it. Ben recognized it, but we didn’t have that timeout.

“It happens, don’t want it to, but certainly something we’re going to correct. Substitutions are on coaches. We’re substituting the sideline, we’ll never put that on the player. ... We’re disappointed we didn’t control that better.”

Marks

On freshman running back Alexander Mattison: “Shoot, I’d love to see him get the ball a lot more to be honest with you. Alex is going to be a great talent here. I’m not putting this out there yet, because I know he has a lot to prove, but as far as from an ability standpoint, it’s endless for him.”

Mattison has 19 carries for 99 yards, and made a tough 19-yard reception against CSU, his first of his career: “That was awesome to see him have that catch, because that’s going to build confidence for the young freshman, the young buck, as we call him. ... I’m impressed with him. He’s progressed really well so far.”

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With the late Thursday kickoff, the Boise State athletic department posted a funny “excuse note” for those who will stay up and possibly miss work Friday morning.

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Gameday stories:

Boise State-BYU a battle of two of nation’s best backs

Key matchup: Boise State offensive line vs. BYU defensive line

Game breakdown for BYU-Boise State

Mountain West power poll, standings, schedule

Depth charts: Boise State, BYU

Fans’ guide for tonight’s BYU-Boise State game

More work from this short week:

Beat notes: Boise State readies for BYU, which is shaking ‘dirty’ reputation

Boise State football live chat replay

Grading Boise State midway through the regular season

BYU QB, Idaho native Taysom Hill ready for another shot at Boise State

Short week made more tolerable with rival BYU ahead

Boise State RB McNichols named MW player of the week again

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