Bronco Beat

A season-turning drive for the Boise State offense, and love for the Blue

It didn’t end last Thursday’s win over BYU, but it put Boise State ahead for good.

The Broncos’ 10-play, 90-yard drive in the fourth quarter that ended with Jeremy McNichols’ 4-yard touchdown gave Boise State a 28-27 lead, which would hold to be the final score. It was a march by an offense that had issues most of the night.

“I think that was kind of a season-defining drive for us,” sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien said. “We’d gone through a lot that game, five turnovers, at that point I said guys ‘we can’t hold anything back on this drive right here. We have to score.’”

Boise State didn’t trail all season until early in Oct. 15’s win over Colorado State, so being down in the fourth quarter was a new twist for this edition of the Broncos.

“We felt like we were stopping ourselves, and for us to go 90 yards when we needed most, it kind of proves we could’ve done that the whole time,” senior wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck said.

On the drive, Rypien was 4-of-5 passing, and McNichols had 34 total yards. But the biggest play came on sophomore tight end Jake Knight’s 46-yard catch and run on third down the play prior to McNichols’ score.

“I knew he could run, but he really turned the jets on there,” Sperbeck said.

The Broncos had been outscored 69-35 in the fourth quarter entering the game.

Said coach Bryan Harsin: “fourth quarter, we’d been outscored X amount of points to X amount of points, and it was like ‘OK, here’s our opportunity. For whatever reason, we are now in this situation where we really, actually have to win the fourth quarter.’”

Here’s a look at the drive:

10 plays, 90 yards, 2:56 elapsed

13:33 left to play at its start, 10:37 when it ended

First-and-10 at BSU 10: Jeremy McNichols 4-yard run

Second-and-6 at BSU 14: Rypien 7-yard pass to Sperbeck

First-and-10 at BSU 21: Rypien 3-yard pass to Sperbeck

Second-and-7 at BSU 24: McNichols 6-yard run

Third-and-1 at BSU 30: McNichols 2 run

First-and-10 at BSU 32: Rypien 14-yard pass to McNichols

First-and-10 at BSU 46: McNichols 4-yard run

Second-and-6 at 50: Rypien pass incomplete to Sean Modster

Third-and-6 at 50: Rypien 46-yard pass to Jake Knight

First-and-goal at BYU 4: McNichols 4-yard TD run

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Sports Illustrated ranked the top 25 field designs in a story that came out Thursday. Coming in at No. 2? Boise State.

The only one ahead of Boise State is the Rose Bowl, stating “It takes the Granddaddy of them all to top Boise State.”

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Check out the replay from the live chat that Michael Katz and I hosted today here.

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