Bronco Beat

No. 13 Boise State falls in stunning 30-28 upset at Wyoming


LARAMIE, WYO. — Defensive tackle Chase Appleby sacked Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien and forced a fumble for a safety with 1:25 left to give Wyoming a 30-28 upset victory over No. 13 Boise State on Saturday night.

It was Wyoming’s first win over the Broncos in 11 games. Thousands of fans swarmed the field and the Cowboys’ players as the final seconds ticked off.

Josh Allen completed 18-of-31 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns, and Brian Hill ran for 146 yards for the Cowboys (6-2, 4-0 Mountain West).

Rypien completed 22-of-35 passes for 295 yards, and he also caught a 33-yard TD pass on a trick play for Boise State (7-1, 3-1). Jeremey McNichols ran for 143 yards and two TDs, and Jake Hollister caught six passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns.

The game featured two of the top running backs in the nation in Hill, who entered the weekend second in rushing, and McNichols, who was No. 6. Wyoming outgained Boise State 489 yards to 487.

The Broncos again lost the turnover battle, giving away two and gaining one. Wyoming is bowl eligible for the first time since 2011 and won for the first time against a ranked team since Oct. 26, 2002.

THE TAKEAWAY: Boise State saw its hopes of cracking the AP Top 10 and eventually earning a spot in the College Football Playoff dashed. The Broncos needed an unblemished record to do that.

Wyoming’s win shows it’s a program on the upswing. The team is stocked with youth and is vastly improved under the direction of coach Craig Bohl after finishing last season 2-10.

Entering Saturday’s game, Boise State had beaten Wyoming in five previous contests between the two teams at Laramie by an average of 30.8 points.

POLL IMPLICATIONS: Boise State will likely fall in the poll. The question is how far. Wyoming might get consideration from a few poll voters, but it certainly will draw more attention the rest of this season and next year.


Boise State: The Broncos return home for a game against San Jose State this Friday night. It is the second of three Friday night contests for Boise State this season. The Broncos are 27-7 in Friday night games.

Wyoming: The Cowboys host Utah State next Saturday.

Wyoming quotes

Coach Craig Bohl

“If a win could help define a program this one did. We have a lot of respect for Boise State and Coach Harsin. I want to say thanks to our fans and students. A couple of years ago I had someone take a photo and it was bleak, but tonight it was neat to see the students and people around the state rally around the team. A lot of great plays and effort, and coming in we knew it was going to be down to a play here or there. It shows resolve and belief with our coaches and players. A lot of hard work went in to this win and it’s victory number six.”

“We did a couple of things differently tonight. We got a couple of stops in the run game, created some long yardage and the interception by Rico (Gafford) was a huge play. I think we came out in the second half the coaches made some good adjustments. In the first half, no one wanted to play defense and the second half both did a good job. The two point play was huge and we’ve been working on the hands team.

(On Jacob Hollister)

“We don’t think we’ve utilized him like we could have and tonight we did. When you are a coordinator you look at where the ball is going and was certainly a weapon today, plus Josh did a good job getting the ball to him.”

(On Chase Appleby)

“His heart is as big as the state of Wyoming. He adds a great deal and for him to be out there all game certainly had a big impact on the defensive front.”

(Senior Tight End Jacob Hollister)

“It was my day to make plays. When I had the chance I did. Josh made great reads, the offensive line protected and the rest was history. Great feeling to produce for my team and I can’t stop smiling.”

“It feels so good getting this win for the guys who have been here the whole time through the struggles. The coaches who have believed in us and told us that if we stayed we would be champions.”

(Redshirt sophomore Quarterback Josh Allen)

“When you play zone the defense gave us opportunities. Jake (Hollister) is one of the hardest workers on the team. He’s a captain and no one deserves this more than him. I love him and my teammates and it was our day today.

“We called an underneath and I was supposed to throw it to Jake (Hollister). The pocket started to collapse, got on the edge and Tanner was running to the right, peeled back and let him make the play. It was a fantastic feeling. Then coming back with the two point conversion and hitting Jake Maulhardt, it tied the game and forced things on Boise State.”

(Sophomore Andrew Wingard)

“The adjustments at halftime were huge for us. We were missing some fits and tackles, but it wasn’t anything huge. It was us doing what we do. We didn’t start well, but we battled back from adversity. You could see in the second half how we played better our defense was playing. Us doing our base things right.”

“That’s our team, we are blue collar, hardworking guys. Chase Appleby, is all of six foot and all of what he weighs. He’s out there mean mugging the defensive linemen on the 13th ranked Boise State team. That’s the culture we are building, blue collar, go out and punch you in the mouth and that’s what made us successful tonight.”

Boise State coach Bryan Harsin

“That’s a difficult loss. Certainly, first, credit to Wyoming. I thought they did a great job coaching and a great job making plays. They’re a good football team, no doubt about it. I thought our week of preparation, our guys worked hard and we talked about the things we had to do fundamentally. The players care, they worked hard in this game. We just didn’t come up with enough plays and we didn’t win the turnover battle. If you don’t do that, you put yourself in a tough position. Without watching the tape, I have to give Wyoming credit. They have some mojo going on out here. We had our opportunities though, and we certainly need to capitalize on that. Now it’s a matter of how we come back, starting tomorrow, and go back to work. Our kids will fight, our coaches will fight and we’ll learn from Wyoming.”

On the safety:

“I really don’t know. We trust our quarterback and they made a play. We tried to make a play, and this is football – this is every week football. Sometimes the ball bounces funny, and it came out and they got the safety in a critical time in the game. That’s just how it goes. If we had to do it all over again, we would put it in his hands again.”

On Wyoming’s offense:

“I don’t think they did much different. They did some things on the boundary where they threw the ball. From what I

saw, without watching the film, they made some really good plays by their tight ends and receivers. We had people in

plays and they made plays. It comes down to that – you win some battles and you lose some.”



Fourth quarter

UW—Safety, 1:25. Key plays: Wyoming defensive tackle sacked Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien as he rolled out to pass, forcing him to fumble. The ball went out of the back of the end zone, resulting in the safety. Drive: none. Wyoming 30, Boise State 28.

UW—Tanner Gentry 27 pass from Josh Allen (Jake Maulhardt pass from Allen), 6:42. Key plays: Running back Brian Hill had a 2-yard run on third-and-1 on the drive’s third play, and Allen kept the drive going with a 9-yard pass to Josh Harshman on third-and-6 down to the Boise State 24. He rolled out and found Gentry in the back of the end zone on third-and-13. Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 4:08 elapsed. Boise State 28, Wyoming 28.

BSU—Brett Rypien 33 pass from Thomas Sperbeck (Tyler Rausa kick), 10:50. Key plays: Rypien found receiver Chaz Anderson down the middle for a tough catch on second-and-7 for an 18-yard gain the previous play. The Broncos pulled out some of their patented trickery for the score, with Rypien handing off to Jeremy McNichols, who pitched to Sperbeck on the end-around and found Rypien wide open leaking out of the backfield. Drive: 5 plays, 78 yards, 2:15 elapsed. Boise State 28, Wyoming 20.

UW—Cooper Rothe 39 field goal, 13:05. Key plays: Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen was great on the drive, rushing for 16 yards on third-and-10 the third play of the drive, and hitting receiver C.J. Johnson for 25 yards on third-and-5 to get to the BSU 29. Drive: 10 plays, 53 yards, 4:24 elapsed. Boise State 21, Wyoming 20.

Second quarter

UW—Jacob Hollister 28 pass from Josh Allen (Cooper Rothe kick), 0:52. Key plays: The Cowboys got the ball in Boise State territory after defensive back Rico Gafford intercepted Brett Rypien and returned it 32 yards. Allen found Hollister wide open down the sideline, giving him more than 100 receiving yards in the first half. Drive: 2 plays, 35 yards, 0:41 elapsed. Boise State 21, Wyoming 17.

UW—Cooper Rothe 40 field goal, 1:48. Key plays: Facing third-and-2 from their own 33, the Cowboys got a big 27-yard pass down the sideline from quarterback Josh Allen to tight end Jacob Hollister. Running back Brian Hill had two rushes for 12 yards to get into field goal range after the pass. Drive: 9 plays, 52 yards, 4:38 elapsed. Boise State 21, Wyoming 10.

BSU—Alexander Mattison 16 run (Tyler Rausa kick), 6:26. Key plays: Junior running back Jeremy McNichols had three straight carries for 26 yards preceding Mattison’s touchdown, the second of the freshman’s young career. Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards, 2:44 elapsed. Boise State 21, Wyoming 7.

UW—Jacob Hollister 19 pass from Josh Allen (Cooper Rothe kick), 9:10. Key plays: The Cowboys’ first four plays of the drive went 55 yards, the fourth a 23-yard rush by running back Brian Hill. Allen found Hollister on a post route in the middle of the end zone, threading the pass through the defense for the score. Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards, 2:41 elapsed. Boise State 14, Wyoming 7.

BSU—Jeremy McNichols 2 run (Tyler Rausa kick), 11:51. Key plays: Boise State stuffed Wyoming running back Brian Hill on fourth-and-goal at the 1 to get back the ball. McNichols flashed impressive balance, with his hand in the ground for a few yards before reeling off a 40-yard run on the drive’s second play. Quarterback Brett Rypien hit receiver Cedrick Wilson for 43 yards to get down to the 2. Drive: 5 plays, 99 yards, 2:25 elapsed. Boise State 14, Wyoming 0.

First quarter

BSU—Jeremy McNichols 5 run (Tyler Rausa kick), 3:12. Key plays: Safety Chanceller James hauled in an interception at the Broncos’ own 29 to get back possession, just the fourth turnover the team had created thus far. On the play prior to McNichols’ touchdown, quarterback Brett Rypien hit tight end Chase Blakley on his first career reception for a 28-yard gain. Drive: 8 plays, 71 yards, 3:14 elapsed. Boise State 7, Wyoming 0.


No. 13 Boise State (7-0, 3-0) looks to take control of the Mountain West’s Mountain Division against Wyoming (5-2, 3-0). Kickoff is at 5 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

Freshman defensive back DeAndre Pierce, who has been a versatile presence for the Broncos, playing cornerback, safety and nickel this season, made the trip, but will not play because of injury. Sophomore linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and redshirt freshman defensive end Sam Whitney, also nursing injuries, did not travel.

Boise State, as it has in all four road games this season, wore white helmets, white jerseys and white pants. Wyoming wore white helmets, brown jerseys and yellow pants. Freshman running back Alexander Mattison carried the Hammer for the second time this season. The Cowboys won the toss and deferred to the second half. Boise State has now received the opening kickoff in all eight games thus far.

Live Blog Boise State-Wyoming live coverage


Some pre-game reading of our coverage this week:


Boise State’s defense at its best when backs are against the wall

Mountain West power poll: Boise State still on top

Key matchup: QB Brett Rypien vs. Wyoming pass D

Game breakdown: Boise State at Wyoming

Players to watch when Boise State travels to Wyoming

Depth charts for Broncos, Cowboys


Beat notes: special teams struggles spark focus

A season turning drive against BYU? And love for the Blue

Thursday live chat replay

No one doubting Boise State WR Thomas Sperbeck

Highest-paid coach in the Mountain West? Not Harsin

Bohl has Wyoming on verge of bowl eligibility

Junior STUD Gabe Perez to have shoulder surgery

Moa earns MW Special Teams Player of the Week nod

Despite 7-0 start, Boise State still ‘a work in progress’