Bronco Beat

Move over McNichols: Wale’s run the talk of the Broncos

Boise State vs San Jose State post game interviews

Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin and key players talk about the Broncos' 45-31 win over SJSU Friday Nov. 4, 2016 in Boise.
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Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin and key players talk about the Broncos' 45-31 win over SJSU Friday Nov. 4, 2016 in Boise.

A 29-yard run isn’t that uncommon. Boise State junior running back Jeremy McNichols has three longer than that this season.

But when a punter does it? That’s worth talking about.

Senior punter Sean Wale’s 29-yard gain on a fake punt late in the first quarter Friday has been a frequent topic of discussion for the Broncos and those around the team. It was the Broncos’ longest run of the night, as McNichols had 158 yards on the ground, his longest a 27-yarder.

“That’s good for him, it was a huge play for us,” McNichols said.

Here is the play in question:

The Broncos wound up scoring on the drive, turning a 7-6 lead into a 14-6 advantage. It was the spark the team needed after facing a second straight three-and-out.

That also meant the floodgates were open to have a few laughs.

Take former kicker Dan Goodale, for example:

Or current kicker Tyler Rausa:

Wale was proud of the bruise he earned on the hit:

On Monday, McNichols couldn’t help but give his two cents.

“He did have a big hole though. If he couldn’t get through that one, I dunno,” he said.

He added: “It was nice little juke at the end. If we can get him a whole that big, maybe if they’re in prevent defense, we can hand him the ball on a draw or something.”

San Jose State coach Ron Caragher had plenty to say about it, though he wasn’t in a joyful mood, believing snapper Matt Cota held on the play.

“I thought we had it defended really well. One of my frustrations was one of our players couldn’t get off the hold that was on him. He was right there and he saw it and he was ready to come off, he just couldn’t physically come off. He would have tackled him and it would have been turnover on downs – our ball. It’s really frustrating from my standpoint as a coach because we had talked about the fake punt, he just couldn’t come off and make a play. It completely (had an impact) because I thought it should have been a turnover on downs. Unfortunately they got the first down and it really changed the momentum of the game. We know the fake and that they have that. We practiced it and they were alert for it, and I thought our guy was ready to come off and make the play, but he couldn’t.”

Here’s what Wale had to say:

“Just doing my deal, just rushing the ball, doing what I do, I guess.”

“We had the first punt to kind of make sure the look’s there and (Kent Riddle) thought it was, so he called it, and finally, after four years, I get my chance to do something, so I had to make the best of it. Matt Cota had a key block for me in front. I was a little nervous about that at first, but he was an all-state O-lineman in Idaho, and he proved it and we got the first down.”

“I did say before the play, I was like, ‘it’s my one chance to shine, I’m definitely not sliding. I’m going to get laid out or something, but I’m not sliding. To be honest, I had no idea what to do when I got to the open field. I’m just glad we got the first down, we always preach ball security, I just had to make sure I was holding onto that thing.”

On being hit: “I respect those guys. I couldn’t do it every single play, but they’re built for that. I couldn’t do it like they do. I actually got a little bruise, so I made it. I’ll be at treatment (Saturday), getting right.”

“For me, I’m not out there looking for fakes – maybe now.”

...

This summer, I wrote a story about a group of retirees that serve as ambassadors to the Blue at Albertsons Stadium, helping visitors with questions about Boise State, showing off the famous turf, and more.

At the time, the group had helped out visitors from 49 states. On Monday, they finally got their 50th when Tom Lowensohn of South Burlington, Vt., stopped by. The ambassadors have counted 11,000 weekday visitors from all 50 states this year, and 33 countries. Lowensohn got some Boise State merchandise, some signed by coach Bryan Harsin, to celebrate the visit.

Dave Southorn: 208-377-6420, @IDS_BroncoBeat

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