Behind 206 rushing yards and four touchdowns from junior running back Jeremy McNichols, the Boise State Broncos defeated UNLV 42-25 on Friday night in the regular season finale at Albertsons Stadium.
McNichols posted his third 200-yard game of the season and added to his NCAA-leading touchdown total, with 26, six more than any other player in the nation. He scored on 6, 1, 4 and 31 yards.
The Broncos (10-1, 6-1) rushed for 271 yards and scored all six touchdowns on the ground, needing little from their usually potent passing attack. Sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien had a 1-yard rushing touchdown, but was 10-of-20 for 109 yards through the air.
Senior linebacker Darren Lee had 11 tackles and had a partially blocked punt as the Broncos honored 19 seniors and junior long snapper Matt Cota.
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Boise State has rushed for 815 yards the last three games, scoring 45, 52 and 42 points in those contests.
Boise State plays at Air Force on Friday (1:30 p.m., CBSSN). West Division leader San Diego State plays at Wyoming on Saturday. If the Broncos and Aztecs win their next games, they will meet Dec. 3 in the Mountain West Championship game, likely in Boise.
UNLV—Andrew Price 45 pass from Kurt Palandech (Palandech run), 1:41. Key plays: Palandech had a 16-yard run on third-and-14 from the Rebels’ own 16 to keep the drive alive, and running back David Greene had a 3-yard run on fourth-and-1 to the Boise State 42 two plays before the touchdown pass. Drive: 10 plays, 80 yards, 3:28 elapsed. Boise State 42, UNLV 25.
BSU—Jeremy McNichols 31 run (Tyler Rausa kick), 8:40. Key plays: The Rebels aided the Broncos, getting a personal foul for leaping on a punt that gave the Broncos a first down at the Rebels’ 31. On the next play, McNichols broke to the left side and went into the end zone untouched for his fourth score. He had all 47 yards of offense on the drive. Drive: 5 plays, 63 yards, 2:12 elapsed. Boise State 42, UNLV 17.
UNLV—Kurt Palandech 9 run (Evan Pantels kick), 0:03. Key plays: The Rebels converted three third downs on the drive, including a 16-yard pass from Palandech to tight end Andrew Price for 16 yards on a third-and-10 to get into Boise State territory. It was the lone pass on the drive for the Rebels. Drive: 14 plays, 79 yards, 7:58 elapsed. Boise State 35, UNLV 17.
BSU—Jeremy McNichols 4 run (Tyler Rausa kick), 12:48. Key plays: Once again, the drive was all McNichols, as he rushed for 22 yards on five carries. Quarterback Brett Rypien’s third-and-9 pass into the end zone to Thomas Sperbeck drew a pass interference penalty the play before McNichols’ touchdown. BSU got strong field position after the Rebels were pinned deep and went three-and-out. Drive: 7 plays, 46 yards, 3:37 elapsed. Boise State 35, UNLV 10.
BSU—Alexander Mattison 3 run (Tyler Rausa kick), 12:48. Key plays: Mattison finished off the score which was set up by the big plays of junior Jeremy McNichols, had a 9-yard run to start the drive, and a 43-yarder the play before Mattison punched it in. Drive: 3 plays, 55 yards, 1:07 elapsed. Boise State 28, UNLV 10.
UNLV—Kurt Palandech 7 run (Evan Pantels kick), 1:43. Key plays: The Rebels twice converted on third-and-6 on the drive, the second an 8-yard pass to get to the Broncos’ 20. UNLV ran for 69 yards on the drive. Drive: 11 plays, 77 yards, 5:54 elapsed. Boise State 21, UNLV 10.
BSU—Jeremy McNichols 1 run (Tyler Rausa kick), 7:37. Key plays: McNichols had carries on the final five plays of the drive for 28 yards, and had a 21-yard reception the previous play. Drive: 8 plays, 61 yards, 4:19 elapsed. Boise State 21, UNLV 3.
BSU—Jeremy McNichols 6 run (Tyler Rausa kick), 0:38. Key plays: Junior receiver Cedrick Wilson made a quick move after fielding a UNLV punt and broke free for an almost-perfect return. Wilson was tackled at the 6 after a 73-yard return, the team’s previous best this season was a 17-yarder. Drive: 1 plays, 6 yards, 0:07 elapsed. Boise State 14, UNLV 3.
BSU—Brett Rypien 1 run (Tyler Rausa kick), 2:43. Key plays: The Broncos’ longest drive of the season almost ended up just short when Jeremy McNichols fumbled at the 1, but offensive tackle John Molchon recovered the play before Rypien’s leap over the pile for the score. Rypien had a 3-yard sneak on fourth-and-1 from the UNLV 30 to keep the drive going. Drive: 19 plays, 74 yards, 8:18 elapsed. Boise State 7, UNLV 3.
UNLV—Evan Pantels 21 field goal, 11:01. Key plays: The Rebels took over at the Boise State 29 when senior receiver Thomas Sperbeck fumbled, recovered by Troy Hawthorne. On fourth-and-16, quarterback Kurt Palandech hit tight end Tim Holt for 26 yards to the Boise State 9. Drive: 8 plays, 25 yards, 3:25 elapsed. UNLV 3, Boise State 0.
Senior linebacker Tanner Vallejo will not play Friday night against UNLV, per Boise State. No reason was provided. Vallejo is second on the team with 69 tackles (six for loss) in nine games. He did not play Oct. 1 against Utah State with an undisclosed injury.
Boise State’s regular season home finale pits the No. 20 Broncos (9-1, 5-1) against UNLV (4-6, 3-3) for a 7 p.m. Friday kickoff at Albertsons Stadium, televised on ESPN2.
The Broncos have won all three meetings with the Rebels as Mountain West members.
Friday is senior night, and the Broncos’ group needs two wins to keep up the 15-year streak of senior classes with 40 wins. A common thread has been the selflessness of the 19 seniors, a team-first group that has seen some highs (the Fiesta Bowl win) and lows (losing three MW games last season).
Here are the 20 players that will be honored Friday:
OL Will Adams
WR Chaz Anderson
OL Travis Averill
OL Steven Baggett
OL Kellen Buhr
LS Matt Cota (junior)
RB Devan Demas
CB Raymond Ford
DT Elliot Hoyte
S Chanceller James
LB Darren Lee
DE Sam McCaskill
CB Jonathan Moxey
WR Taylor Pope
K Tyler Rausa
WR Thomas Sperbeck
LB Tanner Vallejo
P Sean Wale
LB Ben Weaver
OL Mario Yakoo
Links to our coverage this week: