Boise State running back Ashton Jeanty celebrates a score against San Diego State on Sept. 30, 2022 in Boise, Idaho.
Boise State Athletics
The Boise State Broncos rediscovered its tradition and standard of excellence in the second half on Friday.
“It’s just holding the standard,” Boise State defensive back Tyreque Jones said after the Broncos rallied from a 13-0 halftime deficit to beat San Diego State, 35-13. “If you are on the field playing with this logo, you are going to hold the standard. That’s what we live by.”
Boise State, No. 3 in this week’s Nevada Appeal Mountain West football rankings, didn’t uphold its standard in the first half. The Broncos (3-2, 2-0) failed to score a single point in the first half in a home game for the first time since 2012.
Jones’ interception on the first play of the second half, though, sparked Boise State on a 35-0 run to close the game.
“It was an unbelievable way to start the second half,” Boise State head coach Andy Avalos said. “But here’s the thing. When you just do your job and you do it really, really well, things come to you.”
Taylen Green, making his first career start after regular starting quarterback Hank Bachmeier entered the transfer portal earlier in the week, had a pair of touchdown runs of 17 and 39 yards. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound redshirt freshman rushed for 105 yards on just eight carries. Green, though, was just 5-of-10 for 48 yards through the air with an interception.
“He may look like he’s just out there jogging but with his legs he’s eating up ground,” said Jones, now in his sixth season at Boise State. “I can only imagine what it’s like for teams to chase him.”
George Holani also ran for a pair of touchdowns and picked up 131 yards on 17 carries for the Broncos. Boise State ran for 273 of its 316 rushing yards in the second half, its most rushing yards in a game in three years.
San Diego State’s offense gained just 114 total yards and picked up just six first downs. San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke then fired offensive coordinator Jeff Hecklinski after the game and replaced him with former Nevada and UNLV head coach Jeff Horton, the Aztecs’ running backs coach.
Three Aztecs quarterbacks combined to complete just 2-of-16 passes for 33 yards against Boise State. Starting quarterback Braxton Burmeister left the game in the second half with a concussion. Backup Kyle Crum then suffered a broken collarbone later in the game and true freshman Liu Aumavae did not complete a pass on seven attempts. San Diego State (2-3, 0-1) now has the worst passing offense in the nation among the 131 FBS teams, averaging 65.6 yards a game.
“We are an undisciplined football team,” said Hoke, whose Aztecs fell to No. 7 in the rankings. “We just never had the execution, either offensively or defensively.”
Air Force (4-1, 1-1) jumped back into the top spot in the rankings with a 13-10 victory over Navy. Air Force opened the scoring with a 67-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Haaziq Daniels to David Cormier and broke a 10-10 tie on a 22-yard field goal by Matthew Dapore with 4:14 to play to win the game.
Brad Roberts ran for 108 yards on 23 carries and Daniels ran for 65 yards on 14 carries.
No. 2 San Jose State (3-1, 1-0) whipped No. 5 Wyoming (3-3, 1-1), 33-16, in Laramie, Wyo. The Spartans outgained the Cowboys, 456-253, had more first downs (25-10) and held the ball for nearly 37 minutes. Former Nevada Wolf Pack wide receiver Elijah Cooks caught eight passes for 177 yards for the Spartans. Chevan Cordeiro passed for 314 yards and a touchdown.
No. 4 UNLV improved to 4-1, 2-0 with a 31-20 win over New Mexico. The Rebels, though, fell behind 17-0 in the first half.
“It’s a character-building win,” UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo said. “It was ugly, there were a lot of things against us early on. But we rallied and played well.”
UNLV quarterback Doug Brumfield was 24-of-33 for 233 yards and Aidan Robbins rushed for 79 yards. New Mexico built its early lead on a pair of 8-yard touchdown runs by quarterback Miles Kendrick.
“That’s a great college football game,” said New Mexico head coach Danny Gonzales, whose No. 10 Lobos fell to 2-3, 0-2. “But that one hurt. That’s a crushed (New Mexico) locker room. And they should be. It hurt bad.”
UNLV is now 4-1 for the first time since 2003.
“Being in those situations (facing a deficit), we know what we have to do to execute,” Brumfield said. “We didn’t let anyone take us out of our game. We came out and played our style of football. We played fast and just executed.”
The Rebels closed the scoring on a 21-yard touchdown return of an interception by Cameron Oliver with 28 seconds to play.
“That’s not our best football,” UNLV defensive lineman Adam Plant said of the 11-point victory.
No. 6 Fresno State (1-3, 0-0) fell to Connecticut 19-14 at East Hartford, Conn., the farthest away from Fresno the Bulldogs have ever played a game.
Fresno State, which beat Connecticut 45-0 to open the 2021 season at Fresno, has now lost three games in a row. Backup quarterback Logan Fife started and was 16-of-22 for 157 yards and two interceptions. Fife was playing for injured starter Jake Haener, who passed for 331 yards and three touchdowns against Connecticut last year.
Connecticut, coached by former Atlanta Falcons and UCLA head coach Jim Mora, held Fresno State to just 187 total yards and just 30 yards on the ground on 26 carries.
No. 8 Utah State (1-4, 0-1) lost to BYU, 38-26, in front of 59,417 fans in Provo, Utah. Utah State, which has now lost four games in a row, led 7-0 and 17-14 in the first half. The Aggies had to start junior quarterback Cooper Legas because of a season-ending foot injury suffered by starter Logan Bonner two weeks ago against UNLV.
Legas, who had played just two games for Utah State the last two years combined, was 19-of-31 for 188 yards two touchdowns and two interceptions against BYU.
“This is Coop’s team,” Utah State coach Blake Anderson said. “I have no doubt what he can do. He did so many good things. I don’t want the mistakes (two interceptions, one lost fumble) to overshadow how well he played.”
Just four Mountain West teams (Boise State, Air Force, UNLV and San Jose State) have winning records heading into Week Six. This week’s schedule features six league games for the first time this year, starting Friday night with UNLV heading to San Jose State and Colorado State going to Nevada.
The Nevada Appeal’s Mountain West football rankings for the week of Oct. 3:
1. AIR FORCE (4-1, 1-1). Last week: Air Force 13, Navy 10. This week: Air Force at Utah State, Saturday.
2. SAN JOSE STATE (3-1, 1-0). Last week: San Jose State 33, Wyoming 16. This week: UNLV at San Jose State, Friday.
3. BOISE STATE (3-2, 2-0). Last week: Boise State 35, San Diego State 13. This week: Fresno State at Boise State, Saturday.
4. UNLV (4-1, 2-0). Last week: UNLV 31, New Mexico 20. UNLV at San Jose State, Friday.
5. WYOMING (3-3, 1-1). Last week: San Jose State 33, Wyoming 16. This week: Wyoming at New Mexico, Saturday.
6. FRESNO STATE (1-3, 0-0). Last week: Connecticut 19, Fresno State 13. This week: Fresno State at Boise State, Saturday.
7. SAN DIEGO STATE (2-3, 0-1). Last week: Boise State 35, San Diego State 13. This week: Hawaii at San Diego State, Saturday.
8. UTAH STATE (1-4, 0-1). Last week: BYU 38, Utah State 26. This week: Air Force at Utah State, Saturday.
9. NEVADA (2-3, 0-1). Last week: Idle. This week: Colorado State at Nevada, Friday.
10. NEW MEXICO (2-3, 0-2). Last week: UNLV 31, New Mexico 20. This week: Wyoming at New Mexico, Saturday.
11. COLORADO STATE (0-4, 0-0). Last week: Idle. This week: Colorado State at Nevada, Friday.
12. HAWAII (1-4, 0-0). Last week: Idle. This week: Hawaii at San Diego State, Saturday.