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Boise State holds off Washington State

Boise State holds off Washington State
Published On: Sat, Sep 10
Sep 21, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back Duke Johnson (8) returns a kick off in the first quarter asSavannah State Tigers linebacker Warren Sweet (46) defends at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Junior running back Jeremy Nichols rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns as Boise State posted a 31-28 victory over Washington State on Saturday night in a nonconference game in Boise, Idaho.

Sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien passed for 299 yards and one touchdown for the Broncos (2-0), who defeated the Cougars for the first time in five meetings. Senior receiver Thomas Sperback contributed 133 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions.

Junior quarterback Luke Falk completed 55 of 71 passes for 480 yards and four touchdowns for Washington State (0-2). Sophomore Tavares Martin Jr. had 12 receptions for 158 and one touchdown and junior running back Jamal Morrow had two touchdown receptions.

Washington State trailed by 17 points early in the fourth quarter before Falk hit Morrow on a 14-yard touchdown pass with 11:34 to play. He later connected with senior wideout Gabe Marks on a 33-yard strike to pull the Cougars within 31-28 with 4:17 left.

Boise State effectively worked the clock to under a minute remaining but attempted a pass on third-and-17 from the Cougars' 29-yard line. Rypien was intercepted by junior safety Charleston White in the end zone with 53 seconds to play, but Washington State was unable to drive down the field before time expired.

Boise State led 24-7 after Rypien tossed a 47-yard touchdown pass to Sperback with 8:20 left in the third quarter. The Cougars showed life on Falk's 50-yard touchdown pass to Martin before McNichols scored on a 7-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 31-14.

Rypien, who threw three interceptions, spurned the Cougars in the recruiting process to choose the Broncos. His uncle is Mark Rypien, a former Washington State standout and Super Bowl MVP with the Washington Redskins.

Boise State led 14-0 after the first quarter. Sophomore cornerback Tyler Horton returned an interception 85 yards for a touchdown and McNichols added a 1-yard run.

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