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Wyoming upsets No. 13 Boise State

Wyoming upsets No. 13 Boise State
Published On: Sat, Oct 29
Oct 31, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Boise Broncos running back Jeremy McNichols (13) breaks free for a large gain during a game against UNLV at Sam Boyd Stadium. The Broncos won the game 55-27. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Wyoming Cowboys had gone 14 years without beating a ranked team and had never beaten Boise State.

With one big play from senior nose tackle Chase Appleby, they broke both streaks and took control of the Mountain West Conferences Mountain Division.

Appleby forced a fumble from Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien that bounced through the end zone for a tie-breaking safety with 1:25 left in the game, lifting Wyoming to a 30-28 upset win Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyoming.

In easily the biggest win of coach Craig Bohl's three years at the helm, the Cowboys (6-2, 4-0) wrested first place in the division from No. 13 Boise State (7-1, 3-1) while becoming bowl-eligible. Whats more, Wyoming inflicted serious damage to the Broncos' chances of earning the Group of Five's berth in a prestigious New Years bowl game.

"Its a great team win for our whole state," Bohl said. "Were making strides."

Rypien dropped back to pass on second-and-10 from the Boise State 10 when Appleby worked around a lineman and blasted Rypien in the chest at the 1. After hesitating to make a call, the officials ruled a safety and the play survived a replay review.

The Broncos opted for an onside kick after the safety, but Tanner Gentry recovered it at the Boise State 34. Brian Hill powered up the middle for 2 yards on a 3rd-and-1 run after the Broncos used their last timeout, gaining the first down which sealed the outcome.

After quarterback Josh Allen took a knee to end it, some Cowboy fans stormed the field to celebrate their first win against a top 25 team since October 26, 2002, when they stopped No. 22 Air Force 34-26.

"We came into this game just expecting to win it," tight end Jacob Hollister said. "It was unreal after the game, with fans and strangers just coming up and hugging us. What a feeling."

Trailing 28-20 after Boise State wide receiver Thomas Spurbeck pulled up on an apparent reverse and hit Rypien for a 33-yard scoring strike with 10:50 left in the game, Wyoming rallied.

Allen scrambled to his right to elude pressure and zipped a 27-yard touchdown pass to Gentry with 6:42 remaining, slicing the Broncos' lead to two. Allens 2-point pass to Jake Maulhardt in the back of the end zone tied the game.

The teams exchanged punts, but the Cowboys' Ethan Wood placed his boot at the Boise State 10, setting up the deciding sequence.

The Broncos, whose average victory margin in five previous visits to Laramie was 30.8 points per game, appeared headed for another big night offensively when they established a 21-7 second quarter lead. They drove 71, 99 and 75 yards for touchdowns, with Jeremy McNichols scoring on runs of 5 and 2 yards, and backup running back Alex Mattison adding a 16-yard touchdown burst.

But Wyoming used a big sequence late in the first half to grab momentum. Cooper Rothe converted a 40-yard field goal with 1:48 left, and Allen found Hollister for a 28-yard scoring strike with 52 seconds remaining, two plays after Rypien tossed an interception.

From there, the game settled into more of a defensive battle, with neither team scoring in the third quarter. Rothe's 39-yard field goal with 13:05 left in the game brought the Cowboys within 21-20, a prelude to the dramatic finish.

Allen completed 18 of 31 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns, connecting with Hollister six times for 144 yards. Hill added 146 yards on 28 rushes.

Boise State lost despite McNichols 143 yards on 18 carries. Rypien threw for 295 yards on 22-of-35 accuracy, but couldnt quite squeeze off a 36th pass, thanks to Applebys efforts.

Bohl, who guided North Dakota State to three straight FCS championships from 2011-13 before taking the Wyoming job, said the game will establish a different perception of the program.

"There are breakthrough games that will change the trajectory of this program," he said. "The proof is in the pudding. This win is something that will propel us to do special things." NOTES: Boise States No. 13 ranking entering the game is its highest since 2011, when it ended the season at No. 8. Wyoming RB Brian Hills 289 rushing yards at Nevada last week were the second-highest total in FBS this year, earning him Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week. The Broncos are playing five non-Saturday games this year, the fourth straight year theyve done that.

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