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No. 24 Boise State bounces back against San Jose State

No. 24 Boise State bounces back against San Jose State
Published On: Fri, Nov 04
Sep 24, 2016; Corvallis, OR, USA; /Oregon State Beavers quarterback Conor Blount (12) dodges Boise State Broncos linebacker Darren Lee (44) during the fourth quarter at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cole Elsasser-USA TODAY Sports

BOISE, Idaho -- Boise State's perfect season was spoiled last week, but the 24th-ranked Broncos got back on track and kept their Mountain West Conference title hopes alive with a 45-31 win over San Jose State on Friday night.

Jeremy McNichols rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries, and junior receiver Cedrick Wilson also scored twice as the Broncos rolled at Albertsons Stadium.

Boise State (8-1, 4-1 Mountain West) improved to 13-0 all-time against San Jose State (3-7, 2-4).

"I'm very proud of the team for their response after last week's loss," Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. "We won the rushing battle, we won the number of plays, we won the time of possession, we won the third-down battle, we won the red-zone battle and we won the turnover battle."

Sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien threw three touchdown passes for the Broncos, completing 16 of 21 passes for 219 yards. Wilson made six receptions for 102 yards.

Freshman tailback Alexander Mattison added 100 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries for Boise State, which rushed for 298 yards and outgained San Jose State 517-495.

"Two guys over 100 yards (rushing) -- that's a pretty good night," Harsin said.

Senior quarterback Kenny Potter led San Jose State with 278 yards passing and 67 on the ground. He completed 23 of 26 passes with two touchdowns and one interception.

Malik Roberson (12 carries, 109 yards) and Justin Holmes (six catches, 106 yards) had big nights for the Spartans, but it wasn't enough to overcome an early turnover and another big night for McNichols, who has 20 touchdowns this season.

Boise State used some of its trademark trickery to take a 24-16 lead at halftime, with San Jose State hanging tough.

The Broncos got three first-half touchdown runs. The second was set up by a perfectly executed fake punt, with Boise State punter Sean Wale taking off up the middle for 29 yards on fourth-and-12.

"It was my one time to shine, I wasn't going to slide," said Wale, who took a big hit at the end of his first career carry.

It was an ominous beginning for San Jose State, as quarterback Kenny Potter's first pass was picked off by Dylan Sumner-Gardner near midfield. Four plays later, Boise State cashed in the turnover on a 19-yard touchdown run by McNichols.

"Unfortunately, we had the one turnover," San Jose State coach Ron Caragher said. "We moved the ball pretty effectively, but the interception and the (fake) punt were probably the difference."

San Jose State closed the gap with consecutive scoring drives, as Bryce Crawford booted field goals from 21 and 39 yards to make it 7-6.

Wale's fourth-down scamper came on the final play of the first quarter, and the Broncos capitalized three plays later on another 19-yard TD run, this one by freshman Alexander Mattison, to make it 14-6.

"They're a very talented team," Caragher said. "They have two really good receivers, their quarterback is accurate, and McNichols is a really good player. They had a good balance tonight with their offensive attack."

Potter rallied the Spartans, making plays with both his arm and his feet on a 75-yard scoring drive. He capped it by making a magnificent scramble and finding Rahshead Johnson in the end zone for a 12-yard strike that cut the deficit to 14-13.

Tyler Rausa kicked a 34-yard field goal to extend the Boise State lead, and the Broncos tacked on another score, with McNichols plowing in from the 7 to cap an eight-play, 73-yard drive.

Crawford added a 39-yard field goal just before halftime to make it a one-possession game.

NOTES: Boise State improved to 13-0 in the all-time series against San Jose State, winning by an average of 28 points. ... San Jose State played without starting LT Nate Velichko (illness). ... Boise State junior LB Joe Martarano played two seasons (2014, 2015) of minor league baseball for the World Series-winning Chicago Cubs' organization. Martarano did not play baseball this summer, opting to focus on football.

Read the complete news article here...

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