Boise State Broncos Wilt in Second Half But Manage 38-24 Win over Oregon State Beavers

A tale of two halves...

CORVALLIS, OR--Jeremy McNichols ran for a career-high 208 yards (11th-highest single game total in Bronco history) and three touchdowns and caught a TD pass as Boise State survived a lackluster second half to down Oregon State 38-24 this afternoon. It was the Broncos' fifth consecutive win over a Pac-12 opponent (Boise State is 10-3 vs. the Pac-12 since 2006) but its first-ever win in Corvallis in four tries.

After heading into the locker room ahead 31-7, the Boise State team may have thought they had an easy win.  Oh so wrong.
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Oregon State head coach Gary Andersen fired up his team at halftime, sent a walk-on quarterback who joined the team June 28 into the game and then ordered a nifty onside kick to completely turn the game around and put a serious scare into Bronco fans.
Had it not been for linebacker Darren Lee's alert strip of wide receiver Seth Collins and 19-yard touchdown return late in the game, this one could have gotten much more interesting.  With less than four minutes remaining and Oregon State on its own 17 behind 31-17, Lee wrestled the ball away from Collins after a completion and headed into the end zone for Boise State's only highlight of the second half.
Victor Bolden, Jr. took the ensuing kickoff, however, and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown.  It didn't help that the referee on the play completely screened Boise State's Raymond Ford from making the touchdown-saving tackle.  It is the fourth time that the Broncos have allowed either a kickoff or a punt return for a touchdown in the last three years, one less than Boise State special teams allowed in the nine years before that.
After the Beaver onside kick failed, McNichols revived a Bronco offense that totaled just 5 yards in the first 21 minutes of the second half.  With 3:21 left in the game, McNichols plowed through the OSU defense for 43 yards on five carries to salt away the game, and the Broncos ran out the clock.
Boise State opened the game by marching 75 yards into the end zone, helped by a 28-yard run by Akilian Butler on a double reverse and a 16-yard dash by McNichols off the Broncos' famous Statue of Liberty play.  McNichols carried it in five yards for the 7-0 lead.
A kickoff return by Victor Bolden gave the Beavers the ball on the Bronco 41, and with the help of a 15-yard personal foul penalty on Boise State, OSU answered with Ryan Nall taking it in for a 14-yard run to tie the score.
Three possessions later, the Broncos moved it 73 yards for a score, with McNichols finding the end zone again from six yards out, and the Broncos led 14-7.
The Boise State defense stiffened, and Rypien led the Broncos on an 11-play, 90-yard drive, firing complete to Thomas Sperbeck for 26 yards, Chaz Anderson for 20 and Sperbeck again for 13.  Three plays later, Rypien found McNichols in the right flank, and McNichols sprinted towards the sideline, diving and reaching the ball for the pylon and a 21-7 Boise State lead.
The Bronco defense held again, leading to a 70-yard touchdown by McNichols and a 21-point Bronco advantage.  
Boise State drove the ball 80 yards on its next possession with 31 and 27-yard pass plays from Rypien to Sperbeck highlighting the drive.  Tyler Rausa booted a 29-yard field goal as time ran out in the half.
It was total domination in the first half by a Bronco team that showed what it was capable of.  They had churned out 435 yards of total offense to just 57 for Oregon State in the stanza.
But Anderson chewed out his team at halftime and the Beaver team that came out in the second half was not the one responsible for those first half statistics. And the OSU fortunes now rested on walk-on signal-caller Conor Blount.   Blount, who initially committed to walk on at Wisconsin and then changed his mind in May, came to Oregon State in June.   
After a change of possessions, Boise State had the Beavers pinned down on their own 5.  But a suddenly-inspired OSU offensive line opened holes for the Beaver ground game that simply weren't there in the game's first 30 minutes.   Blount led the Beavers on a 14-play drive to make the score Boise State 31, Oregon State 14.  
Anderson further fired up his team and the home crowd by electing to have placekicker Adley Rutschman tap the ball on the kickoff, running with it as it tumbled downfield.  The shocked Broncos watched from their side as Rutschman fell on the ball after it traveled the required 10 yards.
The Beavers advanced the ball to the Bronco 23, but were forced to send Garrett Owens in to kick a 41-yard field goal to make it 31-17.
But the suddenly cold Boise State offense generated successive drives of just five yards, a negative three and zero to keep the Beavers in the game.
Luckily for the Broncos, the Boise State defense held its ground as well and with 9:11 left, the Bronco offense finally got untracked, gaining 40 yards before having to punt it.  
Wales got off a beauty, pinning Oregon State back on its 4 after a Beaver block in the back penalty.  Blount hit Seth Collins with a first down to the OSU 17 on first down, but after the completion to Collins on second down, Lee alertly stripped the ball and was headed to the end zone.
It was the second consecutive game in which Boise State opened up a big lead on a Pac-12 opponent and let them back into the game.  The Broncos grabbed a 31-14 lead over Washington State two weeks ago only to hang on by their fingernails for a 31-28 victory.
McNichols' career- day allowed him to pass David Hughes (1,826 yards from 1977-1980), Chris Jackson (1,805 in 1986-87) and Eron Hurley (1,697 from 1995-98) for 14th place in career rushing at Boise State--see tables at conclusion of this article.  McNichols now has 1,868 in two years and three games and is 21 behind Lee Marks (2002-05) for 13th.
McNichols is now tied for current Tampa Bay starting running back Doug Martin for fifth in 150-yard rushing games with four.  McNichols, who also caught four passes for 26 yards and a touchdown, moved into a tie for seventh all-time with his third game of 200 or more all-purpose yards.  He extended his Mountain West Conference record streak of rushing for a touchdown in 15 straight games.
Sperbeck tied Mike Holton (1972, 1974-1976) and Don Hutt (1970-1973) for second place with his 11th career 100-yard receiving game.
Rypien was accurate on 19-of-36 passes for 215 yards and a score and passed former Bronco great Eric Guthrie (1968-1971) for 11th place on the career passing yardage list.  Rypien tied Jim McMillan (1971-1974) for seventh in 200+ passing games and also vaulted from 13th to 9th in the Boise State record book for career completions.  Sperbeck led the Broncos with six receptions for 104 yards.
Boise State continued its streak of perfect journeys into the red zone--the Broncos have now scored on 11 of 11 trips in 2016 with eight touchdowns.
Blount finished 10-of-18 for 136 yards in his relief of Beaver starter Darell Garretson while Nall gained 66 yards and scored twice on 14 carries to lead the OSU running attack.  Collins topped the 100-yard receiving mark with eight receptions for 104 yards. 
Boise State advanced to 3-0 with the win while Oregon State is now 1-2.  The Broncos entertain Utah State next Saturday night at 8:15 with memories of an eight-turnover, 26-point loss to the Aggies last year still ricocheting in their heads.
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Rushing Yards, Game

1.    Cedric Minter (261) vs. Northern Michigan, 1978

2.    Eron Hurley (254) vs. Idaho, 1998

3.    Ian Johnson (240) vs. Oregon State, 2006

4.    David Mikell (235) vs. Idaho, 2003

5.    Jay Ajayi (229) vs. Utah State, 2014

6.    Jay Ajayi (222) vs. Nevada, 2013

7.    Jay Ajayi (219) vs. Colorado State, 2014

8.    Brock Forsey (212) vs. Central Michigan, 2001

9.    Willie Bowens (211) vs. Northeastern, 1993

10.  Cedric Minter (210) vs. Cal Poly-SLO, 1977

11.  Jeremy McNichols (208) vs. Oregon State, 2016

11.  Brock Forsey (208) vs. Tulsa, 2002

11.  Cedric Minter (208) vs. Montana State, 1978

14.  Ian Johnson (205) vs. Nevada, 2007

14. Terry Zahner (205 vs. Northern Arizona, 1977

16.  Cedric Minter (201) vs. Cal Poly-SLO, 1979

17.  Doug Martin (200) vs. Colorado State, 2011

17.  Chris Thomas (200) vs. Weber State, 1988

 

 

Career Rushing Yards

1.    Cedric Minter (4,475) 1977-1980

2.    Ian Johnson (4,183) 2005-2008

3.    Brock Forsey (4,045) 1999-2002

4.    Jay Ajayi (3,796) 2012-2014

5.    Chris Thomas (3,437) 1987-1991

6.    Doug Martin (3,431) 2008-2011

7.    Rodney Webster (3,034) 1980-1983

8.    Jeremy Avery (2,932) 2007-2010

9.    D.J. Harper (2,779) 2007-2012

10.  David Mikell (2,268) 2000-2003

11.  Jon Francis (2,172) 1984-1985

12.  Terry Zahner (2,052) 1977-1980

13.  Lee Marks (1,889) 2002-2005

14.  Jeremy McNichols (1,868) 2014-current

15.  David Hughes (1,826) 1977-1980

16.  Chris Jackson (1,805) 1986-1987

17.  Eron Hurley (1,697) 1995-1998

18.  John Smith (1,623) 1972-1975

19.  Fred Goode (1,581) 1975-1978

20.  K.C. Adams (1,275) 1994

Career 150-Yard Rushing Games

1.    Cedric Minter (8) 1977-1980

1.    Brock Forsey (8) 1999-2002

3.    Jay Ajayi (8) 2012-2014

4.    Ian Johnson (5) 2005-2008

5.    Doug Martin (4) 2010-2011

5.    Jeremy McNichols (4) 2014-current

7.    Rodney Webster (3) 1980-1983

7.    Chris Jackson (3) 1986-1987

7.    Chris Thomas (3) 1987-1991

10.  Jon Francis (2) 1984-1985

10.  K.C. Adams (2) 1994

10.  Eron Hurley (2) 1995-1999

10.  Jeremy Avery (2) 2007-2010

10.  D.J. Harper (2) 2007-2012

 

 

Career 200+ Yards All-Purpose Yards:

1.    Brock Forsey (8) 1999-2002

2.    Jay Ajayi (6) 2012-2014

3.    K.C. Adams (4) 1994

3.    Chris Jackson (4) 1986-1987

3.    Cedric Minter (4) 1977-1980

3.    Doug Martin (4) 2008-2011

7.    Jeremy McNichols (3) 2014-current

7.    Ryan Ikebe (3) 1993-1996

7.    Winky White (3) 1987-1990

 

 

Career 100+ Yards Receiving Games:

1.    Ryan Ikebe (13) 1993-1996

2.    Thomas Sperbeck (11) 2013-current

2.    Mike Holton (11) 1974/1974-1976

2.    Don Hutt (11) 1970-1973

5.    Titus Young (10) 2007-2010

6.    Tyler Shoemaker (8) 2008-2011

6.    Austin Pettis (8) 2007-2010

6.    Lou Fanucchi (8) 1999-2002

6.    Mike Wilson (8) 1990-1993

6.    Terry Hutt (8) 1973-1974/1976-1977

11.  T.J. Acree (7) 2001-2004

11.  Rodney Smith (7) 1997-1998

11.  Kim Metcalf (7) 1980-1984

11.  Al Marshall (7) 1969-1971

11.  Matt Miller (7) 2011-2014

Career Passing Yards

  1.  Kellen Moore (14,534) 2008-2011)
  2.  Ryan Dinwiddie (9,819) 2000-2003
  3.  Tony Hilde (9,107) 1993-1996
  4.  Bart Hendricks (9,020) 1997-2000
  5.  Jared Zabransky (8,256) 2003-2006
  6.  Grant Hedrick (5,656) 2011-2014)
  7.  Jim McMillan (5,508) 1971-1974
  8.  Joe Southwick (4,784) 2010-2013
  9.  Hazsen Choates (4,524) 1983-86
  10.  Mike Virden (4,294) 1989-90
  11.  Brett Rypien (4,214) 2015-current
  12.  Eric Guthrie (4,204) 1968-71
  13.  Taylor Tharp (3,699) 2004-2007
  14.  Gerald DesPres (3,579) 1981-84
  15.  Joe Aliotti (3,460) 1979-1980
  16.  Travis Stuart (3,060) 1990-1992
  17.  Vince Alcalde (2,930) 1986-1987 
  18.  Greg Stern (2,865) 1973-1976
  19.  Hoskin Hogan(2,814) 1975/1977-1978
  20.  Ron Autele (2,794) 1970,1972-1973

 

Career Completions
1.    Kellen Moore (1,157) 2008-2011

2.    Bart Hendricks (650) 1997-2000
3.   Tony Hilde (629) 1993-1996
4.    Ryan Dinwiddie (622) 2000-2003
5.    Jared Zabransky (610) 2003-2006

7.    Grant Hedrick (475) 2011-2014

6.    Joe Southwick (439) 2010-2013

8.    Jim McMillan (382) 1971-1974

9.    Brett Rypien (333) 2015-current  
10.  Mike Virden (324) 1989-1990

11.  Taylor Tharp (321) 2004-2007
12.  Hazsen Choates (316) 1983-1986

13.  Gerald DesPres (281) 1981-1984

14.  Joe Aliotti (278) 1979-1980

15.  Eric Guthrie (275) 1968-1971

16.  Travis Stuart (248) 1991-1992

17.  Duane Halliday (225) 1987-1990

18.  Greg Stern (209) 1974-1976

19.  Hoskin Hogan (186) 1977-1978

19.  Jeff Mladenich (186) 1991-1992

 

 

 

200+ Passing Yard Games, Career

1.    Kellen Moore (46) 2008-2011

2.    Bart Hendricks (28) 1997-2000

3.    Tony Hilde (26) 1993-1996

4.    Ryan Dinwiddie (24) 2000-2003

5.    Jared Zabransky (21) 2003-2006

6.    Grant Hedrick (15) 2011-2014

7.    Jim McMillan (13) 1971-1974

7.    Brett Rypien (13) 2015-2016

9.    Joe Southwick (11) 2010-2013

9.    Mike Virden (11) 1989-1990

11.  Taylor Tharp (10) 2004-2007

11.  Eric Guthrie (10) 1968-1971

13.  Vince Alcalde (9) 1986-1987

13.  Hazsen Choates (9) 1983-1986)

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