Brian Losness, USA Today Sports

Boise State Broncos Hang On For Wild 28-23 Win Over Colorado State Rams

Jeremy McNichols gashed the Colorado State defense for a career-high 217 rushing yards...

BOISE, Idaho--An illegal forward pass by Colorado State allowed #15 Boise State to escape with a wild 28-23 win over the Rams in a rain-soaked Albertsons Stadium tonight.  The Broncos advanced to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the Mountain West Conference with the victory.

With a minimum of six games remaining in the 2016 season, Boise State tied the Florida teams from 1990-2009 and the Miami of Florida teams from 1985-2004 for the sixth-most wins in major college football history over any 21-year period.  Boise State also has the 11th-most wins (204-57 since 1996) in major college football history over any 21-year period (see charts at conclusion of article.)

Through a series of improbable events, CSU came from a fourth quarter deficit of 28-3 to be in position to win the game until the mishap.  

Brian Losness, USA Today Sports

After Boise State's Thomas Sperbeck hit A.J. Richardson with a 11-yard pass in the end zone from the "Wildcat" formation (above picture) for Richardson's first career score, Colorado State drove 75 yards in 17 plays for its first touchdown, with Izzy Matthews pounding it in from two yards out with 5:04 left in the game.  CSU converted three fourth downs to keep the drive alive.

The Rams then executed a perfect onside kick and struck quickly with a 53-yard toss from Nick Stevens to Michael Gallup on the next play to cut the lead to 28-17.

Brian Losness, USA Today Sports

Colorado State once again recovered an onside kick when a hard boot hit Boise State's Chaz Anderson in the chest and bounced out.  After moving the chains, the Rams struck deep into Bronco territory as they set up a screen formation over the middle to free Detrich Clark that went for 31 yards to the Boise State 11-yard line.  Dalyn Dawkins (above) easily ran through the middle of the Bronco line on the next play to narrow the margin to 28-23.  A two-point conversion attempt failed.

When one succeeds twice, try, try again, yet this time, Boise State recovered the ensuing onside kick attempt.  

Boise State converted one third-down attempt but were unable to convert on fourth-and-one at the CSU 27, allowing their opponent life with 21 seconds left.  Stevens connected with Gallup, who ran out of bounds at the Ram 40 with 15 seconds remaining.  

Stevens once again completed a short pass to Gallup, and the Rams executed three laterals before the ball went out of bounds with four ticks of the clock left. 

Initially, the field officials ruled the play legitimate, but Boise State coach Bryan Harsin pointed out that the final lateral was an illegal forward pass, the penalty being a loss of down and a 10-second runoff of the clock, which would mean the game was over.  The officials in the replay booth reviewed the play and agreed, ending the wild contest. 

''That was a fight,'' Harsin said. ''There are certainly things to work on. It's hard to win every single week and come out prepared to win every single week. But I'm fired up for our team and how they handled some adversity. Certainly at the end of the game, there are a lot of things we can learn from and coach from.''

Brian Losness, USA Today Sports

''We came in tonight to make it a fourth quarter game,'' Colorado State coach Mike Bobo said. ''It wasn't the kind of fourth quarter game we envisioned, but we did what we had to do to have a chance at the end.''

The vaunted Bronco offense was stymied for nearly the entire first half until Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien spotted Sperbeck open in the end zone for a 12-yard completion with 27 seconds remaining.  That big play gave the Broncos a 7-3 halftime lead after the Rams became the first team to lead Boise State this season after a Wyatt Bryan 39-yard field goal with 7:24 left in the first quarter.  Until that time, Boise State was the only major college football team this year to never trail in a game.

On the opening drive of the second half, the Broncos executed a methodical 10-play, 79-yard drive to extend that lead to 14-3, with running back Jeremy McNichols carrying it into the end zone for a five-yard score.

Boise State forced a Ram punt to take over on their own 17 and McNichols had a three-yard gain on first down.  McNichols then burst through the middle untouched for an 80-yard run to quickly give the Broncos a 21-3 lead that was increased to 28-3 with the Sperbeck-to-Richardson touchdown pass.  McNichols now has three runs of 80 or more yards in his Bronco career.

Brian Losness, USA Today Sports

''We called the play earlier in the game and I almost broke that one,'' said McNichols, who rushed for a career-high 217 yards (eighth-highest in school history) and two touchdowns. ''So when coach asked me what play to call, I told him we needed to call it again. And he called it.''  McNichols, the nation's fifth-best running back with 129.2 yards per game, surpassed the second 200-yard mark for the second time this season after running for 208 yards against Oregon State.  It was the 19th time that a Bronco running back has reached 200 or more rushing yards in a game.

McNichols now has three games of 200 or more yards, equaling the career mark of his predecessor, Jay Ajayi, now a star with the Miami Dolphins.  Only Cedric Minter (1977-80) has more 200-yard rushing games at Boise State with four.

The Boise State junior tied Jared Zabransky (2003-6) for ninth in career rushing TD's with 31.  Zabransky was named a pre-game honorary captain along with linebacker Korey Hall as the Bronco crowd honored the famous 2006 Boise State team that capped an undefeated season with a historic 43-42 win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

McNichols also had a career-high and school record 40 carries and, with four catches for 47 yards, accumulated a career-high 264 total yards to lead the Broncos.   McNichols achieved 200 or more all-purpose yards for the fifth time, behind only Brock Forsey (8 from 1999-2002) and Ajayi (6 from 2012-14).  

Jeremy passed former Broncos David Mikell (2000-03) and Jon Francis (1984-85) and is now 10th in Boise State history for career rushing yards with 2,271.  McNichols passed Doug Martin, now a star running back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with his fifth career game over 150 yards, and is ninth all-time in career 100-yard rushing games.

Brian Losness, USA Today Sports

 Rypien finished 16-of-24 passing for 207 yards and one touchdown to pass Joe Southwick (2010-13) for eighth place in career passing yards at Boise State.  Rypien also ranks eighth in career completions, passing former Bronco great Jim McMillan (1971-74) in that department.  Rypien reached the 200-yard passing mark for the 15th time in his brief Bronco career to tie him with Grant Hedrick (2011-14) for sixth.

Sperbeck, 12th in the nation in receiving yards per game, led Boise State with five catches for 72 yards, leaving him 33 yards short of the Bronco record for career receiving yards.  Anderson chipped in with five receptions for 65 yards.

Stevens connected on 17-of-31 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns, while Dawkins led the Ram ground game with 66 yards.

Colorado State quarterback Nick Stevens was 17-of-31 passing for 184 yards and two touchdowns, while Dalyn Dawkins led the Rams on the ground with 66 yards.

Now bowl eligible for the 18th straight season, Boise State faces surging BYU next Thursday in Albertsons Stadium while Colorado State (3-4, 1-2 in MW play) travels to UNLV next week.

*****************************************************************************************************************

Most Wins In 20-Year Period:

(no overlap)

 
*Modern Record in Bold 


1.    Yale 227-11-8 (1886-1905)
2.    Pennsylvania 224-36-7 (1889-1908)
3.    Nebraska 213-35-1 (1982-2001)
4.    Florida State 204-41-2 (1985-2004)

5.    Harvard 203-27-5 (1886-1905)

6.    Miami of Florida 202-39-0 (1985-2004)
6.    Florida 202-52-1 (1990-2009)

6.    Boise State 202-47 (1997-2016*)

9.    Princeton 196-17-7 (1884-1903)

9.    Ohio State 196-48-0 (1996-2015)

11.  Alabama 195-33-3 (1961-1980)

12.  Penn State 194-39-2 (1967-1986)

12.  BYU 194-59-2 (1977-1996)

12.  Oklahoma 194-38-4 (1971-1990)

15.  Virginia Tech 192-64-0 (1993-2012)

16.  Oklahoma 191-68-0 (1996-2015)

17.  Tennessee 188-54-5 (1985-2004)

18.  Texas 188-66-1 (1994-2013)

19.  Michigan 187-53-5 (1985-2004)

20.  Oregon 186-66-0 (1995-2014)

20.  LSU 186-68-0 (1996-2015)

20.  Georgia 186-70-0 (1996-2015)

23.  Wisconsin 183-77-0 (1996-2015)

24.  Ohio State 179-45-3 (1967-1986)

24.  Nebraska 179-46-5 (1961-1980)

26.  USC 178-40-9 (1962-1981)

27.  Texas 174-44-4 (1959-1978)

27.  Penn State 174-72-0 (1990-2009)

29.  TCU 173-74-0 (1996-2015)

30.  Washington 172-61-3 (1977-1996)

Most Wins Over 21-Year Period:
1.    Yale 236-11-9 (1886-1906)
2.    Pennsylvania 233-43-4 (1887-1907)
3.    Nebraska 222-38-1 (1981-2001)

4.    Harvard 213-28-5 (1886-1906)

5.    Miami of Florida 212-42-0 (1983-2003)
5.    Florida State 212-46-2 (1985-2005)

7.    Florida 210-57-1 (1990-2010)

8.    Ohio State 207-50-0 (1995-2015)

9.    Princeton 204-19-7 (1884-1904)

9.    Alabama 204-35-4 (1961-1981)

11.  Boise State 204-57-0 (1996-2016*)

12.  Oklahoma 203-41-4 (1971-1991)

12.  BYU 203-62-2 (1976-1996)

14.  Penn State 202-43-2 (1967-1987)

15.  Nebraska 200-43-4 (1963-1983)

15.  Virginia Tech 200-69-0 (1993-2013)

17.  Michigan 196-49-5 (1971-1991)

17.  Tennessee 196-62-3 (1987-2007)

17.  Oklahoma 196-73-1 (1995-2015)

20.  Oregon 195-70-0 (1994-2014)

21.  Texas 194-73-1 (1994-2014)

22.  LSU 193-72-1 (1995-2015)

23.  Georgia 192-76-0 (1995-2015)

24.  Wisconsin 187-82-2 (1995-2015)

25.  USC 186-43-9 (1962-1982)

26.  Ohio State 185-49-4 (1967-1987)

26.  Texas 185-50-3 (1963-1983)

28.  Penn State 182-75-1 (1989-2009)

29.  Notre Dame 181-63-3 (1973-1993)

30.  Washington 180-65-3 (1977-1997)

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.    Jeremy McNichols (217) vs. Colorado State, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Career 100+ Yard Rushing Games:

 

Career

1.    Cedric Minter (20) 1977-1980

2.    Brock Forsey (19) 1999-2002

3.    Doug Martin (17) 2008-2011

3.    Jay Ajayi (17) 2012-2014

5.    Ian Johnson (16) 2005-2008

6.    Chris Thomas (13) 1988-1991

7.    Jon Francis (12) 1984-1985)

7.    Rodney Webster (12) 1980-1983

9.    Jeremy McNichols (11) 2014-current

10.  D.J. Harper (10) 2007-2012 

10.  Chris Jackson (10) 1986-1987

12.  David Mikell (8) 2000-2003

13.  K.C. Adams (7) 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.    Jeremy McNichols (5) 2014-current

6.    Doug Martin (4) 2010-2011

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

15.  John Smith (1) 1972-1975

15.  Terry Zahner (1) 1977-1980

15.  Willie Bowens (1) 1993-1994

15.  David Mikell (1) 2000-2003)

Career 200+ Rushing Games:

1.    Cedric Minter (4) 1977-1980

2.    Jay Ajayi (3) 2012-2014

2.    Jeremy McNichols (3) 2014-current

4.    Ian Johnson (2) 2005-2008

4.    Brock Forsey (2) 1999-2002

6.    Doug Martin (1) 2008-2011

6.    David Mikell (1) 2000-2003

6.    Eron Hurley (1) 1995-1998

6.    Willie Bowens (1) 1993-1994

6.    Chris Thomas (1) 1988-1991

6.    Terry Zahner (1) 1977-1980   

 

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.  Jeremy McNichols (2,271) 2014-current

11.  David Mikell (2,268) 2000-2003

12.  Jon Francis (2,172) 1984-1985

13.  Terry Zahner (2,052) 1977-1980

14.  Lee Marks (1,889) 2002-2005

15.  David Hughes (1,826) 1977-1980

Career Rushing Touchdowns:

1.    Ian Johnson (58) 2005-2008

2.    Brock Forsey (50) 1999-2002

2.    Jay Ajayi (50) 2012-2014

4.    Doug Martin (43) 2008-2011

5.    D.J. Harper (39) 2007-2012

6.    Cedric Minter (37) 1977-1980

7.    David Mikell (32) 2000-2003

7.    Chris Thomas (32) 1988-1991

9.    Jared Zabransky (31) 2003-2006

9.    Jeremy McNichols (31) 2014-current

11.  Jeremy Avery (29) 2007-2010

12.  Terry Zahner (21) 1977-1980

13.  Bart Hendricks (20) 1997-2000

13.  Rodney Webster (20) 1980-1983

15.  Abe Brown (19) 1968-1969

Carries, Single Game:

1.    Jeremy McNichols (40) vs. Colorado State, 2016

2.    Cedric Minter (38) vs. San Jose State, 1978

3.    Doug Martin (36) vs. San Diego State, 2011

3.    Chris Thomas (36) vs. Nevada, 1988

5.    Brock Forsey (33) vs. Arkansas State 2000

5.    Jeremy McNichols (33) vs. Wyoming, 2015

5.    Cedric Minter (33) vs. Northern Arizona, 1978

5.    Jay Ajayi (33) vs. Colorado State 2014

5.    Jay Ajayi (33) vs. New Mexico 2014

10.  Brock Forsey (32) vs. Central Michigan, 2001

10.  Brock Forsey (32) vs. UTEP, 2001

10.  Rodney Webster (32) vs. Weber State, 1983

Longest Run From Scrimmage:

1.    88+ Jeremy McNichols vs. San Jose State, 2015

2.    85+ Jared Zabransky vs. Hawai'i 2004

3.    83+ Jeremy McNichols vs. Air Force 2015

4.    80+ Jeremy McNichols vs. Colorado State 2016

4.    80+ K.C. Adams vs. Northern Arizona 1994

6.    78+ David Mikell vs. Idaho 2003

7.    77+ Bart Hendricks vs. UTEP 2000

7.    77+ Gavin Reed vs. Utah State 1999

7.    77+ Chris Jackson vs. Delaware State 1987

7.    77+ Greg Harrison vs. Montana 1983

7.    77+ Cedric Minter vs. Northern Michigan 1978

Career 200+ Yards All-Purpose Yards:

1.    Brock Forsey (8) 1999-2002

2.    Jay Ajayi (6) 2012-2014

3.    Jeremy McNichols (5) 2014-current

4.    K.C. Adams (4) 1994

4.    Chris Jackson (4) 1986-1987

4.    Cedric Minter (4) 1977-1980

4.    Doug Martin (4) 2008-2011

8.    Ryan Ikebe (3) 1993-1996

8.    Winky White (3) 1987-1990

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.  Brett Rypien (4,975) 2015-current
  9.  Joe Southwick (4,784) 2010-2013
  10.  Hazsen Choates (4,524) 1983-86
  11.  Mike Virden (4,294) 1989-90
  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

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

6.    Grant Hedrick (475) 2011-2014

7.    Joe Southwick (439) 2010-2013

8.    Brett Rypien (384) 2015-current  

9.    Jim McMillan (382) 1971-1974

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

Career 200-Yard+ Passing Games

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

6.    Brett Rypien (15) 2015-2016

8.    Jim McMillan (13) 1971-1974

9.    Joe Southwick (11) 2010-2013

9.    Mike Virden (11) 1989-1990


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