Boise State--Road Warriors

Given Boise State's sparkling record in Bronco Stadium, it is a mistake to think the team hasn't done well on the road. The team's record away from home is amazing.

With the 37-32 victory over Oregon at Autzen Stadium last year, Boise State football finally got a persistent monkey off its back:  defeating an Automatic Qualifier conference team at its home stadium.  The win was significant, too, because it was against the then-#17 Ducks at one of the most difficult venues in the West.   

Bronco fans for years have dealt with opposing fans mocking the Broncos for their paucity of road wins against top opponents, or the Broncos for their "easy" wins on the Blue, mostly because of the "unfair" blending of blue uniforms on blue turf.  But that perception is not at all supported by the facts of the Broncos having success at unfriendly stadiums.  Just as Boise State gets it done at home, they have an impressive recording doing it on the road.  


The Road Record  

Boise State's All-Time Road Record (since 1968):

122-93-2 for a .567 winning percentage  

Boise State's Division II/I-AA Road Record:

74-67-2 for a .524 winning percentage  

Boise State's Division I-A Road Record:

48-26 for a .649 winning percentage  

Boise State 's Western Athletic Conference Road Record:

28-4 for a .875 winning percentage


What these overall records indicate is that Boise State's best record of achievement as a road team has been its greatest as a Division I-A team, and more specifically, has been its best since joining the WAC (an overall 37-10 road record, for a sterling .787 winning percentage).   Under Coach Chris Petersen, Boise State has gone 15-2 at opponents' stadiums for a .882 winning percentage.   


Other Bronco Road Facts  

Boise State Record for Most Consecutive Road Wins:  10 games (a record they would tie with four consecutive road wins this season)

1968-70 under Coach Tony Knap


Boise State Record for Most Consecutive Seasons without a Losing Road Record:

9 Seasons, 2000-present, under Coaches Dirk Koetter, Dan Hawkins, and Chris Petersen


Boise State Seasons with an Undefeated Road Record:

1969 under Coach Tony Knap

1975 under Coach Tony Knap

1979 under Coach Jim Criner

2004 under Coach Dan Hawkins

2006 under Coach Chris Petersen

2008 under Coach Chris Petersen


First Road Game: 

44-3 loss to Weber State College, October 5, 19 68


First Road Game Win:

49-0 over Whitworth College, October 19, 19 68  



Five Greatest Road Losses in Bronco History  

Not measured by margin of loss, but by a combination of the importance of the game in Boise State football history and by the quality of the game itself, these are Jojobro's top five Bronco road losses.


#1)  Georgia 48-13, September 3, 2005


Probably no road game in Bronco history had been so hyped or widely anticipated as this date at Sanford Stadium, the largest crowd ever to witness a Boise State football team play.  Boise State was in the preseason top 20 polls for I-A football for the first time in its history, against a Georgia football team also in the top 20.  On national television, the Broncos were royally spanked, with six turnovers in the first half and the phrase "full body cramps" etched in the history of Bronco lore.  That game was the deep wound that would not heal until the Fiesta Bowl victory.  


#2) Wisconsin, 28-24, September 6, 1997  

Just a season after the Bronco's worst ever year (and first season at I-A level), a lowly Boise State squad faced an emerging Big 10 power at Camp Randall Stadium.  Boise State led the Badgers through most of the entire game, but finally fell behind 21-17 mid-way through the final quarter.  The Broncos, thanks to a great fake punt/pass from Jeff Davis to Tony Mamaril to sustain a drive, regained the lead, 24-21.  However, the defense finally succumbed to a punishing offensive line, as Wisconsin scored the winning touchdown on a last minute drive.  This never-say-die defeat, under Coach Houston Nutt, marked the turning point in Bronco football history. 


#3) Nevada, 59-52, 3 OT, National I-AA Semi-final Game, December 8, 1990  

Likely the greatest I-AA football playoff game in history took place in Reno .  With Coach Skip Hall at the helm, Boise State had easily defeated the WolfPack earlier in the season in Boise, but this game, at a sold-out Mackay Stadium (not an oxymoron in those days), saw the Broncos go toe-to-toe with Nevada, almost an Ali vs. Frasier titanic battle.  Nevada took the final lead on Ray Whalen's third touchdown of the game and 44th carry of the game, which overshadowed Winky White's heroic performance for Boise State .  The Wolf Pack left the Big Sky for I-A football after the next season, evidently leaving the Broncos behind.   


#4) Arkansas, 38-31, September 16, 2000  

After spotting the Razorbacks a 24-point lead, Boise State came back to tie the game in the fourth quarter at Razorback Stadium, sparked by an electrifying kickoff return by David Mikell and topped off by a great 42-yard pass from Bart Hendricks to Brock Forsey.  Arkansas went ahead by a touchdown in the final minutes of the game, only to see Boise State come back with a valiant drive that stalled at the Razorback nine-yard line.  The game represented to the Broncos that they could compete against a storied SouthEastern Conference team, but they couldn't yet clear that hurdle of attaining a victory.


#5)  UNLV 37-35, October 19, 1974  

At Sam Boyd Stadium, Coach Tony Knap's Broncos faced a UNLV team led by the great running back Mike Thomas and legendary Head Coach Ron Meyers that would soon leap into Division I football.  The Rebels dominated the first half, eventually going up by 28 points.  In one of the most impressive performances by a Bronco ever on the road, Quarterback Jim McMillan rallied the Broncos by passing for over 300 yards in the second half.  Yet, the Rebels ran out the clock before Jimmy Mac could lead the Broncos to one final score.  


Five Greatest Road Victories in Bronco History  

Measured by importance of the game in the development of Bronco football and hostility of the venue. 


#1)  Fresno State , 35-30, October 19, 2001  

Boise State had just arrived to the WAC, and was expected to be a mediocre team after leaving the weak Big West Conference.  At Bulldog Stadium, Boise State was facing #8 ranked Fresno State , led by eventual #1 draft pick David Carr, which had just vanquished the eventual Big 12 Champions Colorado.  In an epic, hard-hitting battle, Boise State took the lead in the fourth quarter on Jay Swillie's unbelievable ricochet run after hauling in a Ryan Dinwiddie pass.  The Broncos held off a desperate Fresno State drive with a great goal-line stance, capped by Greg Sasser's sack of Carr on fourth down with 57 seconds left in the game.  The game marked the Broncos' arrival as a legitimate WAC power, a team destined to become a top 25 performer under Coach Dan Hawkins.  


#2) Oregon, 37-32, September 20, 2008  

At Autzen Stadium, the Broncos with a young, inexperienced team, upset the #17 Oregon Ducks, on the arm of Kellen Moore, the receiving skills of Jeremy Childs, the versatility of Vinny Perretta and a tenacious, unforgiving defensive performance.  This game established that the Broncos were not the one-year wonder of 2006, but a true contender for a Bowl Championship Series Bowl berth.  


#3)  TCU, 34-31, Fort Worth Bowl, December 23, 2003  

In TCU's home bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium, the Broncos were facing the top 20 Cinderella Horned Frogs of Conference USA , a team that had just missed qualifying for a BCS Bowl themselves.  The Broncos came from behind, under the general-like leadership of Ryan Dinwiddie, taking the lead early in fourth quarter with a touchdown pass to Derek Schouman, and held off TCU on great defensive plays by Chris Carr and Gabe Franklin to win the game and finish in the top 15.   


#4)  Utah, 36-3, September 30, 2006  

The Utes, needing a victory over the Broncos to assert Mountain West Conference superiority, were all set to humiliate Boise State on the national stage at Rice-Eccles Stadium.  What the Utes did not expect was the Bronco hard-hitting defense, led by Korey Hall and Gerald Alexander, which simply silenced the Utes.  The victory established the Broncos as the BCS Bowl Buster of 2006.  


#5)  BYU, 50-12, October 30, 2003  

On a snowy Cougar Stadium field before an ESPN audience, Boise State finally had its long-awaited match against Brigham Young University, the King of Intermountain Football.  Uncorking Pete's Poison, the Bronco offense had its way against the vaunted MWC program. What set off the onslaught was Wes Nurse's pick-six, giving the Broncos a 21-2 lead, demoralizing the Cougars before their faithful fans.



This season, the Broncos have a legitimate shot of besting its school record for consecutive road wins, although it will be enduring its most rigorous traveling schedule ever:  to Honolulu, Bowling Green, Tulsa, Ruston, and Fresno within a seven-game span, a schedule rivaled only by the 1984 Broncos which had five consecutive road games, going 4-1 in that stretch under Coach Lyle Setencich.  An undefeated season on the road will prove to be another brick laid for the foundation of a great Bronco football tradition.




*My definition of a "road" game is a game at the opposing team's designated home stadium.  Thus, the calculations do not include playoff or bowl games at neutral sites, and so, for example, the Fort Worth Bowl counts and the Fiesta Bowl does not count in the calculations.  The games against Idaho at Washington State's Martin Stadium are included in the calculations.

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