Boise State Season in Review

Cyclone Nation recaps Boise State's 11-1 regular season and undefeated run through Western Athletic Conference competition. The Broncos knocked off two bowl teams in Hawaii and Fresno State, while suffering their lone defeat on the road to Southeastern Conference division winner Arkansas.

Game No. 1
Boise State 38, Idaho 21
August 31 – Bronco Stadium – Boise, Idaho

The experiment was a success. When Boise State coaches decided to play tailbacks Brock Forsey and David Mikell together they envisioned a duo that would frustrate opposing defenses, one that would be virtually unstoppable. If you ask the Idaho Vandals, they'd tell you it worked. The two combined for 199 yards rushing, 129 receiving and five touchdowns in Boise State's 38-21 season opening win over Idaho. Mikell got the Broncos on the scoreboard early, scoring on a four-yard touchdown run to cap an impressive 11-play, 87-yard drive. A Mikell 17-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter enabled the Broncos to seal a victory over the Vandals. Ryan Dinwiddie finished by completing 18-of-23 passes for 259 yards and one touchdown.

Game No. 2
Arkansas 41, Boise State 14
September 7 – Donale W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium – Fayetteville, Ark.

Seven turnovers by Boise State led to a blowout at the hands of Southeastern Conference opponent. The Broncos also allowed seven sacks in the game, including one that put Dinwiddie out of the game with a broken ankle. Boise State's quarterback suffered the injury midway through the second quarter and returned to the game for one more series before being removed for good. The Broncos' main troubles against the Razorbacks came on the ground, as they couldn't move the ball. A week after Forsey and Mikell rolled up big yardage against Idaho, the duo was limited to 56 combined yards on 15 carries. The lone bright spot came with wide receiver Billy Wingfield's 126 yards on seven catches.

Game No. 3
Boise State 35, Wyoming 13
September 14 – War Memorial Stadium – Laramie, Wyo.

Forsey managed to put a pair of fumbles behind him to lead the Broncos to a decisive victory over Wyoming. He rushed for 155 yards overall and scored on his team's opening drive of the game, lost possession of the ball twice, then broke out for a 58-yard run late in the third quarter that set up a Boise State score. Forsey spearheaded a ground game that racked up 227 yards rushing. Quarterback B.J. Rhode, starting in place of the injured Dinwiddie, completed 20-of-29 passes for 204 yards.

Game No. 4
Boise State 63, Utah State 38
September 28 – Bronco Stadium – Boise, Idaho

Spurtability. While it's not a word you will find in the dictionary, it's one that described Boise State's offense in a 25-point victory over Utah State. BSU put up 21 points in each of the first, second and fourth quarters en route to the win. On three separate occasions the Broncos scored multiple touchdowns in a short period of time. The third Bronco burst put the Aggies out of commission. Billy Wingfield, Mikell and Rhode scored three touchdowns in a span of 1:33, putting their team in control, 63-31, with just under nine minutes to play. Rhode had his breakout game as a starter, completing 17-of-28 passes for 376 yards and five touchdowns.

Game No. 5
Boise State 58, Hawaii 31
October 5 – Bronco Stadium – Boise, Idaho

The always-potent Boise State offense continued a trend against the Warriors, scoring three touchdowns in a span of just over two minutes of the first quarter. The spurt allowed the Broncos to take control earlier and cruise to a 27-point conference opening win. BSU led 31-10 at halftime, thanks to Mikell's nine-yard ran that capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive late in the second quarter. It tacked on two more touchdowns for a 45-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Forsey carried the load by rushing 31 times for 105 yards. Receivers Wingfield and Jay Swillie combined to make 11 catches for 124 yards. Defensive standout Quintin Mikell made a huge difference, recording three forced fumbles, four pass deflections and one sack to go along with 10 tackles.

Game No. 6
Boise State 52, Tulsa 24
October 12 – Skelly Stadium – Tulsa, Okla.

Forsey continued to emerge as Boise State's go-to tailback by breaking two school records in another WAC victory. The senior romped through the Tulsa defense for 208 yards on 25 carries, averaging 8.3 yards per carry. He also scored four touchdowns. The 208 yards rushing tied for the sixth-most in a single game. Forsey became the all-time leader in both career all-purpose yards and touchdowns. But Forsey wasn't the only source of offense, as BSU racked up 558 total yards, including 376 on the ground as Mikell rushed for 103. The Broncos led 35-14 after three quarters and cruised to a conference win.

Game No. 7
Boise State 67, Fresno State 21
October 18 – Bronco Stadium – Boise, Idaho

It couldn't have been more impressive with the nation watching a Friday night ESPN telecast. Boise State rolled to an unexpectedly easy 46-point win over Fresno State in front of a record crowed of 30,924. It amassed a school-record 688 total yards of offense and surged to 3-0 in WAC play. Dinwiddie's return to action helped highlight the night of fireworks. He came off the bench to replace Rhode for the last drive of the second quarter and sparked an 11-play drive that spanned 81 yards. Dinwiddie capped it off by completing a two-yard touchdown pass to Forsey. Despite playing just over two quarters, Dinwiddie managed to throw for 406 yards and five touchdowns on only 19 completions. His quarterback rating for the game was an unheard of 316.37.

Game No. 8
Boise State 45, San Jose State 8
October 26 – Spartan Stadium – San Jose, Calif.

Forsey rushed for 168 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead his team to a blowout victory over San Jose State. He scored a pair of first quarter touchdowns on runs of nine and two yards to push the Broncos to a 21-0 edge after just 15 minutes. Forsey then added a 16-yard touchdown reception to make it 28-0 at the half. Dinwiddie followed up his remarkable performance against the Bulldogs with a 356-yard passing effort against SJSU. He scored touchdowns both on the ground and through the air.

Game No. 9
Boise State 58, Texas-El Paso 3
November 2 – Sun Bowl – El Paso, Texas

After grabbing a 7-3 lead after one quarter, the Broncos exploded for 27 unanswered points before halftime to break a WAC game open. Forsey scored three of four touchdowns during the span, while Dinwiddie added a quarterback sneak for a score. For the third time in nine games, Forsey scored four touchdowns in a game for Boise State. Dinwiddie wasn't needed much in the passing game, as he completed 8-of-15 passes for 161 yards and three scores. The BSU defense picked off four passes, with junior safety Wes Nurse accounting for two of those.

Game No. 10
Boise State 49, Rice 7
November 9 – Bronco Stadium – Boise, Idaho

Boise State turned the tables on a Rice team that had throttled it the year before, storming to a 42-point victory one season after dropping a 45-14 decision in Houston to the Owls. The Broncos redeemed themselves with another balanced effort, spearheaded by Forsey and Wingfield who combined for seven touchdowns. Wingfield opened the game by catching a 17-yard pass from Dinwiddie, then went on to pull in two more first-half scoring passes as BSU surged to a 35-0 halftime lead. As if there was any doubt, Forsey rushed for four touchdowns yet again, marking the fourth time he's pulled off the feat. After allowing the Owls 430 rushing yards in 2001, BSU held them scoreless until midway through the fourth quarter.

Game No. 11
Boise State 36, Louisiana Tech 10
November 16 – Bronco Stadium – Boise, Idaho

The Broncos wrapped up a WAC championship in front of a home crowd of 28,413. The win wasn't as pretty as most of BSU's run-away victories of 2002, as it trailed 10-7 late in the second quarter before running off 29 unanswered points to close out the game. In a game which saw 19 seniors playing in their final home games, five of those reached the end zone. Senior wideout Lou Fanucchi came through with Boise State's first touchdown, hooking up with Dinwiddie on a school-record 97-yard reception. Dinwiddie erased Louisiana Tech's second-quarter lead by driving his team 78 yards and hitting Swillie for a touchdown pass in just 53 seconds. Quintin Mikell and Gabe Franklin combined for 17 tackles.

Game No. 12
Boise State 44, Nevada 7
November 23 – Mackay Stadium – Reno, Nev.

Boise State wrapped up a perfect 8-0 conference season with a 37-point route of Nevada. It became the first team to go undefeated in the league since BYU accomplished the feat in 1996. It didn't take long for the Broncos to take command of their regular-season finale, as they drove 75 yards on nine plays for a Forsey touchdown on the game's opening series. Forsey reached the four-touchdown mark for the fifth time while rushing for 187 yards on 27 carries. In doing so he set a new school single-season rushing record with 1,533 yards. Dinwiddie completed 10-of-15 passes for 165 yards and score.

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