BOISE - The Broncos will face the Bulldogs for the second consecutive week, this time in a home tilt with the Mountain West title on the line.
Fresno State (9-3, 7-1 MWC) won last week's game in Fresno, 28-17, thanks to solid defensive play that held Boise State (9-3, 7-1 MWC) to its lowest point total in a Mountain West contest in three years, and its fewest points in any game this season.
The game presents an interesting, and extremely rare, situation for both programs: preparing for a team you just played last week.
LIVE GAME TRACKER: Broncos vs. Bulldogs
Boise State and Fresno State also played twice in 2014, although not in consecutive weeks, with the Broncos winning both the regular season game, 37-27, and the conference championship, 28-14. Both of those contests were held at Albertsons Stadium.
With this week's championship game being held in Boise, history is on the Broncos' side. Since the inaugural Mountain West Championship in 2013, home teams are 3-1. The sole loss by a home team came last year when San Diego State beat Wyoming 27-24 in Laramie.
At his press conference on Monday, Coach Bryan Harsin said the Broncos are excited about getting one last game on the Blue this season.
"We deserve to have it here, we are excited to have it here," Harsin said. "Looking forward to this place being packed and having a great energy in this stadium. And I know [the players] are too. They're looking forward to it, they're excited. Everything about it is something that brings great energy to our team, this city, and having a chance to play for a championship."
- Fresno State at Boise State
- Saturday, Dec. 2
- Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
- Kickoff: 5:45 p.m. MT
The game will be televised on ESPN, which can be found on the following channels:
- Cable One: Channel 133 / 1133 (HD);
- DirecTV: Channel 206;
- Dish Network: Channel 140;
- Cox: Channel 32
ON THE RADIO
Fans can listen to the game on the Bronco Radio Network, which can be found online or on the following stations:
- KBOI 670 AM in Boise
- KTIK 93.1 FM in Boise
- KDZY 98.3 FM in McCall
- KSNQ 98.3 FM in Twin Falls
For a list of Bronco Radio Network stations outside the Boise area, click here.
BRONCO ROUNDUP GAME DAY
KTVB's Bronco Roundup Game Day show will be live from Albertsons Stadium before the game from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. on KTVB, KTVB.COM, and in the Bronco Roundup app. Join Jay Tust and Will Hall along with special guests on the Blue for a look at all of the major storylines surrounding this matchup.
Boise State officials said on Monday that tickets for the game were selling "briskly," although no hard numbers were available at that time.
Fans can purchase tickets online here, by phone at (208) 426-4737, or in person at the Athletic Ticket Office located on campus.
Boise State has called a "blue out" for the color scheme at Saturday's game.
Former Boise State players have been taking to social media this week in an effort to fill the stands.
Bronco Nation, calling all true fans! WE HAVE A CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP AT HOME! Let's pack the house and win the MWC! Buy your tickets and let's #BringTheTitleHome! @KTVB @IdahoStatesman @KBOITV @IdahoOnYourSide @BroncoSportsFB @BSUFootball #BleedBlue https://t.co/4iey3FTIzD— Aaron Tevis (@AaronTevis) November 28, 2017
Hey Bronco Nation this is Elliot Hoyte! Former DT and MWC Champion from 2014. The championship game is this Saturday vs Fresno State. WE NEED TO BRING THE TITLE BACK HOME. We need a full stadium so let’s do this together and bring back the Trophy. See you all Saturday BLEED BLUE pic.twitter.com/CK7A180WUz— Elliot Hoyte (@elliothoyte) November 28, 2017
Hey Bronco Nation this is Josh Borgman former Bronco player and three time conference champion. The championship game is this Saturday against Fresno State and we need to bring that title back to BOISE! We need the stadium Packed! We’ll see you Saturday Bronco Nation. Go Broncos! pic.twitter.com/heEpuFI0Jj— Josh Borgman (@J_Borgman) November 29, 2017
ABOUT LAST WEEK
The Bulldogs entered the game with the Mountain West Conference's leading scoring defense, allowing 17.3 points per game for 12th in the nation. They stayed true to that average against a Broncos offense that averaged a MWC-best 34.8 points per game before Saturday.
Fresno State held Boise State's offense to its fewest points of the season. It was the first time in nine games they've beaten a Top 25 Broncos team.
KTVB Sports analyst Tom Scott writes in Monday's Scott Slant column that the Broncos missed several prime opportunities to put points on the board:
"Talk about missed opportunities. Boise State left points on the table three times in the first half Saturday afternoon and paid for it against a very focused Fresno State football team. The first came when the score was tied 7-7 and the Broncos moved deftly downfield after their defense got a pair of three-and-out stops in the first quarter. One drive ended on a missed Haden Hoggarth field goal, and the next one was stopped by a failed Brett Rypien sneak on a fourth-and-one early in the second. A very deflating sequence. Boise State stayed on the attack midway through the second quarter, as Rypien hit A.J. Richardson for 26 yards to the Bulldog 14. That was called back by a chop block penalty. Next thing you know it’s first-and-25 back at the Bronco 45-yard line, and three plays later came a punt."
"The Fresno State defense looked good on paper going into the game—statistically the best in the Mountain West. The Bulldogs backed it up on the field, bottling up the Boise State running game and making the Broncos depend on the pass. Brett Rypien threw well, but most of the damage came between the 20’s, as Boise State was held to its fewest points in a Mountain West game in more than three years. Every yard Alexander Mattison gained was a battle; he had 63 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. The Broncos managed only 107 yards on the ground after totaling 90 in the win over Air Force the week before. That will be a point of contention when these teams play Round 2 this Saturday."
Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said on Monday that his team's performance in the championship game will - just like every game before it - come down to preparation.
"[The players] are either going to be sitting around at home doing nothing, or they can be watching film and preparing," Harsin said. "You want to come out there and you're playing in a championship game, then you get yourself prepared.
"I thought our guys worked hard on Sunday, and we hashed out some of the things that I felt like we needed to," Harsin added. "And I hope they listened."
Offensive coordinator Zak Hill noted that last week's loss didn't sit will with his players, and that they will be ready to go come Saturday.
"Going into this game being a little pissed off, having a chip, you know, so our guys will be ready," Hill said.
INJURY ENDS PEREZ'S CAREER
Harsin announced on Monday that senior linebacker Gabe Perez's five-year career is over after he suffered a broken wrist in the second half against Fresno State.
Perez played as a true freshman in 2013, the only current Bronco to play for former coach Chris Petersen, and was key to the Broncos' 2014 Fiesta Bowl win during Harsin's first season.
But his impressive play was hampered by injuries throughout his career. He missed all of 2015 with a shoulder injury, and suffered a season-ending injury just five games into last season.
Perez finishes his career with 77 tackles and six sacks. This season he had 14 tackles, two for loss, with a key fumble recovery against Air Force 10 days ago.
Senior tight end Jake Roh missed Saturday's game against the Bulldogs, and his absence was noticeable. Going into the game, Roh was the nation's leader in touchdown receptions (9) among tight ends. Most of his scores came in clutch red zone situations, the exact situations in which the Broncos struggled on Saturday.
Roh watched the game from the sidelines wearing a boot, and using a scooter to get around.
Harsin said on Monday that he'll know more about Roh's status as practice progresses this week.
If Roh is unable to play in the championship game, expect Alec Dhaenens and redshirt freshman John Bates to step in in relief. Both played last weekend, with Dhaenens registering two receptions for 27 yards and Bate hauling in the first two catches of his career for 17 yards.
10 TO 10 ZONE
The 10 to 10 Zone remains in place for home games this season. It specifies areas off-campus where people age 21 or older may consume alcoholic beverages from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Boise State University home football game days only.
Alcoholic beverages are allowed in opaque plastic cups within the zone. Glass containers, beer cans, and type of liquor bottle and cups with alcoholic labeling are not allowed.
The "Zone" begins at Broadway Avenue and Myrtle Street, extends south down Broadway to Beacon, turns west along Beacon, north up Oakland Avenue, west on Potter Drive, north again up South Joyce Street, and then west along University Drive all the way to Capitol Boulevard. The boundary extends north along Capitol and turns east onto Cesar Chavez Lane, crosses Friendship Bridge north, and leads into Julia Davis Park. In the park, the "10 to 10 Zone" boundary is the area east of Zoo Boise to Broadway Avenue, and south of the Julia Davis pond.
ENTRY TO THE GAME
Bronco fans should arrive early. Those whose seats are not in the Stueckle Sky Center may enter the stadium through any gate. Fans are encouraged — but not required — to leave their bags at home or in the car. For faster entry into the stadium, bring a clear bag or no bag to the game. Prior to entry, fans will pass through metal detectors, and any bags carried in will be subject to search. Remember to leave prohibited items behind, including all weapons, alcohol, glass, and coolers. Find a full list here.
TRAFFIC, PARKING & FREE SHUTTLES
Expect increased traffic on all roads surrounding Boise State before and after the game. University Drive, from Capitol Boulevard to Broadway Avenue, will be congested throughout the morning and afternoon. Because of limited public parking on-campus, fans are encouraged to park off-campus and walk/bike or use a shuttle to get to the game.
Lots & Garages on Campus:
The Albertsons Stadium parking lot will open eight hours prior to game time on Saturdays and four hours prior to every game during weekdays.
Boise State’s bike corral will be available near Christ Chapel on the corner of Broadway Avenue and Cesar Chavez Lane.
Spaces will be available for a $10 fee in the following lots and garages:
- Plaza East and West lots
- Brady Street Garage and Lincoln Avenue Garage
Handicap accessible spaces will be available for a $10 fee in the West and East Stadium lots, the
Engineering and Technology reserved lot and on the ground floor of the Lincoln Avenue Garage.
Vehicles parked in accessible spaces must display an ADA license plate or placard and the placard/license plate registrant must be an occupant in the vehicle in order to purchase game day accessible parking.
Parking in Boise Parks:
Parking is allowed in designated parking spots within Julia Davis Park, Ann Morrison Park, Riverside Park, and Kristin Armstrong Municipal Park. Parking for Boise State home games is free on a first come, first served basis.
Towing will be delayed at those parks until 3 a.m. the following morning regardless of kickoff time.
Overnight parking is prohibited.
The Downtown Boise Association coordinates free shuttle buses from five convenient downtown locations to Bronco Stadium. These shuttles run every 15 minutes starting two hours prior to game time, and immediately after the game for one hour.
- 6th & Grove (Bardenay)
- 8th & Main
- 8th between Idaho & Bannock (Red Feather/Bittercreek)
- 8th & Broad (Solid Grill & Bar)
- River Street between 12th & Ash (Payette Brewing)
More information on Bronco Gameday Shuttle can be found here.
The Washington Group parking garage located at 720 Park Boulevard, across from the Ram, costs $5 (or free with a BAA permit). Boise Tour’s shuttle will take you to the game for free.
For more information on game day parking options, click here.