BOISE - For the second consecutive week, the Boise State football team will be looking to avenge a shocking loss from last season, as the Broncos travel to Albuquerque to face the the University of New Mexico.
During their last meeting, the Lobos stunned the Broncos on the Blue, scoring two fourth-quarter touchdowns to win 31-24. The loss broke an 18-game home winning streak and was Boise State's first defeat at home since 2012.
That game marked one of three conference losses for the Broncos in 2015. Last weekend, the team found redemption by beating one of those opponents - Utah State - 21-10.
The 19th-ranked Broncos (4-0, 1-0) know they will have their work cut out for them against the Lobos - one of two Mountain West teams to feature the vaunted triple option offense, which has been an Achilles heel for the Broncos in recent years.
Meanwhile, New Mexico (2-2, 1-0) is playing well at home this season. They have won their two home games so far, including a 48-41 contest last week against San Jose State.
Both teams have a short week as they prepare for Friday night's matchup.
- Boise State at New Mexico
- Friday, Oct. 7
- Kickoff: 7 p.m. MT
- University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
The game will air on CBS Sports Network, which can be found on the following television providers:
- Cable One: Channel 139 / 1139 (HD)
- DirecTV: Channel 221
- Dish Network: Channel 158
ON THE RADIO
In the Boise area, you can listen to the game on the Bronco Radio Network, which can be found on the following stations:
- KBOI 670 AM
- KTIK 93.1 FM
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 University Stadium from 6 - 7 p.m. on KTVB, KTVB.COM, and in the Bronco Roundup app. Join Jay Tust and Brian Holmes for a live look at all of the major storylines leading up to kickoff.
ABOUT LAST WEEK
Boise State didn't even come close to winning the Mountain Division title last year, dropping games to Air Force, Utah State and New Mexico. As the team gets into the thick of conference play, players and coaches are looking to prove that those losses were a fluke. They'd like nothing more than to run through the division unscathed. They got a good start on that goal with a 21-10 win over Utah State under the lights of Albertsons Stadium on Saturday night.
#BoiseState players of game vs. USU:— Jay Tust (@KTVBSportsGuy) October 4, 2016
O - Jeremy McNichols
D - Jonathan Moxey
OL - Steven Baggett
DL - McCaskill/Moa
Hard Hat - Ryan Wolpin
Key to the win was the home team's stingy defense, which held the Aggies to just 71 rushing yards on the night. Thanks to solid defensive play, Utah State managed just four third-down conversions out of 19 attempts.
Nose tackle David Moa continues to impress. The sophomore racked up multiple sacks (1.5) for the third consecutive game. Defensive end Sam McCaskill also picked 1.5 sacks and finished with 2.5 tackles-for-loss. The stout run defense forced the Aggies to throw the ball 51 times. The Broncos' secondary stepped up with some big plays, including nine pass breakups.
Not to be overshadowed by the defense, Boise State's offense was carried on the shoulders of Jeremy McNichols, who accounted for 226 all-purpose yards, including 132 rushing and a 61-yard touchdown reception. For his effort, the Mountain West awarded him Offensive Player of the Week honors for the second consecutive week.
PHOTOS: Boise State vs. Utah State
In Albuquerque, the Lobos found themselves in a homecoming slugfest against San Jose State (1-4, 0-1), but won by doing what they do best - running the ball. New Mexico collected 446 yards rushing on its way to a 48-41 win over the Spartans.
The Lobos scored on the second play of the game, and never relinquished the lead, although the Spartans were able to keep the game close to the end.
Running back Teriyon Gipson eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the game on just his second carry. Gipson ended the game with 156 yards, averaging 14.2 yards per carry. Fellow tailbacks Tyrone Owens and Richard McQuarley combined for 200 yards rushing.
Highlighting the run-first dynamic of the triple-option, New Mexico quarterback Lamar Jordan had just four pass completions for a total of 45 yards and one interception in the game. On the season, Jordan has 29 carries on the ground for a total of 148 yards. Jordan got the starting job after Austin Apodaca went down with a collarbone injury against Rutgers on Sept. 17. In three starts this season, Apodaca completed 29 passes out of 52 attempts, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. A dual threat, he also racked up 20 carries for 122 yards. He's not expected to return for this week's game.
At his weekly press conference Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said Jordan is a threat on the ground and through the air.
"I think the guy's a really good football player and does a lot of really special things out there, especially when the play breaks down," Harsin said. "He shows ability to be creative when things aren't going exactly as planned."
The Lobos are currently ranked second in the nation in rushing yards per game, and are ranked first in the Mountain West Conference in points per game (38).
At his weekly press conference, New Mexico coach Bob Davie said his team will look to control the clock by keeping the ball on the ground, and avoiding getting into a shootout with the Broncos.
"Let's be honest, if we get into a throwing kind of game, I don't think we're gonna win that one," Davie said. "So it's still the same plan as it's been, there's no secret - Lamar's in there - we are a true triple option team."
Each of New Mexico's wins (South Dakoka State, San Jose State) have come at home this season, while their two losses (New Mexico State, Rutgers) were on the road.
Saturday's win, combined with losses by teams ahead of them in the polls, catapulted the Broncos to No. 19 in both the AP Top 25 and the Amway Coaches Poll. The team jumped from unranked in the coaches poll, and from No. 24 in the AP.
It's the highest Boise State has been ranked since the end of the 2014 season, when they finished at No. 16 in both polls following a 38-30 win over Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl. It also marks the first time the team has been ranked in both polls since October of 2015.
The Broncos will be without one of their most experienced players for the first half against New Mexico on Friday. Senior cornerback Jonathan Moxey was ejected for targeting in the fourth quarter against Utah State. According to NCAA rules, a player who is ejected for targeting in the second half of a game must also miss the first half of the following game.
The penalty came with just over a minute remaining in the game when Moxey tried to tackle Tonny Lindsey. The Utah State running back dropped a pass, dipped his head, and Moxey's helmet made contact with Lindsey's. A flag was immediately thrown, and after an official review, Moxey was tossed from the game. Mountain West officials confirmed the penalty on Monday.
Moxey ranks fifth on the team with 20 total tackles this season. His 30 career starts are the third most amongst active Boise State defensive players, trailing only linebackers Ben Weaver (34) and Tanner Vallejo (33).
Safety Dylan Sumner-Gardener was expected to return this week after a four-game suspension, but his status for this week's game remains in doubt as of Tuesday.
At his weekly press conference, Harsin said that Sumner-Gardner had take care of his academic issues, but "there's still things that have to be done."
Harsin did not elaborate on what the sophomore must still accomplish before being allowed to play, but added that Sumner-Gardner's status is "day-to-day, week-to-week, and that's just how we'll operate with him... and we'll figure out as we get closer to game time what that means."
Harsin basically hinted that are was some non-academic issues they're still working on w/ DSG. Said they evaluate what it means on game day.— Jay Tust (@KTVBSportsGuy) October 4, 2016
The team announced in August that DSG was suspended for the first four games of the season for failing to meet NCAA academic eligibility requirements.
Last season's victory on the Blue marked the Lobos' sole win over the Broncos in the series. Boise State is 6-1 against New Mexico dating back to 1999. The most lopsided game came in 2011 when the Broncos shut out the Lobos 45-0 in Boise. The last game in Albuquerque - in 2014 - was a 60-49 Boise State win.