BOISE - After suffering its first loss of the season, the Boise State football team returns home to the friendly confines of Albertsons Stadium to take on San Jose State in a nationally televised Friday night matchup.
The Broncos (7-1, 3-1 MWC) fell to Wyoming, 30-28, on Saturday night after the Cowboys forced a safety with just over a minute remaining in the game. The loss dropped the Broncos 11 spots to No. 24 in both polls. It also made their path to both the conference championship game and a New Years Six bowl berth more difficult.
Meanwhile, San Jose State (3-6, 2-3) has won two of its last three games, including a close contest against UNLV at CEFCU Stadium on Saturday night. The Spartans, who have struggled against FBS competition this season, managed to put together a solid first half on both sides of the ball, before hanging on for a 30-24 win over the rallying Rebels.
Friday night's tilt will be the 13th game all-time between the Broncos and Spartans, and the 7th to be played at Albertsons Stadium. San Jose State has never beaten Boise State, and most of the games have been extremely lopsided in the Broncos' favor. Since moving up to the FBS in 1996, the Broncos have outgained the Spartans by an combined score of 503-171.
At his press conference on Tuesday, coach Bryan Harsin said it is imperative that his team move on from last week's loss if they hope to perform well against San Jose State on Friday.
"Coaches and the fans, they can all hang on to a loss and can sulk about it. But as a player, if you do that, you're gonna go out and play a game at full speed and get hurt. You'll physically get hurt if you don't go out there with your mind right," Harsin said. "That's why players, they flip the switch like that."
- San Jose State at Boise State
- Friday, Nov. 4
- 8:15 p.m. MT
- Albertsons Stadium, Boise
The game will be televised on ESPN2, which can be found on the following channels:
- Cable One: Channel 134 / 1134 (HD)
- DirecTV: Channel 209
- Dish Network: Channel 144
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 Albertsons Stadium before the game from 7 to 8 p.m. on KTVB Channel 7, KTVB.COM, and in the Bronco Roundup app. Join Jay Tust and Will Hall on the Blue for a preview of the matchup.
KTVB is celebrating 10 years as the official station for Bronco Nation by giving away tickets to every home game this season!
This week, you'll have two opportunities to win:
- Download the Bronco Roundup app, and tap "Win Tickets." Be sure to enter before 5 p.m. on Nov. 2. If you already have the Bronco Roundup app, make sure you enter through the app to be eligible.
- Be a part of Bronco Game Day live at the new BSU Alumni and Friends Center. Enjoy a family-friendly tailgate party and get the chance to win tickets to this week's game.
Boise State leads the series 12-0, and is 6-0 in games held on its home turf. Over the years, only a few of the games between these two teams have been close. Since the Broncos moved up to the FBS in 1996, they have beaten the Spartans by an average score of 46-16, with the most lopsided win coming in a 77-14 blowout on the Blue in 2003. The closest game between the teams was a 23-20 Broncos win in 2006.
Last season, the Broncos beat the Spartans 40-23 on the road in the regular season finale for both teams.
The Spartans have not beaten a ranked team on the road since Nov. 1, 1980 when they knocked off a No. 10 Baylor Bears team featuring future Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary.
ABOUT LAST WEEK
Turnovers finally caught up to the Broncos on Saturday night in a 30-28 loss to the Cowboys in Laramie. They were -8 in turnover margin going into the game, and ultimately it was a fumble by quarterback Brett Rypien that gave Wyoming the game-winning safety. It was Wyoming's first win over the Broncos in 11 games between the two teams.
Rypien completed 22 of 35 passes for 295 yards, and also caught a 33-yard touchdown pass. Jeremy McNichols ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns. It was the 20th-consecutive game that the junior tailback has scored at least one rushing touchdown for the Broncos.
After the game Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said losing the game on a safety was tough, but he doesn't blame his quarterback.
"We trust Brett, and they made a play," Harsin said. "He's trying to get the ball out, and this is football. This is every week football, and sometimes that ball bounces funny and it came out, and they got the safety in a critical time of the game... If we did it all over again, we'd put it in [Rypien's] hands again."
Coach Harsin "Really it comes down to us...our kids will fight, our coaches will fight and we'll learn from Wyoming" pic.twitter.com/rbXOmT8nIw— Will Hall (@WillHallKTVB) October 30, 2016
In San Jose on Saturday night, the Spartans mounted a solid halftime lead, then held on for a 30-24 win over UNLV. Coming off a 42-3 blowout loss at San Diego State the week before, the Spartans played solid football for over two quarters, building up a a 30-10 lead early in the third quarter thanks in part to a pair of touchdown passes from Kenny Potter to Tre Hartley.
But a rallying Rebels team led by backup quarterback Kurt Palendech fought back, with Palendech throwing for a touchdown and rushing for another to get within six points midway through the fourth. An interception by Spartans safety Trevon Bierria killed a final UNLV drive with just 48 seconds left in the game.
It was the seventh straight game that San Jose State has beaten UNLV.
After the stunning upset in Laramie, the Broncos tumbled 11 spots - from No. 13 to No. 24 - in both the AP Top 25 and the Amway Coaches Poll. While the loss put a major damper on Boise State's goal of reaching a New Years Six bowl game, perhaps the more difficult pill to swallow is the fact that they no longer control their destiny when it comes to the conference championship.
To play for the Mountain West title, Boise State will likely need to win the rest of its games, while hoping Wyoming loses twice. Still on the slate for the Cowboys: Utah State, UNLV, San Diego State, and New Mexico.
The Broncos are also ranked No. 24 in the first College Football Playoff Rankings, released on Tuesday. Interestingly, Western Michigan is ranked at No. 23, just one spot ahead of Boise State. The top-ranked Group of Five conference champion gets an automatic big to a New Years Six bowl game. Currently BSU and WMU are the only ranked Group of Five teams.
TALE OF TWO STATS
A remarkable, but also frustrating, statistic for the 7-1 Broncos this season is their -9 turnover margin. They have given up the ball 13 times and have recovered just four turnovers. After five turnovers against BYU two weeks ago, many wondered if the trend would catch up to the Broncos. It finally did on Saturday against Wyoming. The Broncos were technically -1 in turnover margin in that game, because the Cowboys didn't recover the quarterback fumble which resulted in the game-winning safety.
On Tuesday, coach Bryan Harsin once again said that the turnovers "have gotta stop."
"We're minus-nine in turnovers, and that's just not gonna win football games," he added. "That's still the key ingredient. If you win the turnover battle and you go out there and make more plays [than the other team], that's how you win games. If we go minus again, we put ourselves in a position to get beat."
On the other hand, San Jose State is +2 in turnover margin this season, and has not given up the ball in three games. The last time the Spartans committed a turnover was a pass interception in the fourth quarter of the Oct. 8 loss to Hawai'i. They are tied for 23rd among FBS schools with 16 turnovers gained.
IN GOOD COMPANY
One bright spot in the Broncos loss was the play of running back Jeremy McNichols, who rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns against the Cowboys. In doing so, he joined some good company.
Tom Scott sums it up nicely in Monday's edition of The Scott Slant:
McNichols becomes the sixth Bronco in history to log multiple 1,000-yard seasons. Career rushing leader Cedric Minter had three, followed by McNichols, Jay Ajayi, Doug Martin, Ian Johnson and Brock Forsey. Pretty good company. This is the eighth straight season Boise State has had a 1,000-yard rusher.
Here's a chance for you to high-five your favorite players and coaches as they walk to the football center for pre-game preparations. The "Bronco Walk" will start when the team leaves the Student Union Building about two and half hours before kickoff (about 5:45 p.m.). The team will walk from the Student Union Building, down University Drive, past the Varsity Center, straight into the east stadium parking lot and ending at the Bleymaier Football Center.
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 clear 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 Ave and Myrtle St., 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 Street. and any area south of 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 before and after the game. University Drive, from Capitol Boulevard to Broadway Avenue, will be congested from 4-8:30 p.m. Euclid and Grant Avenues, between Belmont Street and University Drive will be closed for security operations beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 9 and will remain closed until the end of the game.
In addition, University Drive between Denver Avenue and Grant Avenue will be reserved for authorized vendor access and will be closed beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 9. It will remain closed until the end of the game.
LOTS AND GARAGES ON CAMPUS
The Albertsons Stadium parking lot will open eight hours prior to game time. Boise State’s bike corral will be available starting at 5:15 p.m. near Christ Chapel on the corner of Broadway Avenue and Cesar Chavez Lane.
Parking will open for the public and Bronco Athletic Association permit holders beginning at noon. 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
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.
- 8th between Idaho and Bannock
- 8th and Main
- 11th and Main
- 6th and Grove
- 8th and Broad
More information on the Bronco Shuttle can be found here.
The URS Parking Garage at 720 Park Blvd. opens at 6:15 p.m. The cost is $5 and includes free shuttle service to and from the game beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Event parking for all Boise State home football games this season will be available at the Civic Plaza complex just east of the Ada County Courthouse for $5 per vehicle. All proceeds will go towards providing essential programs and educational services for victims of child abuse, elder abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault at the FACES of Hope Victim Center.
Copyright 2016 KTVB