BOISE - The Boise State football team will honor its seniors on Friday night as it hosts UNLV in a nationally-televised showdown at Albertsons Stadium.
The No. 22 Broncos (9-1, 5-1 MWC) are coming off a 52-16 rout of Hawaii on Saturday, their most complete win so far this season. Brett Rypien and Jeremy McNichols were stellar, putting up impressive numbers through the air and on the ground, respectively. It was the team's first time topping the 50-point mark since their bowl game last December.
UNLV (4-6, 3-3 Mountain West) did Boise State a huge favor by knocking off Wyoming in a wild 69-66 triple-overtime win on Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium. In his first start this season, Rebels quarterback Kurt Palendech set career highs in completions (20), passing yards (252), touchdowns (3), and rushing yards (158). The effort earned him Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week honors.
The Rebels' win over the Cowboys, combined with Boise State's win and New Mexico's victory over Utah State, created a three-way tie at the top of the Mountain Division standings. Wyoming holds the tie-breaker with Boise State, but must face West Division champs San Diego State on Saturday and New Mexico the next week. The Broncos need the Cowboys to drop one of those games, while winning both of their own final two games (UNLV, at Air Force) in order to clinch the Mountain Division.
Boise State players and coaches say they are staying focused on "going 1-0" this week, a mantra that keeps them from looking ahead to the "what ifs." And that's a good philosophy to keep this week, because UNLV is playing their best football of the season, and are riding a high after Saturday's thrilling victory. They would like nothing better than to knock off two of the top teams in the conference in back-to-back weeks.
"They're a better football team [from last season]," Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said of the Rebels at his Tuesday press conference. "You can see that, they've improved. The guys we played against last year certainly have made strides.
"They know how to game-plan," Harsin added. "They seem to have plan for each opponent, and their guys do make plays."
- UNLV at Boise State
- Friday, Nov. 18
- 7 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 6 to 7 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, including live interviews and special guests.
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. 16. 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.
Friday night will mark the final regular season home game for a group of Boise State seniors. On Tuesday, Harsin, co-offensive coordinator Scott Huff and defensive coordinator Andy Avalos spoke at length about the outgoing seniors and what they have meant to the program.
19 seniors will be honored during Senior Night:
- Will Adams (OL)
- Chaz Anderson (WR)
- Travis Averill (OL)
- Steven Baggett (OL)
- Kellen Buhr (OL)
- Devan Demas (RB)
- Raymond Ford (CB)
- Elliot Hoyte (DT)
- Chanceller James (S)
- Darren Lee (LB)Sam McCaskill (DE)
- Jonathan Moxey (CB)
- Taylor Pope (WR)
- Tyler Rausa (K)
- Thomas Sperbeck (WR)
- Tanner Vallejo (LB)
- Sean Wale (P)
- Ben Weaver (LB)
- Mario Yakoo (OL)
SPIRIT COLOR SCHEME
It's a free-for-all for fans' clothing selections on Senior Night. Fans are encouraged to wear any Boise State color regardless of their section in the stadium.
For more information, see the 2016 color scheme schedule.
Boise State holds a 6-3 all-time lead in the series with UNLV that dates back to 1972, and includes a 4-0 record at home. The Broncos have won each of the last four meetings, with the last loss happening way back in 1976. Boise State is 3-0 against the Rebels since 2011 when the teams became league rivals.
The Broncos won 55-27 at Sam Boyd Stadium on Halloween last year.
ABOUT LAST WEEK
A long road trip to Hawaii often proves disastrous for teams that lose focus amidst the distractions of paradise. It has happened to Boise State teams of years-past. But it proved to be a non-factor for the 2016 Broncos, who trounced the Rainbow Warriors 52-16 at Aloha Stadium on Saturday.
Brett Rypien passed for 338 yards and four touchdowns while Jeremy McNichols, the nation's leading scorer, shredded the Warriors' rush defense for 153 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns. The Broncos rolled up a season-high 603 yards of total offense, with 403 of them coming in the first half.
Rypien completed almost 83 percent of his passes and, with four touchdowns against zero interceptions, had the most efficient game of his career (270.9 efficiency rating). The sophomore signal-caller got a lot of help from his star wideouts Thomas Sperbeck (six catches, 114 yards, two TDs) and Cedrick Wilson (seven catches, 141 yards, TD).
The Broncos' defense was no slouch either, effectively shutting down Hawaii's passing game. Quarterback Dru Brown was 16-of-31 for 125 yards and one touchdown. The Warriors managed just 217 total yards before the Broncos' second-team defense came in in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile at Sam Boyd Stadium, the Rebels found themselves in a barn burner against Wyoming. UNLV came out on top of a 69-66 triple-overtime affair that marked the highest combined scoring game (135 points) in Mountain West history.
After losing their previous two games, the Rebels appear to have their mojo back thanks in large part to the heroic play of quarterback Kurt Palendech, who got his first start of the year on Saturday. The junior threw for 252 yards and three touchdowns while churning out 157 yards and another score on the ground. The effort earned him Mountain West Player of the Week honors.
The team's leading receiver, Devonte Boyd, played a big part in the successful passing game by hauling 10 passes for 127 yards. Unfortunately for the Rebels, Boyd suffered a broken arm during the game, and will miss the rest of the season.
On defense, the Rebels were led by senior defensive back Torry McTyer who had two interceptions, the second of which set up the Rebels' game-winning field gold in the third overtime. McTyer also had a pass breakup and a tackle in the win. He was named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
Despite their blowout win at Hawaii, the Broncos made modest gains in two of the major polls on Sunday, moving up two spots to No. 22 in the AP Top 25, and climbing one spot to No. 23 in the Amway Coaches Poll.
The all-important College Football Playoff Rankings will come out on Tuesday. As of last week, Western Michigan was ranked No. 21, Boise State was No. 22 and San Diego State was unranked. The top-ranked Group of Five conference champion gets an automatic bid to a New Years Six bowl game.
Joining the Broncos in the polls this week was conference foe San Diego State (9-1, 6-0), which re-entered at No. 24 in the AP and No. 25 in the coaches. The Aztecs had been ranked earlier in the season, but dropped out after losing to South Alabama in Week 4.
BATTLE FOR THE MOUNTAIN DIVISION
In order to get to one of the big-money bowl games, the Broncos will not only need to jump Western Michigan in the playoff rankings, but they also need to win the Mountain West. At this point, they will have to win the rest of their games, and hope that Wyoming, which beat the Broncos two weeks ago, loses another game. The Cowboys play West Division champ San Diego State on Saturday, and will face New Mexico for their regular season finale.
There are a lot of scenarios at play here, but in short, Boise State fans should be rooting for San Diego State and New Mexico over the next two weeks.
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 starting at about 4 p.m.
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 5 p.m. The cost is $5 and includes free shuttle service to and from the game beginning at 5:15 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