BOISE, Idaho — A trip to the Mountain West Conference championship game could be at stake when two of the top teams in conference's Mountain Division face off Saturday night.
No. 22 Boise State (7-1, 4-0 MWC) hosts Wyoming (6-2, 3-1) for an 8:15 p.m. kickoff at Albertsons Stadium. It will be the Broncos' first home game since a 59-37 win over Hawai'i on Oct. 12.
The team bounced back after a loss to BYU by winning a high-scoring back-and-forth contest at San Jose State. With Spartans quarterback Josh Love firing on all cylinders - he threw for 438 yards and two touchdowns - the Broncos had to play from behind early.
They didn't really get going offensively until the second half when George Holani broke off four touchdown runs. The freshman running back finished the game with 126 yards on 28 carries. That effort, combined with an efficient 13 of 17 passing for 213 yards from quarterback Hank Bachmeier, helped to seal the 52-42 win over the Spartans. It also earned Holani Mountain West offensive player of the week honors.
Holani and the rest of the Boise State running backs will need to be in top form as Wyoming brings it's stout rush defense to the Blue. The Cowboys are allowing just 2.8 yards per carry, tied for 7th best in the nation.
As it turns out, Wyoming is really good at running the ball on offense as well. With quarterback Sean Chambers out, the Cowboys will rely heavily on running back Xazavian Valladay, who earned conference honors the week before Holani did, racking up 280 all-purpose yards in a 31-3 rout of Nevada.
During his weekly press conference Boise Coach Bryan Harsin said the Cowboy's proficiency at both rushing and defending the rush is enviable.
"They run the ball too, so you kinda think about the identity of the team - they run it, and they're good at stopping the run. We'd like to be the same way," he said. "That's what makes them difficult to play against."
Backup quarterback Tyler Vander Waal will fill in for Chambers, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the win against Nevada. The sophomore started nine games last season, including the loss to the Broncos in Laramie.
Speaking of quarterbacks, Wyoming Coach Craig Bohl said at his press conference on Monday that he's been very impressed by Boise State's freshman QB.
"[Bachmeier] is just an exceptional quarterback," Bohl said. "He was a heavily-recruited player and I can see why. He makes all the throws. I'm impressed for a freshman with his composure.
"Boise has a long history of having good quarterbacks and this guy's got a really bright future," Bohl added. "He's mobile, he can make all the throws, and he's got great poise."
Wyoming at Boise State
- Saturday, Nov. 9
- Albertsons Stadium, Boise
- Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. MT
- Weather: Partly cloudy, 45 degrees
The game will be televised on ESPN (Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer, Lauren Sisler), which can be found on the following channels:
- Sparklight (formerly Cable One): Channel 133 / 1133 (HD)
- DirecTV: Channel 206
- Dish Network: Channel 140
- Cox: Channel 32 / 1032 (HD)
ON THE RADIO
Fans can listen to the game on the Bronco Radio Network (Bob Behler, Pete Cavender), which can be found online or on the following stations in the Boise area:
- KBOI 670 AM in Boise
- KTIK 93.1 FM in Boise
- KDZY 98.3 FM in McCall
- KSNQ 98.3 FM in Twin Falls
Here is a list of Bronco Radio Network stations outside the Boise area.
The game will stream live on the WatchESPN app, available in Apple and Android app stores. The service is only available to subscribers of participating cable and satellite television providers (including Cable One, Dish Network, and DirecTV).
BRONCO ROUNDUP GAMEDAY
KTVB's Bronco Roundup Game Day show will be live from Albertsons Stadium before the game from 7 to 8 p.m. on KTVB, KTVB.COM, and in the Bronco Roundup app.
Join Jay Tust, Will Hall and special guests live on the Blue for a look at all of the major storylines surrounding this matchup.
POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCE
KTVB will live stream the post-game press conference on KTVB.COM and on the Bronco Roundup app.
Interviews with coach Bryan Harsin and players will be posted online soon after the press conference ends, so you can watch the press conference whenever and wherever you want.
Stay tuned to KTVB.COM after the game for a game recap, highlights, and slideshow from the game.
BLUE-OUT COLOR SCHEME
All Broncos fans attending the game are encouraged to help "Blue Out" Albertsons Stadium by wearing blue gear on Saturday night.
While fans are dressed in blue, the team will be wearing their all-black uniforms for the game.
BACHMEIER'S FIRST INTERVIEW
Boise State has long had a rule that freshmen players are not allowed to do media interviews. That changed on Tuesday when quarterback Hank Bachmeier got the go-ahead to sit down for his first interviews since joining the team in January.
Bachmeier - who has thrown for 1,760 yards and recently earned mid-season freshman all-American honors - said he's soaking it all in, and enjoying being QB1 at a program full of successful quarterback history.
When asked by KTVB's Will Hall why he chose Boise State, Bachmeier answered with "why not Boise State?"
"It's an incredible honor, just to play quarterback at Boise State and just the tradition that the quarterback position has. It's an incredible honor, so why not Boise State? I love this place, I love the people here, so genuine. It was just a spot that I wanted to be at.
"I could definitely see myself living here for the rest of my life,” he added.
Watch Bachmeier's full interview below:
It's something that many fans take for granted, but the Broncos' winning ways should not be overlooked, and cannot be overstated. Boise State consistently puts together 10-win seasons, and they are well on their way to yet another one. In fact, the Broncos haven't had a losing season since the 1990s. The win over San Jose State clinched the team's 22nd straight winning season.
KTVB sports analyst Tom Scott breaks it down in his Scott Slant column:
"Before going into the idiosyncrasies of Boise State’s 52-42 comeback win at San Jose State, let's look at the Broncos’ ever-underappreciated big picture. Saturday night they clinched another winning season, their 22nd straight—the longest streak in the FBS. Maybe you’re saying, “Hey, what if they go 7-7?” If Boise State loses the next four, there won't be any Mountain West championship game, so the worst they can do is 7-6. Which isn’t going to happen. Anyway, here's the deal. This is the Broncos' 52nd season as a four-year program, and they've had 46 winning seasons. There have been just five losing campaigns, plus one at .500. Think about that. By the way, Bryan Harsin has tied Jim Criner for third on Boise State’s career wins list with his 59th victory."
The Broncos checked in at No. 22 in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season, released Tuesday night.
The CFP rankings, voted on by a committee and released weekly each year beginning in November, determines which teams will be selected for the four-team playoff, and decides the top-ranked Group of Five conference champion that will get an automatic bid to a New Years Six bowl; this year, it's the Cotton Bowl.
If the Broncos hope to reach that big-money game they'll need to win out the rest of the season, and will need some help - in the form of losses - from a pair of teams directly in front of them.
Fellow Group of Five teams Cincinnati and Memphis are ranked Nos. 20 and 21, respectively. Navy and SMU are ranked behind the Broncos at Nos. 24 and 25, respectively. All four of those teams are members of the American Athletic Conference.
The Broncos are also currently ranked No. 21 in both the AP Top 25 and the Amway Coaches Poll.
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP OUTLOOK
With just four weeks left in the regular season, several teams - including Boise State and Wyoming - are in contention to represent the Mountain Division in the conference championship game. The Broncos have yet to lose a conference game, and Wyoming's lone loss came against West Division foe San Diego State. As is often the case, tie-breakers could come into play at the end of the season, meaning this game is a critical must-win for both teams. Air Force and Utah State are also still in the hunt for the title game, but they each have losses to Mountain Division teams (the Falcons lost to Boise State and the Aggies lost to Air Force).
At this point, the Broncos are in the drivers seat. Should they win out, they will be locked into the championship game. With a slate of Mountain Division matchups set for the next few weeks, the title game picture will be come more clear.
In the West Division, there's San Diego State (7-1, 4-1 MWC) and everyone else. Behind the Aztecs, the next best record is Fresno State, which has two conference losses. The Bulldogs and Aztecs will face each other on Nov. 15. Interestingly, the three combined conference losses between those teams have all come at the hands of Mountain Division teams. Behind SDSU and Fresno State, Hawai'i and Nevada each have three losses in conference.
The Broncos are 12-1 all-time against Wyoming, with the lone loss (30-28) coming in Laramie back in 2016. The teams have played each other every year since 2010, and Boise State holds a 7-1 advantage in the series since joining the Mountain West for the 2011 season. The Broncos have never lost a home game to the Cowboys.
The last meeting between the teams was a 34-14 Broncos victory last season in Laramie.
Boise State's all-time record against Wyoming:
- Sept. 29, 2018 - W - 34-14 (Laramie)
- Oct. 21, 2017 - W - 24-14 (Boise)
- Oct. 29, 2016 - L - 30-28 (Laramie)
- Oct. 24, 2015 - W - 34-14 (Boise)
- Nov. 22, 2014 - W - 63-14 (Laramie)
- Nov. 16, 2013 - W - 48-7 (Boise)
- Oct. 27, 2012 - W - 45-14 (Laramie)
- Nov. 26, 2011 - W - 36-14 (Boise)
- Sept. 18, 2010 - W - 51-6 (Laramie)
- Sept. 15, 2007 - W - 24-14 (Boise)
- Sept. 16, 2006 - W - 17-10 (Laramie)
- Sept. 27, 2003 - W - 33-17 (Boise)
- Sept. 14, 2002 - W - 35-13 (Laramie)
Watch more Boise State Football:
See them all in our YouTube Playlist:
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.
BRONCO BASH AT THE ALUMNI AND FRIENDS CENTER
The Bronco Bash at the Alumni and Friends Center is open to Broncos fans three hours prior to every home football game and closes 30 minutes prior to kickoff. The event features a family-friendly atmosphere with live music and activities for all ages.
Returning this year is the Bronco Bash Cash Dash, a series of one-minute challenges, that guests can play to compete for time in the Mountain America Credit Union cash machine, Boise State merchandise and other prizes. Find out more about the Bronco Bash here.
DECHEVRIEUX FIELD OPEN FOR TAILGATING
Boise State's partnership with Blockparty, a fan-focused hospitality and entertainment company, continues this season with pre-game festivities at the Ford Tailgate Zone at DeChevrieux Field.
The Tailgate Zone will include a Kids Zone, complete with a climbing wall and other entertainment geared toward the younger fans. It will also include huge televisions featuring top games, food trucks, and a "tailgate village" all on the Broncos' grass practice field adjacent to Albertsons Stadium.
The tailgate party is free for fans, but if you want an upgraded experience with your own tent, TV and other amenities. VIP packages are available for purchase and cost between $400 and $2000.
DeChevrieux Field opens for tailgating three hours before kickoff on home football game days.
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 a half hours before kickoff. The team will walk from the Student Union Building, through the Ford Tailgate Zone at DeChevrieux Field, 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 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.
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)