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Game Day Guide: Boise State faces North Texas in Frisco Bowl

Boise State looks to capture its first bowl win since 2017 and end an unforgettable season in style Saturday against North Texas in the Lone Star State.

Zack Armstrong

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Published: 4:38 PM MST December 13, 2022
Updated: 7:41 PM MST December 17, 2022

The Boise State football program looks to capture its first win in a bowl game since 2017 Saturday when the Broncos (9-4, 8-0 MW) face off with North Texas (7-6, 6-2 C-USA) in the Frisco Bowl

Boise State has earned bowl eligibility in 25-consecutive seasons, which is the third-longest streak in the nation. However, Saturday will be the Broncos' first bowl appearance since 2019, when they fell to Washington in the Las Vegas Bowl.

The Broncos were invited to the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl following the 2021 season, but the game was canceled after Boise State withdrew due to an increase of COVID-19 cases within the program. In 2020, the Broncos opted to forego a bowl game following a season abbreviated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

After winning seven of its final eight games of the regular season, the Broncos had their eyes set on capturing a Mountain West Championship and a trip to the LA Bowl at Sofi Stadium as the conference's top team. Boise State fell 28-16 on The Blue to Fresno State Dec. 3, giving the Bulldogs the trip to southern California. 

While the loss at Albertsons Stadium stings, Saturday's Frisco Bowl bout with North Texas still provides Boise State with numerous reasons to display a dominant performance against the Mean Green out of Conference USA. 

For one, Boise State prides itself on two goals; winning the Mountain West and winning a bowl game, something that has not happened since 2018, as noted above. Second, the Broncos can catapult their young talent into the offseason in style and send their departing seniors off with one last win.

Third, there are 13 players listed on Boise State's roster from the Lone Star State, giving the Texas natives an opportunity to shine in front of family and friends at Toyota Stadium. 

Finally, the Frisco Bowl is likely the final time interim offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will coach Boise State after stepping in following the loss at UTEP. Sitting at 2-2, Koetter deserves massive credit for flipping the Broncos' offense and giving redshirt freshman quarterback Taylen Green the room to thrive. 

"I want to leave him with a win. You know, Taylen has progressed so far, so fast. I'd love to win Taylen with something to build on going into next year," Koetter said. "Again, the sky's the limit. After the season's over, I'll give him some things I think he needs to work on in the offseason, but at that point that's just my opinion, that's somebody else's."

Additionally, North Texas is not to be taken lightly as an opponent. The Mean Green have made it to six bowl games in the last seven years, and made it to the Conference USA Championship in 2022. 

Former head coach Seth Littrell was fired earlier this month after seven seasons. On Tuesday, North Texas announced the hiring of former Washington State offensive coordinator Eric Morris as the program's 20th leader. 

North Texas defensive coordinator Phil Bennett is expected to serve as the Mean Green head coach against the Broncos on Saturday.

Boise State and North Texas have played each other six times before, with each team winning three of those games. In the most recent meeting, Boise State won 59-0 on Oct. 21, 2000.

During Monday's press conference, Boise State head coach Andy Avalos called the opportunity to play in the Frisco Bowl, "a big deal," adding the Broncos are "grateful" to be in Saturday's contest. 

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