BOISE - The Virginia Cavaliers travel across the country to take on the Broncos at Albertsons Stadium in a nationally televised matchup Friday night.
LIVE GAME TRACKER: Scoreboard, play-by-play & stats
Boise State (2-1) is coming off a 28-14 win over New Mexico, which came in large part thanks to impressive defensive and special teams play, and a career game from tight end Jake Roh, who accounted for three of the Broncos' four touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Virginia (2-1) picked up a solid home win against Connecticut on Saturday. The Cavaliers will undoubtedly be looking for payback on Friday night, after Brett Rypien and the Broncos lit them up to the tune of 56-14 in Charlottesville two years ago.
- Virginia at Boise State
- Friday, Sept. 22
- Kickoff: 6 p.m. MT
- Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
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
- Cox: 33
ON THE RADIO
Fans can listen to the game on the Bronco Radio Network, which can be found online or on the following stations:
- KBOI 670 AM in Boise
- KTIK 93.1 FM in Boise
- KDZY 98.3 FM in McCall
- KSNQ 98.3 FM in Twin Falls
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 starting at 5 p.m. on KTVB, KTVB.COM, and in the Bronco Roundup app. Join Jay Tust and Will Hall for a look at all of the major storylines surrounding this matchup.
BRONCO BASH AT THE ALUMNI AND FRIENDS CENTER
KTVB and the Boise State Alumni Association are partnering again at the Bronco Bash, with a new feature this year: the Ultimate Fan Makeover. One fan at the Bash will be selected to receive apparel from the Boise State Bronco Shop, makeup and hair from Crazy Neighbor and a chance to grab cash in the Mountain America Credit Union cash machine. The Bronco Bash is free to the public and all are welcome.
Fans attending the game are being asked to "Blue Out" Albertsons Stadium on Friday night.
For more information, see the 2017 color scheme schedule.
The only meeting between the two teams came in 2015 at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville back in 2015, and it wasn't even close. Brett Rypien, in his first start, torched the Cavaliers' defense for 321 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 56-14 win.
RYPIEN OR COZART?
Speaking of Rypien, coach Bryan Harsin said on Monday that the junior signal caller was practicing this week, and by Wednesday he was cleared to play Friday night. Rypien sat out against New Mexico due to injury, giving senior Montell Cozart his first start as a Bronco. Cozart played well, going 15 for 19 through the air for 137 yards and two touchdowns. He had no turnovers - an improvement from the week before at Washington State where he threw a pick-six. Against the Lobos, Cozart also made things happen with his feet. In fact, he was the team's leading rusher with 71 yards on nine carries and a touchdown.
With Rypien given the all-clear to play, Bronco Nation can expect to see both quarterbacks get playing time on Friday. We'll find out who will start when the offense takes the field.
The running game is a top concern as the Broncos move forward. In three games so far this season, it has been lackluster, to say the least. Boise State's top two running backs - Alexander Mattison and Ryan Wolpin - combined for a paltry 49 yards (2.9 yards per carry) against New Mexico.
Harsin addressed his team's offensive issues at his weekly press conference, saying that he is proud of how hard his team has worked to improve, but that they are not there yet.
"We want to play our best football every time we go out there," he said. "I don't think we've done that. I don't think we've done that as a team."
Tom Scott breaks down the team's rushing woes in Monday's Scott Slant:
Boise State’s leading rusher the past two games—and for the season—is a quarterback, Montell Cozart, with 179 yards and two touchdowns. Mattison has netted 155 and two TDs, but outside of his 49-yard scoring run against Troy, he has averaged just 3.3 yards per carry. Wolpin’s 115 yards have produced only 3.1 yards per tote. It turns out Robert Mahone’s status is the same as it was coming out of spring football—he has carried the ball just three times this season. Drake Beasley, the highly-touted true freshman, has not played yet. Is it time to give Beasley a look? Or, with the offensive line’s struggles, are the Broncos just going to have to make the backfield work as is?
In a normal week, one player each from offense, defense and special teams is named player of the week. This week, two defensive players got the honor - Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and cornerback DeAndre Pierce. The dynamic duo were all over the field Thursday night making plenty of highlight reel plays.
Vander Esch is credited with 13 tackles and a pass deflection. He also forced a fumble by Lobos quarterback Lamar Jordan in the first quarter. Pierce made his own share of impressive plays, with 12 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss.
On sharing the player of the week honor with Vander Esch, Pierce told KTVB: "To have something like that and share it with somebody like Leighton, all of the hard work I've seen him put in since I got here as a freshman to spring to now, it's a big honor to just be standing next to the guy."
Linebacker Tyson Maeva also had a great game, terrorizing the Lobos with 11 tackles.
As a whole, the defense did something it has failed to do for years: stop the triple-option, or at least slow it down. The Broncos allowed 198 rushing yards, a huge improvement over recent years, in which the run-based offense, well, ran wild over the Broncos defense. Making the effort even more impressive, they did it on a short week, just five days after facing a triple-overtime loss to Washington State's pass-heavy air raid offense.
Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall is no stranger to Boise State Football. As BYU's longtime head coach, he faced the Broncos four times between 2012 and 2015, winning both of the contests held in Provo (2013 and 2015). On Friday, he'll be looking for his first win on the Blue, this time with the Cavaliers. Mendenhall took over the flailing program that went 4-8 in 2015, including the aforementioned blowout loss to Boise State on their home turf.
Now in his second year in Charlottesville, Mendenhall appears to be turning the Cavaliers program around. The 2-1 record matches the total number of wins the team had all of last season.
NEW THIS SEASON
Boise State says they have worked hard over the off-season to improve the fan experience at football home games, and "left no stone unturned" in that effort.
The improvements include in-game features like fireworks displays after every touchdown, more replays on the video board, and an in-stadium DJ.
Also new this season, KTVB's Maggie O'Mara will serve as the on-field voice of the Broncos, providing a new in-stadium experience for fans at the games.
DECHEVRIEUX FIELD OPEN FOR TAILGATING
A new pre-game feature this year, Boise State will open DeChevrieux Field, the Broncos’ grass practice facility, as a tailgating option for home football games. The Tailgating Zone on Bronco Circle will feature covered tent locations for pregame parties, corporate events or personal tailgates.
The premium tailgating location sits along Bronco Circle and the Albertsons Stadium West Parking Lot, just 100 yards from the Athletic Ticket Office and entrances on the west side of the stadium. Spots will available on a first-come, first-served basis for individual games. Click here for a list of prices. To reserve your spot in the Tailgating Zone, email the Athletic Ticket Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (208) 426-4737.
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 3:30 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 end 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 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.
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 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.
Available 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)
More information on Bronco Gameday Shuttle can be found here.
Washington Group parking garage located at 720 Park Boulevard, across from the Ram, costs $5 (or free with a BAA permit). Boise Tour’s shuttle will take you to the game for free.
For more information on game day parking options, click here.