If Boise State wants to make one of the Big Six Bowl games on New Year's Day they have to win all of the games they have left on the schedule including the Mountain West Conference Championship Game. To earn an at large bid they would have to be the highest rated non-power conference champion, a loss to New Mexico would have all but destroyed their chances of the big pay day. It nearly came to that but the Broncos fought back to top the Lobos, 60-49.
Going in to Saturday's game every one knew that the Lobos would have trouble stopping the Broncos high powered offense, but no one thought that the game would be a shootout between the two teams. The Lobos came out motivated and scored on the first play from scrimmage when Jhurell Pressley ran for 75 yards to put the Lobos up 7-0. Boise State responded with a score of their own, when Jay Ajayi took a pass from Grant Hedrick for 75 yards.
The teams would score four more touch downs during the first quarter which included a 100 yard kick return by Ridge Jones. Teriyon Gipson capped off the first quarter scoring rushing into the end zone from one yard out, putting the Lobos up 28-14. The second quarter played out just like the first with both teams combining for 35 points. Ridge Jones had another big play with a 75 yard touchdown run his second of the day. The Lobos who have had issues stopping teams on their last drive of the first half once again gave up a late score. Boise's Grant Hedrick connected with Shane Williams-Rhodes on an 8 yard touchdown pass. At the time the Lobos had a 42-35 lead but the momentum clearly moved in the Bronco direction as they went into the locker room.
The Broncos took the momentum and used it to take control of the game out scoring the Lobos 25 to seven in the second half. The Lobos put up a good fight but with seven minutes left in the game Chaz Anderson made a diving catch in the end zone to put the Broncos up 53-49. It was Boise States first lead and they never looked back.
The Lobos had a chance on their last drive but they turned the ball over on downs when replay officials overturned a first down run by Lamar Jordan on 4th and 2.There were multiple replay angles shown of the play but none of them showed indisputable evidence that Jordan's knee hit the ground before he passed the first down line, still the ball was given to the Broncos on their 49 yard line. In a game where the teams scored 109 total points and racked up 1,013 total yards the game was decided by a defensive stand.
The Broncos would take advantage of the short field by running down the clock closing out the game on a Jay Ajayi 14 yard touchdown run. Ajayi was Boise States leading rusher gaining 161 yards on 31 carries for two touchdowns. Quarterback Grant Hedrick ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns he also threw for 367 yards and four touchdowns.
The Lobos amassed 505 yards rushing where lead by Teriyon Gipson who had a career night rushing for 205 yards and three touchdowns. The Lobos leading rusher on the season Jhurell Pressley ran for 154 yards and two touchdown but left the game with a foot injury and never returned. Freshman quarterback Lamar Jordan was not intimated by Boise State making big throws and reads on the option that led to big plays. He completed nine passes for 122 yards and rushed for 53 yards.
The Lobos (3-6, 1-4 MW) will have to bounce back from the tough loss as they travel to Logan, Utah to face the (7-3, 4-1 MW) Utah State Aggies on Saturday, November 15 at 2pm. The Broncos will go home to face San Diego State Saturday, November 15th at 8:15pm.