On Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium, the Boise State Broncos needed an explosive fourth quarter to escape a tight game against the UNLV Rebels. Boise State scored four fourth quarter touchdowns in a 55-27 win. After the game UNLV head coach Tony Sanchez discussed his first game against the giant of the Mountain West Conference.
"Another one of those games. We came out, played hard and gave ourselves a chance. I told the guys I was really proud of the way they came out and prepared and played against these guys. I'm disappointed in the way we finished. That's kind of who we are. We just have to keep working and grinding away. There are a lot of things you can look at that show improvement and show that the guys are getting it, but again it's tough. You got to be able to finish and you're playing against a team that knows how to finish, they have done it for a long time."
Sanchez was pleased with how his wide receivers matched up with the Broncos. Boise State entered Saturday's game as the top defense in the league.
"We didn't feel like there was a huge discrepancy between their secondary and our guys. We felt like we could win some of those battles. We got some good individual effort too and it was encouraging to see guys make plays."
Saturday marked the return of quarterback Blake Decker. Decker missed the last two games rehabbing a separated shoulder. The senior threw for 357 yards, his top effort of the season.
"Decker's strength is throwing the ball, which has been a little different than the last couple of weeks with Kurt (Palandech) in there with his strength running the ball, managing it more. They have a pretty good, stout defense up front and that's their strength on defense. You saw it early, we had a tough time getting those yards. We've got to set up those red zones, and inside the four and five yard line. It's tough getting those yards. We just knew we were going to have to throw the ball to have an opportunity to win. We did and we gave ourselves a chance to win in the fourth quarter.
Ultimately UNLV couldn't hang with BSU in the fourth. Aided by a pair of Decker interceptions, the Broncos sent fans to the exits with an offensive onslaught. Still, this one was close later than many expected. Winning takes time, but Sanchez and the Rebels are already impressing with their ability to stay competitive.
"We did everything we needed to do to stay in that game."
UNLV is back in action at Sam Boyd Stadium next Saturday against the Hawaii Warriors.