This game between New Mexico and Boise State had plenty of hype behind it since the Lobos have given the Broncos trouble in three of the past four years and then winning on the Blue Turf in 2015.
The 2016 game was more of the 2011 game which saw Boise State rock New Mexico, 45-0. Brett Rypien had a game for the ages by completing 21 of 28 passes for 391 yards and five touchdowns. He also averaged 14 yards per pass attempt.
Two receivers had big games with both Thomas Sperbeck and Cedric Wilson with 198 yards for the former and 167 for the latter. Sperbeck had two touchdowns and Wilson had three.
The is the first time that Boise State had a pair of receivers go over 150 yards each since the Broncos achieved the feat against SMU on Oct. 18, 2003.
“It does feel good to get the win against anybody, but it feels a little bit better especially because they beat us last year,” senior wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck said.
There was no need for the rushing game to have a big game as Jeremy McNichols had only 54 yards but did score twice.
“They were hungry tonight, we probably could have cut them loose and had more,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “They were operating, and that show could have went on throughout the night.”
After a few drives of no points, Boise State struck first on this short fade pass to Wilson and it began the scoring onslaught that was to come for Boise State.
New Mexico responded with their own long touchdown run to tie it at seven but that would be the only points the Lobos would score until the fourth quarter.
After the Lobos tied the game at seven, the Broncos would rattled off touchdowns on seven straight possessions in the dominant victory.
Boise State was not holding back at all in this game and sliced the Lobos defense at will in the secondary. New Mexico had no answer against Rypien basically playing pass and catch all night. There was virtually no pass rush by the front seven of New Mexico, and this is another example of the Lobos defense not being there yet.
“That was what I was most afraid of, that we couldn’t cover (their wide receivers),” New Mexico head coach Bob Davie said afterward. “That’s the reality of it.
“A lot of credit to the quarterback (sophomore Brett Rypien), a lot of credit to No. 82 (senior wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck), and those players are really good, really good.”
The New Mexico offense was held in check by a Boise State defense that seemingly figured out the run-option attack that has hurt them the past few years and kept them out of the end zone.
The Lobos did average 6.3 yards per carry and rushed for a total of 382 yards and most was done by quarterback Lamar Jordan who rushed on his own for 139 yards.
However, they were without starting running back Teryion Gipson who suffered a hamstring injury the week prior against San Jose State and was ultimately held out. Having Gipson probably would not have made much of a difference as he does not play in the secondary.
“It’s like a fight. When someone loses a fight, they always want to have a rematch, right?” Harsin said. “This was a chance to go back out there and have an opportunity to go play a team that beat us. Those guys certainly know some of the things that showed up from last season.
“Our guys were aware, coming into the game, in their own minds, how they wanted to play.”