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Boise State rolls over UNLV, 42-25

Broncos keep conference championship hopes alive.

UNLV v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

In a game the Boise State Broncos (10-1, 6-1) had to win on Friday night, the Group of Five’s top ranked team easily handled a UNLV Rebels (4-7, 3-4) squad hampered by injury.

The #20 Broncos did their best to impress a College Football Playoff committee intent on ignoring the accomplishments of G5 teams by rolling over the Rebels, 42-25 in Boise, Idaho. Boise State running back Jeremy McNichols was predictably spectacular, racking up a staggering 206 yards on 31 carries and finding the end zone four times.

BSU quarterback Brett Rypien did a serviceable job while letting McNichols be the difference-maker. Rypien completed 10 of his 20 passes for 109 yards and did not throw an interception.

A second straight upset wasn’t in the cards for an undermanned UNLV team. Last week, the Rebels scored the biggest win of the Tony Sanchez era, outlasting Wyoming 69-66 in triple overtime. This week things looked promising three minutes in. UNLV forced a Boise State fumble on the second play of the game and turned it into an Evan Pantels field goal to jump out to a 3-0 lead. The Broncos then built a three score lead early in the second quarter and from there this was never a one possession game.

Given the UNLV injury report and the talent level of this Boise State team, Rebels quarterback Kurt Palandech did as well as could be expected. He completed 10 of 20 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown, while also leading UNLV on the ground with 64 rushing yards. UNLV was once again without running back Lexington Thomas. In his absence, Xzaviar Campbell carried the ball 13 times for 60 yards.

Palandech missed leading receiver Devonte Boyd, whose season ended last Sunday due to injury. Andrew Price caught 3 passes for 65 yards to lead UNLV receivers. Dalton Sneed, who made the switch from quarterback to wide receiver last week, caught one pass for 10 yards.

Boise State’s quest to get to the Mountain West Conference Championship Game continues next week when the Broncos travel to Air Force for a 12:30pm PT Friday kickoff. UNLV will finish the season at home on Saturday, November 26th, when they look to defend the Fremont Cannon against in-state rival Nevada. Kickoff is scheduled for 1pm PT.