A rivalry filled with heartbreak and animosity. There is nothing better in college football. The showdown between Boise State and Nevada fits the bill. This one was a messy contest, but it came down to the team that executed better at the end. Let’s revisit the good, bad, and ugly moments of the 2018 contest.
The Broncos were struggling to move the ball on offense; Hightower changed that with one carry. Hightower’s 88-yard touchdown run showed off his elite speed that has NFL scouts salivating. The touchdown run was followed by a ludicrous unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but it was impressive nonetheless. Hightower finished the game with 2 carries for 90 yards and 3 completions for 22 yards.
Gangi played a heck of a game, and he did it on one leg. Gangi was noticeably limited in this one after sitting out the prior week against Fresno State. He gave it his best effort against the Broncos. Outside of the Horton interception, Gangi had a great game. He completed 24 of 42 passes for 304 yards and two touchdowns.
Baber showed great instincts in this one, intercepting two of Rypien’s passes.
Boise State looked like they were in trouble in the early portion of this game. After a Brett Rypien interception throw, Tyler Horton responded with a pick of his own and took it 99 yards to the house.
Normally three interceptions would put you in the “bad” category at best, but Rypien was sharp. Two of his interceptions hit the hands of his receivers and should have been caught. What was most impressive about Rypien’s performance was his ability to move the chains on third and fourth down. His two fourth down completions to CT Thomas were among the most impressive. His touchdown pass to AJ Richardson was also a thing of beauty. Rypien finished the game completing 28 of 38 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns.
Boise State’s Wide Receivers
The receivers had some uncharacteristic drops in this one, two of which resulted in interceptions. These missed opportunities prevented the Broncos from putting the game away and nearly cost them the game.
Nevada’s Run Game
The Wolf Pack had three carries for 53 yards, but the other 21 carries went for only 29 yards. This lack of a consistent run game plagued Nevada over the course of the season.
Four interceptions and three lost fumbles between the two teams resulted in a messy contest. Boise State’s turnovers kept the Wolf Pack in the game and prevented the Broncos from pulling away. The same can be said for Nevada, where the Wolf Pack had an opportunity to build a nice lead until a red zone fumble ended up turning into a John Hightower touchdown. Each team had 14 points off of turnovers.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Stay tuned for next week’s edition, as we will be looking at Mountain West coaches.