Boise State has been involved in a lot of great games over the past decade. So many that compiling this list was quite difficult. These are my rankings of the most memorable Boise State victories of the past ten seasons. (I did not include the 2010 Fiesta Bowl because it was part of the 2009 season).
10A: Boise State @ Nevada (2014)
I know some people will be wondering why this game made the list, but this was a very important game for a team that went on to win the Fiesta Bowl. Boise State was an inconsistent mess heading into this game. They had just lost to Air Force, and the offense was sputtering. This is the game where it all clicked for Grant Hedrick, and it was the first of nine consecutive victories. The Broncos escaped with a narrow 51-46 victory.
10B: Boise State vs. Washington (2012 Las Vegas Bowl)
I might be a little biased because this is one of the few bowl games I have been lucky enough to attend. But it was close throughout the game, and it was an important victory for a squad that needed to find an identity after the Kellen years. A late Jeremy Ioane interception sealed the third consecutive Las Vegas Bowl victory, and it was the last bowl game Chris Petersen coached for Boise State.
10C Boise State @ San Diego State (2017)
Boise State traveled to San Diego as significant underdogs. The Aztecs were the New Year’s Six favorites, and the Broncos were coming off of painful losses to Washington State and Virginia. The Broncos not only beat the Aztecs, but they won in convincing fashion with a 31-14 victory.
#9 Washington State @ Boise State (2016)
It was an exciting game from the beginning, and it was an electric atmosphere in Boise. The storyline with Brett Rypien playing against his uncle’s alma mater was fun, and it came down to the final play. The Broncos pulled out the 31-28 victory despite Luke Falk throwing the ball 71 times.
#8: Boise State vs. Oregon (2017 Las Vegas Bowl)
The 2017 season was a roller coaster. Somehow the Broncos came away with a Mountain West Championship while overcoming a quarterback controversy and a plethora of injuries. The Broncos were underdogs in this game and were going against a future first round quarterback. But this game was the Leighton Vander Esch show, and the Broncos came away with a 38-28 win in a game they mostly dominated.
#7: Fresno State @ Boise State (Mountain West Championship 2017)
This might be a little low for this game. It was an extremely important victory for a Boise State team that had lost some of the confidence it was known for in recent years. It was a tight game that was largely dominated by two stout defenses. Ultimately, it was future NFL draft picks Cedrick Wilson and Leighton Vander Esch that led the Broncos to a 17-14 victory.
#6: Washington @ Boise State (2015)
If I am being honest, this was not an exciting football game, but it was the return of Chris Petersen to Boise. I was in the stands that night and can remember how electric the atmosphere was. The Broncos came away with the 16-13 victory after a missed Washington field goal. Oh, the irony...
#5: Boise State vs. Arizona (2014 Fiesta Bowl)
This game could arguably be ranked higher, but I don’t look at a victory over Arizona the same way as some of the other programs on this list. It was definitely a great football game and showed the value a great running back like Jay Ajayi can have. Ajayi’s performance and a late defensive stand carried the Broncos to a 38-30 victory.
#4: Boise State @ Florida State (2019)
This is the most recent game on this list and Boise State had every reason to pack it in. The Broncos traveled across the country to Jacksonville, only to have the game moved to Tallahassee because of a hurricane. But the only hurricane that impacted the game came in the form of true freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier. Bachmeier threw for 407 yards, and the Broncos scored the last 23 points to come away with a 36-31 victory.
#3: Boise State vs. Georgia (2011)
Boise State came into Atlanta and beat a Georgia squad that went on to win their division. This is one of those games that really showed the greatness of Kellen Moore. Moore was in his first game without Austin Pettis and Titus Young, and he didn’t skip a beat. Boise went into Georgia, handled the Bulldogs, and came away with the 35-21 victory.
#2: Boise State @ Colorado State (2017)
This might seem a little high for a win over Colorado State, but this was one of the most entertaining college football games I have ever had the pleasure of watching. The Broncos were an absolute mess coming out of the gates, falling behind 28-3 and 35-10. But Brett Rypien and Alexander Mattison combined to have the performance of a lifetime. The Broncos also mastered one of the greatest onside kicks of all time. Boise State overcame what seemed like an insurmountable deficit to come away with the 59-52 win in overtime.
#1: Boise State vs. Virginia Tech (2010)
I think you could make a strong argument that this was the best win in program history. This Virginia Tech squad went undefeated in ACC play and had some phenomenal athletes. This was also a statement game for a Boise State team that was coming off of a Fiesta Bowl victory and entered the season with a top five ranking. Boise State pulled out a 33-30 victory.