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Boise State Clipped in Final Minutes, Losing 31-28 to BYU

The Bronco defense couldn’t find a stop as BYU quarterback Jaren Hall had a career day on The Blue.

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Tighter than spandex on a sumo wrestler.

Boise State and BYU always lives up to the billing.

Jabs are thrown every year with these two circling this game in August.

The Broncos played spoiler last year in Provo.

Kalani Sitake and the Cougars returned the favor on their way to the Big 12.

Salt in the wound.


1st Quarter (8:48) - 3-yard run by QB Jaren Hall (Oldroyd PAT)

Boise State 0 - BYU 7

1st Quarter (0:36) - 16-yard pass from QB Taylen Green to WR Latrell Caples (Dalmas PAT)

Boise State 7 - BYU 7

3rd Quarter (10:30) - 9-yard pass from QB Taylen Green to WR Eric McAlister (Dalmas PAT)

Boise State 14 - BYU 7

3rd Quarter (6:26) - 25-yard field goal by K Jake Oldroyd

Boise State 14 - BYU 10

3rd Quarter (0:25) - 24-yard pass from QB Jaren Hall to WR Puka Nacua (Oldroyd PAT)

Boise State 14 - BYU 17

4th Quarter (9:45) - 1-yard run by RB George Holani (Dalmas PAT)

Boise State 21 - BYU 17

4th Quarter (8:12) - 48-yard pass from QB Jaren Hall to RB Hinckley Ropati (Oldroyd PAT)

Boise State 21 - BYU 24

4th Quarter (6:28) - 11-yard run by RB George Holani (Dalmas PAT)

Boise State 28 - BYU 24

4th Quarter (1:46) - 6-yard pass from QB Jaren Hall to WR Puka Nacua (Oldroyd PAT)

Boise State 28 - BYU 31




  • The Boise State defense was sliced and diced. Allowing over 500 total yards and only forcing one punt is not going to win football games (unless you are SMU scoring 77 points this past Saturday).
  • The plan of defensive coordinator Spencer Danielson to play off the BYU receivers and incorporate soft coverage backfired tremendously. Countless times, the Cougar wideouts converted five-to-seven yard receptions that kept their offense in rhythm.
  • The Bronco pass rush was nowhere to be seen as they did not register a single sack. The tackle-for-loss category was bare, with only one committed and a mere two quarterback hurries tabulated.
  • Yes, the Broncos did “force” two turnovers, but both interceptions weren’t necessarily the Broncos making a great play as it was BYU making mistakes. JL Skinner complied with Jaren Hall wanting to play catch and Rodney Robinson had the ball fall into his hands after a BYU target bobbled a potential red zone catch.
  • The absence of George Tarlas and the in-game exit of DE Demitri Washington was immensely felt. If the Broncos can’t find their way into the backfield, then the “Bend, but don’t break” mentality is not going to work against decent offenses.
  • It felt as though the Bronco defense had “dirty vision” all night. Multiple screen passes went for long gains, including Jaren Hall’s longest pass of the night. This was a reality check for a defense that was, statistically, one of the best in the country.
  • QB Taylen Green had another successful outing passing the rock. He managed 220 yards with a 74% completion rate, notching two touchdowns. To the chagrin of Bronco fans, Green only had five runs on the day for a total of 14 yards. His one costly mistake was a fumble on a scramble in the late moments of the first half. This gave BYU a chance to score and take the lead into the half, but inconclusive evidence on a borderline touchdown prevented the Cougars from capitalizing.
  • RB George Holani found his way into the endzone twice, but only managed 73 yards on the ground against what was considered a poor run defense. A surprise to me was that Ashton Jeanty only had five carries the entire game. Perhaps he is dealing with a minor injury, but having him take some of the workload off of Holani is key to maintaining the health of the running back stable.
  • Wide receivers Latrell Caples and Eric McAlister continue to make a name for themselves. Both found their way to paid dirt and Stefan Cobbs contributed 50 yards as well.
  • Special teams did nothing to be loved or hated. Kicker Jonah Dalmas didn’t attempt a field goal, there were no notable punt or kick returns, and James Ferguson-Reynolds punted the pigskin four times for a 43.5 yard average.
  • There were some coaching decisions that were questionable throughout the course of the game. Two timeouts bailed the BYU offense out and the thinking to go aggressive on offense with less than 20 seconds left in the first half nearly cost the Broncos a touchdown. No one is perfect, but here’s to Andy Avalos continuing to improve with clock management and situational decisiveness.

Going Forward

Despite BYU getting the last word in a memorable rivalry that will be put on pause, the Broncos still control their destiny.

This would have been the cherry on top of an incredible turnaround heading down the stretch.

Instead, Boise State gets to regroup with three Mountain West games coming up. Next week, the Broncos will travel to Reno, Nevada, to take on the Wolf Pack. The opening line came out Sunday with the Broncos favored by 21. This will be a tune-up game before playing in Laramie a week later in what will most likely decide the Mountain Division.

Look for a preview of Boise State - Nevada to be posted on Friday.

What are your thoughts on the Boise State - BYU result?

What will you remember the most about this rivalry?

Leave your comments down below.