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Boise State completes an unthinkable turnaround, wins 5th Mountain West title

Fans, coaches, players...anyone who roots for the Broncos felt a massive sense of catharsis Saturday.

NCAA Football: Mountain West Football Championship-Boise State at UNLV Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For one game, the Boise State of old reappeared.

You won’t find it in the box score or the team totals.

The energy was visible and euphoric.

Taylen Green running behind his pads and talking his talk.

Alexander Teubner absolutely laying down the hammer on folks.

There is nothing in this world better than seeing a team play with fire and controlled aggressiveness.

Scoring Timeline

1st Quarter

11:08 - 8-yard TD run by Taylen Green (Jonah Dalmas PAT)

Boise State 7 - UNLV 0

6:45 - 5-yard TD run by Vincent Davis Jr. (Jose Pizano PAT)

Boise State 7 - UNLV 7

2:21 - 5-yard TD run by Ashton Jeanty (Jonah Dalmas PAT)

Boise State 14 - UNLV 7

2nd Quarter

14:49 - 47-yard TD interception return by Fred Thompkins (Jose Pizano PAT)

Boise State 14 - UNLV 14

13:32 - 57-yard TD pass from Taylen Green to Austin Bolt (Jonah Dalmas PAT)

Boise State 21 - UNLV 14

12:10 - 70-yard TD run by Taylen Green (Jonah Dalmas PAT)

Boise State 28 - UNLV 14

7:23 - 31-yard field goal by Jonah Dalmas

Boise State 31 - UNLV 14

3:35 - 51-yard field goal by Jose Pizano

Boise State 31 - UNLV 17

3rd Quarter

11:07 - 46-yard field goal by Jose Pizano

Boise State 31 - UNLV 20

5:03 - 50-yard field goal by Jonah Dalmas

Boise State 34 - UNLV 20

0:16 - 16-yard TD pass from Taylen Green to Matt Lauter (Jonah Dalmas PAT)

Boise State 41 - UNLV 20

4th Quarter

3:43 - 22-yard field goal by Jonah Dalmas

Boise State 44 - UNLV 20

FINAL

BOISE STATE BRONCOS 44

UNLV REBELS 20

By The Numbers

  • Mr. Taylen Green had one of his best performances as a Bronco. He threw for 226 yards via a 12-15 effort, good for a completion percentage of 80%. Through the air, Green was able to find the endzone twice with the help of Austin Bolt and Matt Lauter.

His first TD was a beautifully-drawn up flea flicker by Bush Hamdan that worked to perfection.

On the ground, TG10 had a tremendous run that was reminiscent of his 90+ yard run in last year’s regular season finale against Utah State.

You can’t teach that.

Along with a TD run to begin the scoring festivities in the first quarter, Green totaled 90 yards on the ground.

When a QB is responsible for a combined 316 yards and four touchdowns, that means they had a heck of a day.

  • Can Boise State have all the money in the world and give it to Ashton Jeanty?

He’s just so good and this game consisted of highlight after highlight. Extending runs that should have gone two yards into nine and bullying defenders that attempted to bring him down, he is one of, if not, the most talented running backs Boise State has had. His stat line consisted of 153 rushing yards, including a 50-yard rush that took a handful of Rebels to stop.

  • Billy Bowens!

After having some troublesome outings over the course of his Bronco career, he led all receivers with 91 yards and hauled in some vital catches to keep drives alive.

Bowens stayed the course and it paid off in the biggest game of Boise State’s season.

  • Hometown favorite Austin Bolt capitalized on his big-play potential, being on the tail-end of a 57-yard flea flicker for a touchdown.
  • Tight end Matt Lauter continues to show his promise for upcoming seasons. The freshman has been a tremendous blocker and a reliable pass-catcher. He added to his season total with a redzone score over the middle to put the Broncos up three possessions.
  • Turnovers, turnovers...turnovers.

Boise State forced three critical takeaways that either helped stymy any Rebel momentum or reignite the Broncos’ energy. Yes, Taylen Green threw an inexcusable interception and Ashton Jeanty had a ball poked out for a fumble, but the responses by both players was the difference.

UNLV’s turnovers were compounded with further struggles and a fleeting feeling of optimism.

Both Broncos came back better and made big plays on each ensuing drive.

That’s what champions are made of.

  • Alexander Teubner played with his hair on fire. With ten total tackles, he was found wrapping up Rebels from sideline to sideline. Considering the start that Teubner had against a generational offense in the Washington Huskies, his progression and willingness to stick in the fight is admirable.

The Eye Test

The Offense

A standing ovation for Bush Hamdan.

He called a damn-near perfect game and hit all the right buttons. Even when the offense became a little stagnant, the play calls got guys open.

It is imperative that Spencer Danielson and Jeramiah Dickey find a way to keep Hamdan on staff.

On the field, the duo of Taylen Green and Ashton Jeanty was magical. The charisma, the faith that both have in one another.

They’re roommates for goodness sake!

Keeping both of these guys for 2024 will be a Herculean effort for Danielson, but boy, it would send expectations and preseason hype soaring.

There’s rumor that Jeanty is being offered between $500,000 and a million dollars in NIL money. That’s what Boise State is up against.

The Defense

Initially, it looked as if this game was going to be of the shootout variety. However, the Broncos came out with a vengeance in the second half, limiting UNLV to three points in the final 30 minutes.

Adjustments were made and executed.

It was mentioned often by FOX play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti and color analyst Brock Huard, but Spencer Danielson’s crew was playing every snap as if it was the game-deciding play. The bend, but don’t break mentality seemed to be substituted for an aggressive, make a play identity.

In short, the Boise State of old.

Players jawing, walking the walk on each play.

The Broncos backed up their talk with exquisite effort and relentlessness.

The Special Teams

Jonah Dalmas.

That’s it. Nothing more to say.

When the Rocky Mountain alum departs from Boise State, he will be sorely missed. Dalmas went three of three, hitting a crucial 50-yard attempt that kept the Rebels at bay.

Aussie James Ferguson-Reynolds got to sit in the bullpen most of the day, only being called on twice.

A well-deserved rest for the standout punter.

Kick returns are of no excitement or concern currently. Every return, the Boise State Bronco elected for a fair catch. With the ball automatically placed at the 25, it guarantees solid field position and prevents injury.

It also gives you an extra 30 seconds to grab a cold beverage out of the fridge.

Going Forward

A Mountain West title in hand, Spencer Danielson was named the next head coach of the Boise State Broncos Sunday evening and had his official presser Monday afternoon.

How could you not?

Three weeks ago, I would have never thought this is where we would end up.

Alas, life has a funny way of working in mysterious ways.

The stars aligned, the team banded together, and Spencer Danielson got his end-of-credits freeze frame where he is awarded his dream job.

Now, he will lead the Broncos into battle against the UCLA Bruins in the LA Bowl on December 16th.

You got to love this crazy sport...

What were your takeaways from the game?

Let us know in the comments down below!

UPDATE: QB Taylen Green has entered the transfer portal. He isn’t ruling out a return to Boise, but now all eyes are on RB Ashton Jeanty.