After a fast start to the first half, the Boise State Broncos held on by a thread to defeat the University of Washington 16-13. The No. 23 Broncos narrowly defeated the Huskies after kicker Cameron Van Winkle missed a 46-yard field with 21 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
The return of heralded coach Chris Peterson lived up to the hype for both Bronco and Husky fans. After a late entrance to the stadium, Coach Pete was welcomed with cheers from Bronco Nation.
The Broncos got off to a slow start, having to punt after a three-and-out on the first possession. They were able to compose themselves on the next possession, leaning on Jeremy “the weapon” McNichols to punch in a 7-yard run to cap a 92-yard drive.
McNichols carried the team again in the second quarter after punching in his second touchdown of the game. The Weapon finished with 24 carries for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also added 3 receptions for 24 yards.
Tyler Rausa finished off the second quarter with a 24-yard field goal, putting the Broncos up 16-0 going into the half.
Coming out, the Broncos looked to have the momentum coming out of the locker room, but Washington had other plans. The Broncos got off to a shaky start and gave up good field position after being forced to punt from the back of their own end zone. The Huskies capitalized on the drive by kicking a 40-yard field goal.
The Broncos were forced to punt on the next play, leading to a 76-yard punt return from Dante Pettis, the cousin of former Bronco receiver Dante Pettis. The score lead to a significant momentum change going in the Huskies’ favor.
After another three-and-out, the Huskies kicked a 28-yard field goal to bring the Huskies within three.
The Broncos punted to the Huskies with a few seconds over two minutes left in the game. The Huskies drove 36 yards before missing the final kick wide right.
The final series had two major turn of events that favored the Broncos. On a screen pass to Jaydon Mickens, Huskies’ receiver Brayden Lenius was called for a facemask on cornerback Donte Deayon. After the 10-yard penalty, Justin Tiamatuia sacked Jake Browning for a loss of eight yards. The Huskies were left with a 4th and 20 on the Broncos 29 yard line after moving the ball eight yards.
As Coach Pete knows all too familiar, his kicker pushed the ball wide right, securing the victory for the Broncos.
Ryan Finley finished 16 of 26 and one interception. Kelsey Young rushed for 48 yards on 13 carries. Thomas Sperbeck finished with three receptions for 28. Holden Huff lead all tight ends with 28 yards on 2 receptions.
The Broncos will travel to Provo, Utah next week to take on the BYU Cougars at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The game will kick off at 8:15 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on ESPN 2.
Information and statistics courtesy of ESPN