Photo: Kevin Kamper

Broncos earn berth to MW Title

Both No. 23 Boise State and Utah State, had to win Saturday night to move on to play in the Mountain West Championship Game, but the Broncos demolished the Aggies 50-19.

Boise State (10-2, 7-1 Mountain West) was seemingly unstoppable against what supposed to be the best defense in the MW in Utah State (9-4, 6-2 MW).

We could sit here and breakdown everything that went right for the Broncos, but that would almost become disrespectful to the Aggies—so, let’s breakdown the main highlights of what went right.

Heading into halftime Utah State found itself in a very steep hole, trailing 34-12. The Aggies looked shell-shocked throughout the entirety of the match. Boise State did its typical trick players here and there, however, it was more-so basic grind it out football and Utah State had no answer.

Junior running back Jay Ajayi had the best game of his career—running for a career-high 229 yards on 27 carries and five touchdowns. He has now finished his regular season totaling 1,619 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns.

This was his fifth game out of his last seven in which he ran for 134 yards or more, and his seventh straight game of scoring at least two touchdowns.

Ajayi’s partner in crime, senior quarterback Grant Hedrick, passed for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Hedrick has been a complete revelation to how he was playing in the first half of the season. During the first six games of the year, Hedrick passed for seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

His first six games left many fans scratching their heads as to what happened to him from last season, in which he passed for 16 touchdowns and only five interceptions, to this season.

Once that seventh game of the season came against Fresno State, he has completely flipped the script—passing for 15 touchdowns and three interceptions. He is back to being the Hedrick Bronco Nation has become familiar with.

When Ajayi and Hedrick get going on the same night, they can become nearly impossible to stop and last night was no different as they were responsible for all seven Bronco touchdowns.

Boise State’s defense has only given up 33 points in its last two contests—the Broncos already have the No.1 offense in the MW and now look to be back to form on defense. Both of these became bad news for the Aggies once they were already down 34-12 before getting outscored 16-7 in the second half.

Aside from Ajayi and Hedrick, freshman tight end Jake Roh led the way for Boise State in receiving yards with four catches for 75 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck continues to fill in senior wide receiver Matt Miller’s void very nicely—hauling in four catches for 59 yards and one touchdown. He ends his regular season with 658 yards and three touchdowns receiving.

The Broncos have now won seven-straight games and have earned a berth in the MW Title Game and have become the lone favorite to be the Group of Five team to play in the Fiesta Bowl.

Boise State will face long time rival Fresno State (6-6, 5-3 MW) in the MW Title Game, the Broncos defeated the Bulldogs on October 17, 37-27.

The game will take place on Saturday December 6 at Alberston’s Stadium at 8:00 pm MT.


About Tyler Abner

Tyler Abner
During my time at Boise, I tried news journalism, broadcasting and sports journalism. Sports became my passion and I finally found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, report and broadcast sports. I had the pleasure to write for the Arbiter (Boise State student newspaper) for one year to really develop my craft and skills as a writer. With the connections I had built up with the Arbiter I was able to take internships with On Campus Sports, Times News and the Associated Press.

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