The Fresno State Bulldogs finally beat the Boise State Broncos in overtime at Albertsons Stadium 19-16.
After losing the regular season matchup 24-17, the Bulldogs made a return trip to Boise, Idaho, to avenge their loss.
Arguably, the Bulldogs are still winless on The Blue, because by the time the game ended, the field was more white than blue, due to snow.
After ending regulation tied at 13 apiece, Boise State decided to head into overtime without any extra shots down the field while in possession.
The special teams units made all the difference, as Fresno State made two field goals and blocked a Boise State field goal and an extra point.
The first quarter started with rain.
Both teams traded touchdowns.
Fresno State struck first with a 15-yard TD pass from Marcus McMaryion to Michiah Quick on an nice and easy fade to the corner of the endzone.
Boise State followed up with their own touchdown on a 10-yard from Brett Rypien to Sean Modster. It was a magician’s catch as Modster secured it with his tip toes in bounds after the pass was deflected by a Fresno State defender.
In the second quarter, the rain turned to snow and the only score was a Bulldog field goal. Asa Fuller, the Fresno State kicker, somehow made a 44-yarder in the heavy snow.
In addition to trading touchdowns, the teams also traded some fumbles in the first half. Fresno State scored 7 points off a turnover from a pass that flopped out of Rypien’s hand. Boise State could not capitalize off a fumble dropped by Michiah Quick on a would-be 17-yard pass.
The snow was heavy again in the third quarter.
Both defenses were playing lights out as the only score was another Bulldog field goal, as Asa Fuller made a very tight 38-yarder.
Alexander Mattison continued to run the ball consistently, but when the Broncos became one-dimensional, the Bulldogs were able to come up with stops.
In the fourth quarter, the rain and snow subsided and Boise State was able to have a more balanced attack which led to a Bronco touchdown.
After gaining momentum on a Brett Rypien 29-yard pass to John Bates, Mattison was able to break free for a 34-yard would be go-ahead touchdown run.
The extra point was blocked.
Chase Blakley on the right side of the line continued to allow Fresno State defenders behind him which allowed for two big kicking miscues (blocked field goal and extra point). Without the extra point, the game was tied.
Fresno State won the coin-toss and elected to play defense first.
The Bulldog defense played tough again and forced Boise State to kick a field goal (which was also almost blocked).
After a big stop on first down, the Broncos allowed Fresno State to sneak up on the 1-yard line.
After one big goal-line stop, the Bulldogs ran an option play and ran into the endzone on a pitch from Marcus McMaryion to Ronnie Rivers to seal the victory.
The UCF Knights were victorious in defending their American Conference championship and will thus be the highest ranked conference champion from the “group of 5.” This leaves the Mountain West champion out of any “New Year’s Six” bowl games.
The Fresno State Bulldogs as Mountain West champions will most likely be headed to the Las Vegas Bowl to take on a PAC-12 challenger.
Where the Boise State Broncos land is a bit up in the air. The “experts” have predicted a variety of places for the 10-3 Broncos to play, anywhere from the Idaho Potato Bowl to the Cheez-it Bowl to the New Mexico Bowl.