Photo: Screen Shot/CBS Sports Network

Hedrick silences critics, Ajayi pounds Nevada

Thrilling is the only way to describe Boise State’s night in Reno. The always fun match-up saw the Broncos take on a whole new look this week as they are heading back to Boise with a 51-46 victory over conference rival Nevada.

Last week left Boise State fans with many questions; the biggest one was whether or not Grant Hedrick would start after his performance in last weeks loss to the Air Force Academy. That question was answered with both teams offenses firing on all cylinders combining for a massive 1,032 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 49 first downs. Hedrick and Fajardo accounted for 652 of the total yards alone.

First Quarter

This game started quick. Boise State scores on their second possession of the game with a three yard pass from Hedrick to TE Jake Roh. Nevada answers on the following drive when Fajardo does what he does best, run the ball. The Nevada QB runs for 13 yards into the end zone to tie it up. It doesn’t take long before Boise State answers again. This time by the legs of the speedster, Shane Williams-Rhodes. The speedy wide receiver catches a 4 yard pass from Hedrick. The Wolf Pack block the point after.

Boise State: 13 Nevada: 7

Second Quarter

It didn’t take long for Nevada to answer, with a score of their own with Fajardo connecting with Jarred Gipson for a 10 yard touchdown pass. Boise State answers with a 35 yard field goal from Dan Goodale. After a big 34 yard pass from Fajardo to Henderson, the Wolf Pack answer with a touchdown as Fajardo connects with Jerico Richardson for a 12 yard touchdown pass.

Boise State’s next drive comes up short as the Bronco’s punt it away. Nevada steps up for a short drive of their own as Fajardo’s pass is picked off by Tyler Gray and returned 23 yards for a touchdown. Nevada’s next drive is ended by the Bronco defense again as Donte Deayon picks off Fajardo on just the third play of the drive. The Broncos go on to score another touchdown after a 55 yard pass from Hedrick to Anderson. The second quarter would come to an end after the Wolf Pack’s next drive.

Boise State: 30 Nevada: 21

Third Quarter

The Broncos would extend their lead by 7 more with another touchdown on their first possession of the second half. It isn’t long however until Nevada would strike again. Nevada QB Cody Fajardo would break out an amazing 54 yard run to the end zone and successfully complete a pass for a two point conversion. Boise State would make the final score of this quarter.

Boise State: 44 Nevada: 29

Fourth Quarter

The Fourth quarter saw Nevada mount a ferocious comeback outscoring the Broncos 17-7. The Broncos would start the quarter with possession only to have it cut short as Nevada’s Junior defense end, Ian Seau tips Hedrick’s pass to himself and then returns the interception 32 yards for a touchdown.

Boise State would answer back almost immediately as Jay Ajayi takes off for a 74 yard run all the way to the Nevada 5, which sets up his third and final touchdown of the night. Its not over yet as Fajardo steps onto the field to lead the Wolf Pack to a score of their own.

After a Boise State fumble, the Wolf Pack would score one last field goal to bring them within 5 of the Broncos. However, the Bronco’s defense would step up and hold the Nevada offense until Hedrick was able to knee the Broncos to victory.

Boise State: 51 Nevada: 46

Grant Hedrick

Grant Hedrick silenced a lot of critics on Saturday, myself included. The senior QB had a much better night than a week ago, completing 26 of 31 passes for 364 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Hedrick also rushed for 40 yards and a touchdown.

There were some stumbles though. Late in the game Hedrick more than likely made a few fans nervous as he threw an interception and fumbled the ball twice in the fourth quarter. Although the interception was mainly out of his control, the fumbles could have been avoided. None the less, Hedrick showed he has what it takes to keep up with a high powered offense like Nevada, and for that I give him loads of credit.

The Ajayi Show

Once again, Ajayi put on one hell of a show. Rushing for 152 yards and three touchdowns. Including a massive 74 yard run to the Nevada 5 yard line to start off the fourth quarter. Ajayi would record his third and final touchdown of the night on that drive. The star player also picked up 18 yards through the air.

Boise State Defense

Boise State’s defense had an interesting night in of itself. While the Broncos D gave up a total of 462 yards of offense (306 passing, 156 rushing), they still managed to come up big when needed. The secondary had a fun night with Farjardo as three different Broncos, Darian Thompson(2), Tyler Gray, and Donte Deayon all recorded picks off of four of his passes.

Prior to this game Fajardo had only one interception all season. All four interceptions either resulted in direct points or set up scores for the Broncos. Harassing Fajardo in the air wasn’t the only way the Broncos got to him. The Nevada QB was also sacked three times by three different Broncos, Kamalei Correa, Beau Martin, and Tanner Vallejo.

The end of the game had Boise fans biting their nails but the Bronco’s D held strong and made some great stops in the fourth quarter to end what looked like was going to be a march to the end zone.

With this win, the Broncos are sitting in second place in the Mountain Division (4-2, 2-1 Mountain West). Give us a “Bleed Blue” in the comments section below to congrate our Boys in Blue!


About Mathew Douraghi

Mathew Douraghi
Mathew comes to Bronco Nation News from sunny Southern California. He completed his bachelors degree at Boise State in anthropology in 2012. From there he took his academic pursuits to the Bay Area where he recently completed his Masters degree in Medical Anthropology at California State University - East Bay. Mathew loves sports and like his co-author Steven, he loves all his sports teams down in Southern California. However, that doesn't mean he bleeds any less blue as Mathew has been following his beloved Broncos since 2005. After talking to his co-author and good friend Steven, Mathew joined the BNN staff to share is love of Bronco sports with Bronco Nation. He truly enjoys writing for BNN readers and hopes you enjoy his articles!

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