This Day In Sports: Train wreck for McNichols-less Broncos

October 16, 2015: Today’s item is just a coincidence after the shocking result Saturday night in Fort Collins. But here it goes. Utah State breaks a 12-game losing streak to Boise State with a 52-26 rout of the 21st-ranked Broncos in Logan. Boise State coughed up seven first-half turnovers, the most in a half by an FBS team in 10 years, and eight for the game, the most by a Bronco team in 26 years. The Aggies scored three touchdowns in the last 1½ minutes of the first half alone and took a 45-10 lead into the break. It marked the first trek into adversity for Boise State true freshman Brett Rypien, who threw three interceptions, was sacked four times and lost two fumbles.

It was Murphy’s Law, and it started before the game. Boise State star running back Jeremy McNichols was a gametime decision due to an injury. McNichols, who led the nation in touchdowns at the time, warmed up in uniform; then he returned to the field before kickoff in street clothes. But that was just a smidgen of what went wrong. The Broncos’ Thomas Sperbeck stripped at the end of a 38-yard pass play? Are you kidding me? It was that kind of night.

The Aggies deserved a lot of credit; they were really ready to play. “It’s huge, make no bones about it,” said Utah State coach Matt Wells. “I have a deep respect for Boise. This may be the greatest win in program history. I don’t know, but it is right up there.” It looks bigger now when you consider Utah State hasn’t beaten Boise State since. The Aggies have lost 19 of their last 20 games against the Broncos. USU will be lying in wait in Logan for another shot at them the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

The moral of the story: whatever pain Bronco Nation has experienced this season has been felt before. In 2015, it peaked in November when Boise State lost back-to-back games on the blue turf to New Mexico and Air Force (the Lobos had come in as 30½-point underdogs). But the sky wasn’t falling. The rollercoaster of a year finished at a high point with a 55-7 rout of Northern Illinois at the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. That’s the day the Broncos outgained the Huskies 654 yards to 33. The 621-yard differential was the largest in the history of bowl games.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *