A game pitting the highest-scoring teams of the decade has been dominated thus far by special teams, as Oklahoma State used a blocked punt to take a 17-7 lead over Boise State to the locker room in Stillwater.
Boise State scored first on a 31-yard pass from Brett Rypien to John Hightower, but the Broncos lead could have been more. The first sustained drive of the day by either team, a 14-play, 42-yard march by Boise State midway through the first quarter, ended in a 27-yard Haden Hoggarth field goal try that doinked off the right upright.
Oklahoma State notched the equalizer early into the second quarter after Taylor Cornelius found Tylan Wallace for a 43-yard connection, allowing Justice Hill to scamper in for an 8-yard touchdown run on the next play.
The Cowboys forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and Amen Ogbongbemiga bursted through the line to block Quinn Skillin‘s punt, which Ogbongbemiga recovered at the Boise State 7. Cornelius plunged in for a 1-yard rush three plays later to give Oklahoma State a 14-7 lead.
Boise State moved into Cowboy territory on their next touch, but Bryan Harsin elected to go for a 4th-and-6 at the OSU 37, and a group of Cowboys lassoed Alexander Mattison a yard short of the line to gain.
Cornelius hit Tyron Johnson for a 35-yard gain to put Oklahoma State back in Broncos territory, and Matt Ammendola booted a 22-yard field goal, his 15th straight successful try, to push the Cowboy lead to 10. Cornelius hit just four of his 10 passes, but he gained 96 yards on those four completions while leading all rushers with nine carries for 47 yards and a touchdown. Hill was limited to 21 yards on seven carries.
Rypien completed 19-of-25 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown, but the Broncos were credited with just 31 rushing yards in the half.
Oklahoma State will receive to open the second half.