No. 23 Boise State handling Washington through one half

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No. 23 Boise State has controlled Pac-12 vistor Washington through one half, leading 16-0. And it isn’t really that close.

Jay Ajayi-replacement Jeremy McNichols has carried the load for the Broncos so far, scoring on a seven-yard run with 3:12 to go in the first quarter and again on a one-yard plunge at the 10:26 mark of the second quarter. He’s rushed 14 times for 70 yards so far. Stanford transfer Kelsey Young has added 42 yards on nine carries and quarterback Ryan Finley has completed 11-of-17 throws for 79 yards.

True freshman Jake Browning earned the start for Washington. He hit five of his first six throws for 29 yards, but his seventh landed in the arms of Boise’s Darian Washington, giving the Broncos the ball at Washington’s 24-yard line. The Huskies emerged unscathed, though, after McNichols was stoned on a 4th-and-1 at the Washington 15.

Boise State had scored on 49 straight red zone trips, 40 of them touchdowns, until then. The Broncos also squandered another scoring opportunity when Finley was intercepted by Kevin King at the Washington 12 late in the second quarter.

Boise added a 24-yard Tyler Rausa field goal with three seconds left before half to give us our 16-0 score.

Browning completed 7-of-11 passes for 41 yards and that interception; Washington has been out-rushed 153-17 thus far.

Stanford’s second-leading rusher moves on to Boise State

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For the second time this week, and the fourth this off season, Stanford is on the losing end of a graduate transfer.

The latest beneficiary of a former Farm product is Boise State, with the Broncos announcing the addition of running back Kelsey Young.  Young has a family connection to the Broncos as his younger brother, Cory Young, is a redshirt freshman running back on the squad.

As the elder Young has already earned his degree in computer science, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2015.

And, for a backfield looking to replace leading rusher Jay Ajayi, Young’s addition will serve as a veteran boon to the Broncos’ running game.  Last season, Young was second on the Cardinal with 339 yards rushing.  He finished his Stanford career with 601 yards and three touchdowns.  Additionally, he added 16 receptions for 142 yards coming out of the backfield.

Young joins Patrick Skov, who left yesterday for Georgia TechWayne Lyons, who moved on to Michigan, and Kevin Reihner, who is now at Penn State, as grad transfers Stanford has lost this offseason.

TCU’s Trevone Boykin claims Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award

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TCU’s Trevone Boykin finally found an award that Oregon’s Marcus Mariota couldn’t claim first.

The TCU quarterback was a finalist as the Walter Camp Player of the Year and Davey O’Brien Award. Mariota won both.

As a native of Hawai’i that played at Oregon, Mariota wasn’t eligible for the the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, which is given to the best college football player that was either born in the state of Texas, attended a Texas high school or attended a Texas junior college or university.

The recipient must also “succeed on and off the field while having the drive and the tenacity to persist and overcome adversity and injury in the pursuit of reaching their goals.”

Boykin was honored as the 2015 winner.

The TCU quarterback joined Baylor’s Bryce Petty as the first two winners of the award.

Boykin led the Horned Frogs to a 12-1 record as the team finished the season ranked No. 3 overall by the Associated Press. The junior quarterback was stellar throughout the season. He completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 3,901 yards, 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The dual-threat signal-caller also ran for 707 yards and eight more scores. 

TCU’s talented quarterback is also expected to enter the 2015 campaign among the favorites for the Heisman Trophy

Boise State’s Jay Ajayi and Oklahoma Samaje Perine were also finalists for the award. 

Boise State regains top billing with 38-30 victory over Arizona in Fiesta Bowl

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The Boise State Broncos are back, and it’s like they never left.

After an 8-5 record during Chris Petersen‘s final season with the program, Boise State appeared to be on a downward trend. The start of the 2014 season wasn’t promising either with a 35-13 loss to the Ole Miss Rebels to open the campaign. However, this year’s Broncos squad proved to be resilient.

The program reeled off 11 wins in its next 12 games and claimed a Mountain West Conference title. The Broncos were then anointed the top team among the Group of Five conferences and was granted a bid to the Vizio Fiesta Bowl.

The magic the Broncos experienced in two previous Fiesta Bowl appearances continued Wednesday. The nation’s 20th-ranked team held on for a 38-30 victory over the No. 10 Arizona Wildcats.

The win helped cement Boise State’s status as one of the elite programs outside of the Power Five conference.

“It’s huge,” Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin told ESPN’s Todd McShay after the game. “To be here and play a Top 10 team on this stage, I think it says a lot about what we’ve endured throughout the season to be where we are right now.”

Boise State finished 12-2 overall during Harsin’s first year with the program.

What has been built is Boise, Idaho, is bigger than the coaches leading the program. Since Dirk Koetter took over in 1998, the Broncos are 133-35 overall. Three different head coaching changes occurred between then and now, and the program continues to chug along.

The Broncos win by finding talent that is overlooked by other programs.

The best example on this year’s squad is running Jay Ajayi. The junior ran for 134 yards on 22 carries on his way to setting Boise State’s single-season records for rushing yardage and rushing touchdowns.

Undersized quarterback Grant Hedrick also posted a solid effort despite a poor second half. The senior completed 24 of 34 passes for 309 yards and a touchdown.

These were Boise State’s leaders on offense. Neither will be with the team next year. However, the program will continue to do what it does. It’ll win more games than almost anyone else in the nation.

Boise State’s Jay Ajayi shreds Arizona Wildcats defense during first half of Fiesta Bowl

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The No. 20 Boise State Broncos feel at home playing in the University of Phoenix Stadium for the Vizio Fiesta Bowl.

The Broncos are making their third trip to the Fiesta Bowl in seven years. The difference this year is the Broncos aren’t determined to keep the game close.

Bryan Harsin‘s squad built an impressive 31-17 lead against the No. 10 Arizona Wildcats in the first half.

The game quickly turned in Boise State’s favor during the Bronco’s initial drive.

Four plays into the game, Broncos running back Jay Ajayi ripped off a 56-yard touchdown romp. He went untouchded through of the middle of the line of scrimmage. It wouldn’t be Ajayi’s only big run of the first half nor his only touchdown.

The running back started hot and didn’t cool off. Ajayi carried the ball 12 times for 107 yards and three touchdowns.

With his second touchdown, Ajayi broke two school records:

Ajayi’s second touchdown romp was done with style, too. Harsin decided to dust off the Statue of Liberty again, and it worked as well against the Wildcats as it once did against the Oklahoma Sooners in 2007.

As special as Ajayi’s first half was, Boise State quarterback Grant Hedrick also played at a high level. Hedrick was nearly perfect through two quarters of play. Not a single pass the quarterback threw touched the ground.

Hedrick, the nation’s leader in completion percentage, was 17-of-18 passing for 272 yards and a touchdown. His only incomplete pass come from an interception by Arizona’s Cam Denson.

As explosive as Boise State proved to be on offense, Arizona was capable of moving the ball as well. The Wildcats gained 196 yards. They were able to close the gap to 11 points before giving up a late field goal just before half time.

Arizona needs to find a way to slow the Broncos in the second half. They’ve been unable to do so at this point. Meanwhile, the Wildcats defense can expect a big dose of Ajayi as Broncos try to control the third and fourth quarters.