With apologies to all of the other conference title games on Saturday, none of them hold a candle to the Mountain West’s clash between No. 22 Boise State and No. 25 Fresno State when it comes to the elements having an impact on the game. Despite the snowy and windy weather on the blue-turned-white turf though, the Bulldogs took a slim 10-7 lead into the locker room following an entertaining battle for the league title at the break.
Both quarterbacks involved in this one weren’t too shabby even with it being difficult to throw the football as Fresno’s Marcus McMaryion threw only two incompletions on his way to 74 yards and a touchdown while counterpart Brett Rypien was an efficient 10-0f-19 for 69 yards and a touchdown pass of his own for Boise.
The Broncos got the edge on the ground with footing at a premium as Alexander Mattison ran for 59 yards on 16 carries to best the Bulldogs’ approach by committee that netted just 40 yards total on 14 attempts. The visiting West Division champs scored early on a short field after a fumble recovery, finding the end zone (when the snow was just barely coming down) as Michiah Quick caught a 15 yard pass. They also put up points late with a 44 yard field goal through a driving snow storm and sandwiched those efforts around a 15 play drive by the boys in blue that ended in a touchdown pass to Sean Modster from 10 yards out.
The front in the area is not expected to move out of Boise for another hour or longer which means the second half will likely come down to some big plays down the stretch from either side. Fresno State has never won on the blue turf and it will take quite an effort between the lines to end that streak against a team locked into defending their Mountain West title.