College football lives and dies by rivalries, year in and year out. Whether it’s Ohio State vs. Michigan, or USC vs. Notre Dame, the annual grudge matches between schools can fuel fires for years on end and be the only games schools care about. Boise State has had their share of rivalries throughout the years, but there is one matchup that is beginning to grow for the Broncos.
Many Boise State fans grew up on the bitter rivalry with the University of Idaho. For decades, this in-state hatred split families and caused many arguments over the dinner table.
Boise State has since moved on to bigger and better things, leaving Idaho to fend for themselves. With the Broncos move to the Mountain West Conference, a new rivalry is emerging in regional foe BYU.
Boise State is in the early stages of a 12-year matchup schedule with BYU. Boise State came out with the victory against them last year in Bronco Stadium, 7-6, in a defensive battle highlighted by a pick-six by former Bronco defensive lineman Mike Atkinson.
The Boise State vs. BYU matchup has been one that has grown through the years. Boise State took on BYU for the first time in 2003 in Provo, Utah. Led by quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie and wide receiver Tim Gilligan’s 209 receiving yards, the Broncos routed BYU 50-12 to put them on the map.
The following year, when the Cougars visited Bronco Stadium, the matchup was a more even one. Led by sophomore quarterback Jared Zabransky, the Broncos held on late to a 28-27 win as BYU pulled a field goal wide left as time expired which kept Boise State’s longest winning streak in the nation alive.
Now as the Broncos continue their decade long matchup with the Cougars, a budding rivalry is emerging. The growing number of BYU fans and graduates descending on the Treasure Valley is only going to heighten the intensity of the rivalry. Boise State vs. Idaho used to be the “house divided” model. Boise State vs. BYU is quickly replacing this bitter rivalry.