Sports

With the MW Championship game only a day away, players and coaches from both Boise State and Fresno State talk about what this game means to them.

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
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© Boise State Student Media 2014

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Boise State wrestling head coach Greg Randall knows that the current freshmen on his team are going to struggle in competition during the infancy stage of the season.
That’s why they just need to dive right in.
“These young guys are scrappy guys who can go out and battle,” Randall said. “They just need to train and look up to guys in the room who have stepped up.”
Eleven true freshmen and nine redshirt freshmen make up the thirty man roster for the team this year.
With a majority of the team being young guys with little to no collegiate experience, they can expect struggles.
“The youth on the team are well-rounded and pretty athletic hard workers,” redshirt sophomore Austin Dewey said. “They are outworking guys and bringing their best to the table.”
The coaching staff is looking for the veterans on the team to step up and be the role models.
“It’s a lot of work, no doubt,” redshirt junior Chris Castillo said.
“They need to take their lumps and learn from it. They have to remember that hard work pays off.”
The ultimate goals for the team is to get back to being leaders in the PAC-12 conference and be ranked in the top 25.
“PAC-12 champions and top 15 (national rankings) needs to be accomplished between here and there,” Randall said. “After being a champion, there is no such thing as second place. It also doesn’t take a lot of individuals to place top 10, just a few.”
The team is continuing to work on their weaknesses, build off their strengths and train for their next event.     “The young guys have to realize the future is now,” Randall said.
Boise State returns to action on Dec. 13 against Oregon State in the annual Border War.
Mathces are set to begin at 7.pm. at Bronco Gym.
The Beavers are currently ranked No. 17 in the nation according to USA Today/NWCA Division I poll.

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Everyone knows that a berth in the Fiesta Bowl is on this weekend when the Boise State football team (10-2, 7-1) tries to repeat their October victory over Fresno State (6-6, 5-3) in the MWC Championship.
The key for the Broncos, however, is just staying focused on this week. Head coach Bryan Harsin is aware players can check social media and the internet to see the projections.
“Every player has (a phone). You can’t hide from that,” head coach Bryan Harsin said. “Guys would be nuts if they’re not focused on Fresno State.”
Despite being known as a perennial conference power, Boise State has only won three outright conference championships in the past nine season—2006, 2008 and 2009.
With that, the Broncos hope to win their fourth this Saturday at Albertsons Stadium.
Harsin and the coaching staff are quick to point out that even though Boise State beat the Bulldogs earlier in the season, they are going to be playing a much different team than the one they beat 37-27 on Oct. 17.
Fresno State quarterback Brian Burrell, who only had 127 yards passing against Broncos, agreed that past results mean nothing this weekend.
“It’s hard to beat a good team twice,” Burrell said at Fresno State’s weekly press conference. “I consider us one of those.”
Defensive coordinator Marcel Yates agreed with Burrell’s statements.
“If you would have told me they are 6-6 (from watching film) I would have told you were lying to me,” Yates said.
Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford is ready for the challenge of creating a gameplan for the Bulldogs for the second time this season. Especially after his response to the October win.
“Their defense presented quite a few problems (in October),” Sanford said. “I’ve watched that tape. I didn’t come away quite as encouraged as I thought I would. We have a lot of motivation to play better.”

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Jeremy Ioane embraces his son and girlfriend before the Broncos defeated Utah State 50-19.

Jeremy Ioane prefers to avoid attention at all costs.
Even as the redshirt senior safety for the Boise State football team battled IgA nephropathy—an autoimmune kidney disease—for the past two years, fans, members of the media and even his teammates were clueless as to what the Hawaii native was going through.
While Ioane underwent chemotherapy in 2012, played several games with a catheter and spent his nights hooked up to a dialysis machine to flush the waste out of his bodies, teammates were still in the dark. They just saw the normally quiet and reserved Ioane being himself.
“I don’t like to really talk much,” Ioane said. “I’m more of a keep to myself kind of guy. I didn’t want to talk to anybody about it.”
Ioane was diagnosed with the disease in 2012 during a random drug test. Head athletic trainer Jim Spooner noticed his urine was an abnormal color and had it tested. A kidney biopsy officially diagnosed Ioane with nephropathy.
Ioane has received an outpour of support since he went public with his medical condition in an exclusive story with the Idaho Statesman last Wednesday. A fund set up in his name by Boise State has already raised over $24,000 as of Wednesday afternoon. The goal of the fund was $20,000.
Ioane also received a $7,500 grant from the College Football Assistance fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of football players.
“It’s crazy how Boise is so closely knit,” Ioane said. “Bronco Nation, everyone is there for one another. I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s unreal how people reach out to others and do what they can to help out in any way possible.”
While overwhelmed by the support, Ioane would much rather the spotlight remain on his teammates.
When teammate Darren Lee tried to present the hammer to Ioane before senior night against Utah State, Ioane tried as hard as he could to decline.
“It was quite a surprise,” Ioane said. “(Darren) came up to me at my locker and said I earned it. I tried to deny it. I feel I’m getting more attention than I should.”
Ioane played several series against the Aggies and even made a tackle in what he describes as his “Rudy” moment.
While Ioane would prefer anonymity, head coach Bryan Harsin believes he’s more than deserving of the support.
“One of the reasons why Jeremy decided to tell his story—and he’s a very private guy—is he’s done a lot for this program,” Harsin said. “We break it down every day on family. That goes beyond the building here.”

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The Recreation Center offers a large range of classes that one can take while on campus at Boise State. One of these includes the Red Cross Certified CPR certification, first aid and an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) class.
“We teach American Red Cross. It’s an adult CPR and AED and First Aid class; we basically cover those three topics so CPR for Adults,” said aquatics director Heidi Powell. “We don’t cover infant or child CPR in those classes but we do cover how to use an AED and also all first aid scenarios.”
The class is offered for $60 for members or students and $75 for non-members. The class size varies and can have a total of ten people to a class.
Class sessions are about half a day beginning at 8:30 a.m. and, depending on class size. The class ends around noon or later.
To pass the class students will need to learn the information of the class and be able to pass written and practical tests at the end of the course.
The course gives certification for two years following the completion of the course.
Powell believes these classes can be extremely beneficial to students.
“CPR classes here at the Rec are an awesome opportunity to get a certification,” Powell said. “Those are life skills that you can use anywhere.”
Participants as well need to pass a written test with at least an 80 percent.
“In addition to the written test they also have to do a skills test so they are given a scenario and they have to perform the skills,” Powell said.
The classes are usually taught by BSU students that have been certified in the Red Cross instructor course along with Powell herself.
“Most valuable skills are essentially how to save a life,” Powell said. “You can apply these skills anywhere you go.” “Also just increasing the awareness of the ability of being able to save someone’s life. If you know a little bit you can at least do something to save somebody’s life.”

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The #10aneStrong shirt designed by Rodney Paguirigan. Courtesy of Boise State Media Relations.

Boise State will be selling #10aneStrong t-shirts this upcoming week and at the MWC Championship Saturday in an effort to raise additional funds for senior safety Jeremy Ioane.

T-shirts will go on sale in the Boise State bookstore located in the Student Union Building beginning Thursday Dec. 4.

Ioane has been battling nephropathy—an autoimmune kidney disease—since the summer of 2012 and is currently waiting a transplant.

The t-shirts will sell for $15. 100 percent of the profits will—$10 per shirt–will be donated to Ioane’s medical fund according to a release from the athletic department.

The shirts were designed by Boise State student Rodney Paguirigan.

“I just did it on photoshop and I contacted anyone I could in athletics and the bookstore,” Paguirigan told The Arbiter in a text message.

Both Hawaiian natives, Paguirigan and Ioane have been friends since living in the residence halls their freshmen year.

“We were from Hawaii so we just connected,” Paguirigan said. “Hung out a bunch our first 2 years of school together.”

Ioane’s medical fund website has already surpassed it’s goal of $20,000. The fund, which was set up in the early hours of last Thursday, has netted $26,154.

Here is the link to contribute to the fund.

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The Broncos got 12 players on the All-MW teams.

The Boise State football team placed 12 of its own members on the All-MW teams.

The Broncos got four members on the first team including redshirt junior running back Jay Ajayi, redshirt junior center Marcus Henry, sophomore defensive lineman Kamalei Correa and redshirt junior safety Darian Thompson.

On the second team the Broncos had redshirt senior quarterback Grant Hedrick, redshirt junior left tackle Rees Odhiambo, sophomore linebacker Tanner Vallejo and junior cornerback Donte Deayon.

In addition Boise State had four honorable mentions: redshirt senior kicker Dan Goodale, redshirt senior defensive end Beau Martin, redshirt freshman tight end Jake Roh and junior wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes.

The Broncos will play in the Sports Authority MW Championship game on The Blue against Fresno State on Saturday at 8:00 p.m.

 

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The Boise State women's volleyball team lost their season finale to Utah State.

The Boise State women’s volleyball team had a heartbreaking end to their season last Tuesday night.

The Broncos fell in a hard fought battle in their season finale to Utah State in five sets (25-22, 19-25, 14-25, 25-23, 15-13).

The Broncos were led by true freshman outside hitter Sierra Nobley who had 31 kills and junior setter Sarah Baugh who recorded a double-double with 65 assists and 12 digs.

The loss ruined the Broncos opportunity to finish the conference in third place which would have been their best finish in years.

Despite the loss Boise State had one of their best seasons in recent years with a 18-12 overall record and 11-7 conference record. The record in conference gave the Broncos a tie for fourth place in the conference and their first winning record in conference play in almost 18 years.

 

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As a true freshman Sierra Nobley is already one of the stars of the Boise State volleyball team.

The Boise State women’s volleyball team placed three players on the All-MW team and had two players receive individual awards as announced today by the conference.

Freshman Sierra Nobley, sophomore Maddy O’Donnell and junior Sarah Baugh earned All-MW honors. Nobley was also honored as the MW Freshman of the Year.

Nobley was the conference’s top attacker with an average of 4.33 kills per game during her record setting freshman season.

In addition redshirt-freshman Kaitlyn Oliver received the MW Newcomer of the Year.

Oliver ranked 60th in the nation with a .358 hitting percentage. She also finished third on the team in kills and second in blocks.

The Broncos tied with Colorado State and Wyoming with three players on the All-MW team. UNLV finished with four.

The five honors were the most the Broncos had received in 23 years.

Boise State tied for fourth in the MW this season after going 11-7 in conference play. The Broncos finished 18-12 overall.

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The Jay Train wins the MW offensive player of the week award for the third time this season.

Redshirt junior running back Jay Ajayi has been named the MW offensive player of the week for the third time this season.

The Jay Train is the first player to win three MW offensive player of the week awards since Kellen Moore won four back in 2011.

Ajayi is coming off career highs against Utah State. He rushed for 229 yards and five touchdowns in the victory.

The 229 yards is the fifth best in school history and the five touchdowns are tied with Ian Johnson and Jon Helmadollar for the best in school history.

It was Ajayi’s third 200 yard game of his career which is the second most in school history. He has now run for 100 yards in seven straight games and has nine 100 yard games on the season which is tied for the most in school history with Johnson.

Ajayi ranks fifth in the nation in rushing yards with 1619. He is 95 yards from breaking Johnson’s school record for the most rushing yards in a season.

He is tied for second in the nation with 24 rushing touchdowns and needs three touchdowns to break Brock Forsey’s school record for the most rushing touchdowns in a season.

When all is said and done Ajayi could have the greatest season by a running back in school history.

Ajayi will be back on The Blue when Boise State hosts the Sports Authority MW Championship game this Saturday at 8p.m. against Fresno State.

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From left to right Brittany Reardon, Taylor Murphey, and Alyssa Gammel all had great careers at Boise State.

Last Tuesday night’s game not only marked the end of the season for the Boise State women’s volleyball team but it also marked the end of three great Broncos’ careers.

The Broncos said goodbye to three of their best players in program history as senior outside hitter Alyssa Gammel, senior outside hitter Taylor Murphey and senior middle blocker Brittany Reardon exited the court for the very last time following the heartbreaking five set loss to Utah State.

What makes this year’s class unique and standout among many in recent memory is the numbers they each put up during their respective time here.

Gammel ranks seventh in school history in total number of kills. Murphey is eighth all-time in block assists and blocks per set, while Reardon’s 348 hitting percentage is the all-time school record.

“We want to leave our mark as a senior class and hope in the years coming that we left a good enough impression to keep the hard work and drive going for the younger girls,” Murphey said.

This year’s senior class is extremely close with one another even though they all didn’t expect that when they first met.

“We are definitely three different people with three different personalities, but we still get along really well,” Reardon said.

Their team play has set them apart even more than their talent on the court.

“We are very tight-knit,” Gammel said. “Throughout those years we have all stayed really close both on and off the court.”

Throughout everything they have always been there for each other both on and especially off the court.

“We’ve gotten so close that we know each other so well,” Murphey said. “In tough times we all know what to say to one another to get us through anything.”

The seniors have not only been there for each other but for the rest of the team as well.

“In years past, there hasn’t been so much emotional support,” Reardon said. “This season we have made it a goal to provide that not only with each other but our other teammates as well.”

The seniors feel their closeness with each other had a very positive effect on the team this year.

“I think the great bond that we have on our team shows because of the great relationship that we seniors have with one another,” Gammel said.

The legacy that this class leaves behind will be hard to match for quite some time.

“As a class this one would be as good as any during my time here,” head coach Shawn Garus said. “Not just good on the court but in the classroom as well and I am really proud of everything that they have done here as student-athletes.”

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Freshman Andrew Rafla finished 83rd in his first appearance at the NCAA nationals.

This post was updated on Dec. 1, 2014.

Freshman Andrew Rafla left his mark at the NCAA D1 National Championships on Nov. 22.

As the 20th male to compete at nationals for the Broncos, Rafla was not expecting his trip to Terra Haute, Indiana.

“I was surprised. I was hoping we would make it as a team, but I definitely wasn’t expecting to make it as an individual,” Rafla said.

Head coach Corey Ihmels saw Rafla’s achievement it as an opportunity.

“It’s a chance for him to see where he’s at on a national level,” Ihmels said. “Next year, he’ll be there with the team.”

Ihmels hoped Rafla could finish in the top 40 at the NCAA nationals, which would earn him an All-American title.

“I think he just needs to get there and battle it out with that top group. Cross country is whatever happens on that day,” Ihmels said.

With fair weather at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course, the men’s ten kilometer race started at a slow pace. No major leaders emerged for quite some time, forming a large pack.

After the 3,000 meter mark, two runners broke away from the group. Rafla stayed within the tight pack.
The pack started to separate by 8,000 meters, with Oregon’s Edward Cheserek pulling ahead to place first at 30:19.

Although he didn’t quite meet Ihmel’s goal, Rafla finished 83rd with a time of 31:26.2, barely beating

Virginia’s Connor Rog by 0.2 seconds. He was the sixth freshman to finish the race and his time is the fourth best in Bronco history.

The women’s cross country team also had a successful race, with senior Emma Bates finishing her six kilometers with 19:44.5 in third place. Senior Marisa Howard came in at 28th with a time of 20:35.8. Both athletes earned All-American awards.

This greatly contributed to the women’s team placing 11th overall at the meet with 392 points.

Rafla leaves this season as a decorated athlete, earning All-Region honors, second team All-MW honors and named the MW Men’s Freshman of the Year.

Next season, Rafla anticipates having more members of the men’s team join him at nationals and qualifying as a team.

“We obviously lack experience; there’s a lot of building. In the coming years, it’ll be a lot better,” Rafla said.

Correction: The original print version of this story included a text box with “1st Place” information from the NCAA Championships. The information published was incorrect.

The correct 1st Place information is as follows: Men’s Team-Colorado; Men’s Individual-Edward Cheserek, Oregon; Women’s Team-Michigan State; Women’s Individual-Kate Avery, Iona.

Lawi Lalang was the Men’s Individual champion in 2011 for Arizona. Sheila Reid was champion in 2011 and 2012.

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Junior safety Darian Thompson had one interception and two tackles in the win over Utah State.

The Boise State defense had another tremendous showing in their 50-19 win over Utah State on Saturday and a big reason was the play of junior safety Darian Thompson.

“He’s a huge part of the success that we have had on the defensive side, there is no doubt about it,” head coach Bryan Harsin said.

Thompson made it nearly impossible for the Aggie receivers to get open as he anchored the secondary, which only allowed 159 yards through the air.

“We were able to play like we know we can play,” Thompson said. “It was great to see everyone play as one unit and accomplishing our goal of being a great defense.”

He finished the game with two tackles and an interception. His interception led to a Broncos score which gave Boise State the early momentum.

“He is my best friend and to see him constantly producing and making big plays for us makes me so happy for him,” junior running back Jay Ajayi said.

Thompson has been having great games all season long for the Broncos. He leads the team with seven interceptions and is second on the team in solo tackles with 40.

“I am right next to him in the locker room and I really get to see how this guy goes to work every day,” senior defensive end Beau Martin said. “When I think about accountable guys on the team I think about Darian Thompson.”

Over the last few seasons Thompson has been a valuable part of the Broncos secondary, with this season being his best season yet. He already has more picks this year than he did his first two.

“I couldn’t put a number on how many (interceptions) I would get,” Thompson said. “I knew if I trusted my coaches that they would put me in the right positions to make plays.”

Despite all the success he has had this season Thompson’s priority is on the team first and foremost.

“I am here to mentor the other guys and make sure they are doing everything correct and up to coach’s standards,” Thompson said.

The win puts Boise State in the MW Championship game next week on The Blue against arch rival
Fresno State.

“It means everything, it is for all the marbles,” Thompson said. “We have to go 1-0 every week and this is a
big 1-0.”

More importantly it keeps Boise State’s dream alive of playing in yet another big time bowl game.

“We feel extremely blessed knowing how hard we worked in the offseason,” Thompson said. “We kept on grinding and we put ourselves in a great position to accomplish our goal.”

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Miller being honored on senior night.

This wasn’t the season that Matt Miller was expecting for his final season as a Bronco.

Instead of preparing for game day with his teammates, the Boise State wide receiver spends his days preparing his teammates in practice for their upcoming games.

“My role has changed,” Miller said. “I’ve gone from a guy who contributes on the field to a guy who contributes off the field, in the film room and in the preparation.”

Miller—the school record holder in a slew of receiving categories—injured his ankle in week four against Louisiana-Lafayette and further aggravated the injury the following week against Air Force.

An MRI revealed the bad news: Miller had a high ankle sprain with torn
ligaments.

After spending several weeks of rest to try and see if he could finish the season, Miller elected to undergo surgery on Oct. 13— putting him on the sideline for three to six months.

Despite being the Broncos’ leading receiver by 199 yards at the time of his injury, Miller has been impressed by the way Thomas Sperbeck and Chaz Anderson have stepped up in his absence.

“There’s nobody prouder of those guys than me,” Miller said. “Their best is yet to come and that’s really scary.”
Miller, at the convincing of head coach Bryan Harsin, elected to sit out the season in order to preserve his chance for a shot at the NFL.

“I think every kid who plays football has wanted to play in the NFL someday,” Miller said. “My goal right now is to get as healthy as I can be and get my foot in the door somewhere.”

Miller hopes to gain an invite to the NFL Combine in March but he is unlikely to participate in on-field drills.

The goal instead is to be in as great of shape as possible for Boise State’s Pro Day.

According to NFL Draft Stock website, Miller is projected as a sixth- or seventh-
round pick.

If a career in the NFL doesn’t work out, Miller sees himself either going into coaching or becoming a rancher.

Harsin, however, feels Miller has a long football career in front of him.

“He’s not going to be a coach for a long time,” Harsin said. “He’s going to play (in the NFL). If coaching doesn’t get in the way of ranching, it might be a possibility for him down the road.”

 

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The Lowery Lowdown is a sport column written by sports editor Nate Lowery.

Lowery Lowdown-Putting naysayers to rest

Sitting with a 3-2 record following a putrid loss to Air Force, no one believed in the Boise State football team— except for everyone within the football program.

Many called for redshirt senior quarterback Grant Hedrick to be benched. Boise State stuck with
Hedrick.

Many said the running back Jay Ajayi was being overworked. Boise State kept riding Ajayi.

Many placed head coach Bryan Harsin on the hot seat. Harsin didn’t even flinch.

What the Broncos did was respond to a loss the only way they knew how: sticking to their guns and buckling down.

I’d say the results were successful. Boise State rattled off seven straight wins behind a bend-don’t-break defense and an offense that averaged 50.5 points per game.

The Broncos made their return to the national rankings this past week for the first time since the 2013 preseason.

Following Saturday night’s 50-19 win over Utah State, the Broncos clinched the MW Mountain division title and will host the MW Championship this Saturday at Albertsons Stadium.

With a win, Boise State is all but guaranteed a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl games (Cotton, Peach, Fiesta), the very thing that drove the city of Boise onto the national radar.

While programs across the country go through a cycle of changing and reinventing their programs, Boise State has been the constant. The Broncos have stuck to their philosophy and put trust in their
process.

In the end, they were the ones to achieve glory.

Boise State students Ty Hawkins and Brandon Walton recap the Boise State Utah State game.

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton, Ty Hawkins
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2014

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Jay Ajayi has been named a semifinalist for two national awards this season (Doak Walker and Earl Campbell).

Redshirt junior running back Jay Ajayi was named a semifinalist for the Earl Campbell Award on Tuesday morning.

The Earl Campbell Award is given to the best offensive player in the nation with ties to the state of Texas that also exemplify the characteristics of former Texas Heisman Award winner Earl Campbell.

Ajayi is joined by Colorado State wide receiver Rashard Higgins as semifinalist from the MW.

The Plano, Texas native ranks third nationally in total yards (1,925), all-purpose yards per game (175) and total touchdowns (23).

Fellow semifinalists include: J.T. Barrett (quarterback, Ohio State), Trevone Boykin (quarterback TCU), Shane Carden (quarterback, East Carolina), David Cobb (running back, Minnesota), Corey Coleman (wide receiver, Baylor), Josh Doctson (wide receiver, TCU), Aaron Jones (running back, UTEP), Cayleb Jones (wide receiver, Arizona), Shock Linwood (running back, Baylor), Keevan Lucas (wide receiver, Tulsa), Samaje Perine (running back, Oklahoma), Bryce Petty (quarterback, Baylor), Josh Reynolds (wide receiver, Texas A&M) and Jonathan Williams (running back, Arkansas).

Finalists will be selected from this group and announced on Dec. 10. The winner of the Earl Campbell Award will be announced in Tyler, Texas on Jan. 14.

Ajayi is also a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award given to the nation’s most outstanding running back.

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Derrick Marks Devin Ferrell
Derrick Marks was the only bright spot in the 78-54 loss to Wisconsin.

The Boise State men’s basketball team couldn’t play the role of David as they were routed by No. 3 Wisconsin 78-54 giving them their first loss of the season.

The Broncos were able to hang with the Badgers in the early minutes  when the game was tied at 9-9. That’s as close as Boise State got as the Badgers went on a 13-2 run and never looked back.

The main reason why the Badgers were able to run roughshod over the Broncos was the play of senior forward Frank Kaminsky.

The seven footer is arguably the best player in the entire country and it showed. Kaminsky scored 26 on 11-13 shooting. Even more impressive was he went 4 of 5 from behind the arc.

The Broncos were led by senior guard Derrick Marks who had a team high 16 points along with two rebounds.

Boise State is now 0-8 against Big Ten Schools.

The Broncos will look to rebound when they face Idaho tonight at 7 p.m. at Century Link Arena.

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With the Broncos latest 63-14 victory over Wyoming Boise State burst into the top 25 for the first time in over a year. Here were the top five biggest takeaways from Saturday night’s win.

The Jay Train chugs alongs.  How else would you expect this list to start? Junior running back Jay Ajayi continues to show why he is one of the nation’s most elite running backs. Ajayi accounted for over 200 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Wyoming. With his 110 yards on the ground, Ajayi now has run for over 100 yards–and multiple touchdowns–in six straight games. Combine that with 92 receiving yards and a recieving touchdown and Ajayi shoud be a shoe in for MW player of the year.

Jeremy McNichols has biggest game yet. While the emergence of true freshman running back Jeremy McNichols is nothing new for the team or Bronco fans this season, McNichols made everyone take notice Saturday night. McNichols had his best game all season with 61 combined yards and two touchdowns. While this may not sound like a lot keep in mind McNichols only touched the ball five times. With these results don’t be surprised if you see significantly more play from McNichols in the home finale against Utah State. The Broncos have needed a good complimentary back to Ajayi this season and have now found one. Whatever the case may be this season McNichols’s future with the Broncos looks bright.

Defense returns to form.  After back to back weeks of mediocrity on the defensive side of the ball the Boise State defense finally returned in a big way. The Broncos stuffed the Wyoming defense. The Broncos only gave up a total of 227 yards and only 80 yards on the ground. To top that off Boise State forced three turnovers that included a pick six from junior safety Darian Thompson.

Kamalei Correa shines for the Broncos.  A big reason why the defense returned to form was the play of sophomore defensive lineman Kamalei Correa. Correa led the defense with three sacks–the most the Broncos have had since Demarcus Lawrence had 3.5 last season. Correa also had four solo tackles proving himself to be a staple on the defensive line.

Special teams made some noise. For the first time in over four years the Boise State Broncos returned a punt for a touchdown. Junior cornerback Donte Deayon took a 75-yard punt to the house in the win. This was the first career punt return for a touchdown for Deayon. He became the first Bronco this season to score touchdowns for Boise State both defensively and on special teams.

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The Boise State volleyball team celebrates their win on senior night.

The Boise State women’s volleyball team is on fire with just one game to go in the season.

The Broncos defeated San Diego State at home and UNLV on the road to win their season-best sixth straight game.

“I am hoping we can continue our winning streak as we have a lot of confidence,” freshman outside hitter Sierra Nobley said. “We are playing well as a team.”

First up for the Broncos was San Diego State.

Despite struggling at the beginning and being down most of the matches the Broncos were able to grind out a four set victory over the Aztecs 27-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-22

“I was proud that they were able to come from behind and get the win,” head coach Shawn Garus said.

What made the victory extra special for Boise State was that it came on senior night.

“It felt good to go out with a bang,” senior outside hitter Alyssa Gammel said

Gammel made the most of her last home game as she recorded a double double with 12 kills and 10 digs.

“It was really exciting and I just wanted to go all out and leave nothing behind,” she said. “I think I did that.”

The Broncos also got a great performance from Nobley who with 17 kills set the school record for the most ever by a Boise State freshman. The record-setting feat, however, was the furthest thing from her mind.

“It’s cool I guess,” Nobley said. “It’s secondary to me because it’s a team sport and not the most important thing to me right now.”

With the win the Broncos now have their first winning conference record in almost two decades.

“I think this is the first winning conference record in 18 years,” Garus said.

The Broncos didn’t have much time to celebrate however as next up was the second best team in the conference, UNLV.

Boise State got off to a hot start and never looked backed as they stunned the Rebels  in four sets 25-20, 25-18, 22-25, 25-22.

“It’s a credit to a talented group and they have been able to play their best ball late,” Garus said

The Broncos were led by Nobley who had a career-high 30 kills in the victory but the Broncos got great performances by everyone on the night. Gammel, freshman middle blocker Kaitlyn Oliver, sophomore libero Hannah Hubbard, and junior setter Sarah Baugh all contributed heavily in the win.

“Even the kids that don’t get on the court are preparing us really well,” Garus said.  “I feel we could put anyone in there and they could contribute right now.”

The Broncos will close their season tomorrow night on the road against Utah State at 7 p.m. MT.

A win and Boise State will finish the season in third place making it not only the best conference finish the Broncos have had but the best season they have had in years.

“I think we have wonderful chemistry and I am excited to see how we finish it out,” Nobley said.

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The Broncos got 12 players on the All-MW teams.

The Boise State football team has added a new series to its future schedule.

The Broncos will now face Oregon State in 2022 and 2023. Boise State will travel to Corvallis  in 2022 with the Beavers coming to Albertson’s Stadium in 2023.

The Broncos were already scheduled to go to Corvallis in 2016.

With this series the Broncos will now have quite the non-conference in future years with Boise State scheduled to face teams like Washington, Washington State, Oregon State, BYU, Virginia, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, and Florida State.

“Strength of schedule is obviously something that is extremely important under the new postseason structure of college football,” Boise State athletic director Mark Coyle said. “Boise State has always made an attempt to schedule high-quality nonconference opponents, and we will continue that trend going forward.

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Boise State’s swimming and diving teams have charged into the season head on with successful meets against Utah, Idaho and Oregon State.

Leading the Broncos is sophomore Brittany Aoyama who competes in seven different events for the team.

“She is someone who is always really focused,” head coach Kristin Hill said. “Whether it’s in school or the pool, her focus has set her apart.”

Aoyama had perhaps the greatest season for a true freshman in school history last season. She earned All-Mountain West honors in a staggering seven events, set a plethora of records for the team and qualified for the NCAA Championships.

“I was really surprised with how I did,” Aoyama said.  “I was really happy with how I performed last year.”

Coming out of high school, Aoyama was the 30th ranked recruit in the entire nation. With all that talent, she could have gone anywhere she wanted but because of Hill, she now represents the blue and orange.

“I was really glad to get her here,” Hill said. “She and I made a really good personal connection and we knew we would have a good partnership and that has really paid off.”

Aoyama also made immediate connections with her fellow teammates as well.

“She is my best friend,” junior Sam Wicks said. “We are always biting at each other’s heels and it’s awesome to have someone that’s with you to push you. She is a great asset to our team and always gives it her all.”

This past summer, Aoyama competed at the Phillips 66 National Championships.

“That was such an amazing experience and I had to get use to swimming at such a high-caliber level,” Aoyama said.

While Aoyama has already had so much success early in her Bronco career, she knows she couldn’t have done it without her coaches.

“Kristin and (assistant coach Eddie Larios) have really helped me and really care about me,” Aoyama said. “They have made my practices more personalized towards me and are helping me reach my goals.”

With still two and half years of swimming to go at Boise State, Aoyama will be one to keep an eye out for.

“She is one of the best swimmers that we have had here and there is plenty left to accomplish for her,” Hill said.

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Devin Ferrell
Devin Ferrell

It wasn’t pretty, but the Boise State men’s basketball team found a way to win their regular season opener. The team won a thrilling 72-67 double overtime win over Montana.

“A weaker team and a team that didn’t have some championship contenders would have folded up and lost that game,” head coach Leon Rice said.  “My team didn’t do that. They just came together, battled through it and found a way.”

The Broncos got off to a terrible start falling down by 15 midway through the first half and trailed by 10 heading into the locker room.

“I was disgusted with the way we came out in that first half,” Rice said. “That was probably the worst we have ever started a game in my five years here.”

Early in the second half the Broncos received some questionable fouls culminating in Rice getting a technical and the Broncos falling back
down eight.

“I think everybody in the crowd wanted to get a technical,” Rice said.  “I just got it for them.”

Despite everything that had gone wrong on the night, the team still found a way to rally back and win the game.

“We’ve done so much and we can fall back on what we’ve done,” sophomore forward Nick Duncan said. “I think we need to focus on that more and be more of a team.”

The Broncos were led by senior forward Anthony Drmic who took control of the game when it mattered most.

Drmic finished with 29 points.

“I want to do whatever I have to do to win games,” Drmic said.  “I don’t want to go out like we did last year. I want to do whatever it takes to win those games, whether it’s scoring, passing, rebounding.”

With his performance, Drmic moved into a tie for sixth place on Boise State’s all time scoring list. However, Drmic’s only concern though was getting the win.

Boise State now looks ahead to traveling to Madison, Wisconsin to take on the No. 3 ranked Badgers.

“They are a tough ball club and have no weaknesses,” Rice said.