Boise State football clinch a spot in Mountain West Championship with win over Wyoming

Kekaula Kaniho in a Boise State football game against University of New Mexico in 2019.
Taylor Humby | The Arbiter

The Boise State football team put their fans through an emotional roller coaster in their 20-17 win against Wyoming on Saturday, Nov. 20. 

The game came down to the final minutes and lived up to the intensity with the Mountain Division title and hosting the Mountain West Championship game at stake.

“That was probably top one or top two,” said senior safety JL Skinner when comparing the game’s ending to his other games. “I’ve never been in anything like that. It was fun looking at it now but it was stressful in the moment.”

The Cowboys held a 10-0 lead early in the game but a pair of field goals from junior kicker Jonah Dalmas within three minutes of the first half led to the Broncos only trailing by four points. 

The Broncos took their first lead in the game late in the third quarter after redshirt freshman quarterback Taylen Green scored on a 5-yard rush. 

Wyoming responded shortly after with an 83-yard rushing touchdown to regain the lead heading into the final quarter.

The Cowboys then had a chance to extend their lead after the Broncos punted the ball away but were forced into a 3-and-out.

The 3-and-out gave Boise State possession of the ball, who marched down the field capping their drive off with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Green to senior receiver Billy Bowens.

With two minutes left in the game, Wyoming quarterback Jayden Clemons threw an interception to senior safety JL Skinner. 

This interception gave Boise State a chance to ice out the clock and secure their spot in the Mountain West championship. The only thing that could stop the team would be a turnover.

With 45 seconds left in the game, redshirt junior running back George Holani fumbled. Wyoming recovered the ball and returned it within 25 yards of Boise State’s end zone. 

“Oh my goodness, the end of that game, I’m still processing it,” Bowens said. “Even us in the locker room, we are still looking at each other in the locker room (shocked). It was crazy.”

While Boise State fans were still trying to process the previous play, Skinner forced a Wyoming turnover with an interception on Wyoming’s first play after the fumble. 

Although fans thought his first interception would seal the game, it was Skinner’s second that ultimately did the job. The defensive stop led to Green kneeling the ball and giving the team a 20-17 victory.

This win guarantees Boise State their sixth appearance in Mountain West Championships.

“This means everything, especially to a veteran player like me,” Bowens said about securing a spot in the Mountain West Championship. “I tell these young guys there is no better feeling than hosting and winning the championship. That’s always been our goal and now it’s in our hands.”

Despite punching their ticket to the championship, their season is not over. The team will head home to face Utah State in their final game of the season on Friday, Nov. 25.

Kekaula Kaniho in a Boise State football game against University of New Mexico in 2019.
[Photo of the Boise State football team running onto the Blue Turf.]
Taylor Humby | The Arbiter

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