A Senior Day Win: Boise State defeats Utah State 42-23

Jack Sears on the blue field playing in a Boise State home football game.
Photo by Mackenzie Hudson

The Boise State Broncos close out the regular season with a 42-23 win against the Utah State Aggies in their Senior Day game on Nov. 25.

Boise State football honored 25 players as part of the upcoming graduating class including senior safety JL Skinner, who had his senior day game cut short.

Loud boos filled Albertsons Stadium as Skinner was flagged in the first quarter for targeting. Teams are penalized 15 yards for a targeting penalty, and the player called for the foul is disqualified for the rest of the game if the foul occurs in the first half.

[Tweet from @FTBeard7.]

Skinner is no stranger to the repercussions of a targeting call. He was ejected from three games last season for targeting.

Under a new rule, which the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Committee approved, teams can appeal second-half targeting calls through the Mountain West Conference. 

Because the penalty was called in the first quarter, the team is not allowed to appeal the targeting penalty.

Despite losing Skinner to the penalty and redshirt senior edge rusher Demitri Washington and sixth-year nickelback Tyreque Jones to injuries, the Mountain Division Champions put on a defensive show. 

The team held the Aggies to a 55% completion rate and allowed 162 rushing yards. 

The Aggies and the Broncos were both scoreless in the first quarter, as teams battled back and forth for control of the ball. 

Fifth-year cornerback Caleb Biggers had a 41-yard gain to set the Broncos up in the red zone to close up the first quarter. 

Redshirt freshman quarterback Taylen Green threw a 6-yard touchdown to Eric McAlister when the Broncos returned to start the second quarter. The Broncos were the first up on the board 7-0 after the extra point by Jonah Dalmas.

The Broncos quickly notched another touchdown after Green threw a 50-yard touchdown to redshirt sophomore Latrell Caples. The Broncos extended their lead to 14-0. 

Green threw another 25-yard touchdown to McAlister to further extend their lead to 21 points. 

Utah State’s wide receiver Terrell Vaughn had a 3-yard rushing touchdown to put the Aggies up on the board to close out the first half. Despite the score, they still trailed the Broncos 21-7. 

To begin the second half, Utah State kicker Connor Coles scored a field goal to cut down Boise State’s lead to 11 points.

Boise State responded by Green throwing a 1-yard touchdown pass to defensive tackle Scott Matlock for a 28-10 score. This unusual play gave Matlock his second career touchdown

Utah State scored back to back touchdowns on a 75-yard passing touchdown and an 8-yard rushing touchdown. The team attempted a two-point conversion but failed resulting in a 28-23 score.  

In a much needed fourth-down conversion, the Bronco defense proved too strong for the Aggies. 

Jack Sears on the blue field playing in a Boise State home football game.
[Photo of Boise State’s 2021 matchup against the Utah State Aggies.]
Mackenzie Hudson | The Arbiter

An interception by Gabe Hunter helped the Broncos regain control on the nine-yard line. Boise State closed out the game shortly after. 

Green was able to run it back to score a 91-yard touchdown. This was the longest run from scrimmage in Boise State history.

“That run was big time,” head coach Andy Avalos said. “It got real tight there prior to that run. For him to capitalize on that run and pretty much put the game away, that was awesome.”

Another Boise State interception by Seyi Oladipo led to a 48-yard pick-six. The touchdown sealed the deal as the Broncos concluded the victory, 42-23. 

The 42-23 victory concludes the Broncos regular season, going 8-0 in conference play and 9-3 overall. 

“It was a good win,” Matlock said. “But we haven’t accomplished anything yet, we have another challenge coming up next week.”

The Broncos will now face Fresno State in the Mountain West Championship game at Albertsons Stadium on Dec. 3

“It’s a championship game. It’s what we’ve been working for since January,” Avalos said. “We know we have a great team coming here. We have to do our absolute best going into this week of preparation. That’s how important it is.”

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