Hail Mary Hell: Boise State falls to Colorado State 31-30 for the first time in program history

Elise Ledesma | The Arbiter

Hands on heads, jaws on the floor and complete disappointment in their eyes, that is the scene as Bronco Nation watched Boise State give up a 20 point lead to fall to Colorado State 31-30. 

In a game that may go down as one of the most poorly coached games in Bronco history, it was an absolute abomination of the Boise State football name. A game where the Broncos showed no haste to get the job done.

There was very little to be hopeful for other than the Broncos tried and true sophomore running back, Ashton Jeanty.

Jeanty ran for 212 yards, which is his most all-time, and added three touchdowns to the Broncos offense, two 3-yard rushing touchdowns in the first half and a 7-yard touchdown run.

Other than that, it was an absolute bombshell of a game.

It was a game that made Bronco fans rethink it all … from coaching staff, players and nearly everything in between. It is not the Broncos team people had hoped for this year.

The game was sloppy, hard to watch, careless and heartbreaking all rolled up into four 15-minute quarters.

The Broncos had a squeaky clean 13-0 record against the Rams before this matchup and what seemed to be too good of a Cinderella sStory, ended in heartbreaking fashion.

Despite possessing a 17-0 lead going into halftime and an overwhelmingly “comfortable” 30-10 lead with about six minutes remaining in the game, the Broncos found a way to give it all up.

The Broncos coaching staff decided to pull starters off the field and put in second string options as the lead seemed good enough to call it a night. However what seemed to be an easy dub, turned into a catastrophic loss.

Nearing the end of the fourth quarter, the Broncos win probability was 99.9%, but with a questionable team and coaching staff, there always is the other .01% chance — which is exactly what happened.

In just six minutes, the Rams were able to not only have a successful onside kick recovery and touchdown, but held the Broncos out on defense and solidified the win on a wild hail mary to seal the deal.

All the Broncos needed as the time was winding down, was a first down, seems simple enough, right? No, it wasn’t. With the wild style of coaching, there is no shock that this game went to the waste site so quickly.

Heading into the matchup, the Broncos were set on having a “dual quarterback” system, utilizing both sophomore Taylen Green as well as true freshman Maddux Madsen — a system that seemed to have been making strides in the past few matchups, but this game was a different story.

Madsen went 10-16 on the night, garnering 110 yards, no touchdowns and one interception and Green went 6-9, 30 yards, no touchdowns and one interception as well.

Nearly every other play, the two Bronco quarterbacks were swapped, one for the other. The offense, other than Jeanty, had to keep up with the constant change in style of play.

As the offense, and, quite frankly, defense, haves been struggling all season, the changing of the guards nearly every play, did not bode well for an already rocky Boise State squad.

The offense looked shaky and confused nearly all game, despite holding a 17-0 lead, the team still looked as though they had their tail tucked between their legs. If you didn’t look at the score, the Broncos played as though they were the ones trailing, not the other way around.

The first quarter was incredibly hopeful for the Broncos, the defense seemed to be clicking early and Jeanty was on a roll.

The defense held the Rams strong offense to three straight four-and-outs to start the match. Jeanty also carried along the offensive side of the ball with 11 carries for 109 yards just int he first quarter alone.

Though the Broncos struggled with a few turnovers in the first half, they found a way to end the half with a blocked field goal attempt and carry the team to a 17-0 lead in the locker room.

It all looked so great for the Broncos, but they soon let their foot off the gas pedal.

Third quarter came and went and the Rams slowly creeped their way back into the game for a more entertaining matchup. Though, it wasn’t until the end of the fourth quarter when the Broncos began to loosen the purse strings a bit too much.

With the culmination of benching starters, loss of energy and determination and no sense of urgency from the Broncos, the Rams began to fire on all cylinders in a time of need.

As the Rams trailed by 20 with 6 minutes left in the game, Ram quarterback Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi kicked it into high gear.

Fowler-Nicolosi threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Louis Brown IV with 4:01 left on the clock and followed up with a 2-yarder to Dylan Goffney with 1:53 left.

With an unsuccessful onside kick, the Broncos regained possession and all they had to do was get a first down to call it a game.

The Rams did not let the Broncos off the hook that easy. Colorado State forced a three-and-out and received the ball back at their own 12-yard line with 33 seconds remaining to set up the game winning drive.

Fowler-Nicolosi worked his team down the field which led him to the infamous hail mary. He heaved a 33-yard pass to a gaggle of players on the right side of the end zone.

Despite efforts by Bronco cornerback Jaylen Clark to swat the ball down, Rams tight end Dallin Holker came up with the ball in the end zone on the final play as time expired.

With the extra point by Jordan Noyes, the Rams came back in tremendous fashion to beat the Broncos 31-30, marking it as the first time Colorado State has defeated Boise State.

Boise State now sits with a 3-4 overall record and 1-1 in the Mountain West Conference.

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