Boise State headed into their game with Fresno State on Nov. 25 with little to nothing to play for. The Broncos ended up losing to Fresno State 28-17, ending a seven-game win streak for the Broncos.
Boise State and Fresno State had both clinched a spot in the Mountain West Championship set for the following week, and the game was all but confirmed to be in Boise due to Boise State having a higher rank in the computer ranking system. With Central Florida and Memphis both winning, the Broncos’ slim hope at playing in a New Year’s Six bowl were dashed. The winner of the American Athletic Conference championship between Central Florida and Memphis will now get the Group of Five bid to the New Year’s Six bowl.
The Broncos struggled to get anything going on Saturday. Sophomore running back Alexander Mattison, who rushed for 1000 yards this season, struggled, only rushing 65 yards on 15 carries.
“We just made mistakes,” Mattison said. “They did what they wanted to do against us.”
While this game didn’t mean much to the Broncos, the Broncos still wanted to win this game.
“That game hurts,” said Boise State safety Kekoa Nawahine. “Credit to them—they’re a good team. They made plays and we didn’t make the plays we needed.”
Boise State will get a second chance on Dec. 2 when they take on Fresno State again. This time, the game will be played in Boise and will be for the Mountain West Championship.
“Whatever we did leading into this game, it didn’t work,” Harsin said. “You won’t see us do that again.”
Boise State never had a lead throughout the game. Junior quarterback Brett Rypien was 22/31 for 278 yards but wasn’t able to throw a touchdown. Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion was 23/36 throwing for 332 yards and two touchdowns.
“I thought we started fast, but I don’t know if we sustained much after that. We didn’t take advantage of field position,” Harsin said. “Overall, not good enough.”
Boise State junior cornerback Tyler Horton played with McMaryion in high school.
“When he came over here, I knew he was going to help their program,” Horton said. “I always knew he was a great quarterback. It was nothing new to me.”
The winner of the rematch will play in the Vegas Bowl. The game kicks off at 5:45 p.m. and can be watched on ESPN.