The Boise State football team will play the University of Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 16 at 1:30 p.m. (MST). The game can be seen live on ABC. This will be the third time the two teams have squared off, with Boise State winning both prior games in 2008 and 2009.
Boise State comes into the game after winning the Mountain West Conference Championship. Boise State finished the season with a 10-3 record, which included winning eight of their last nine games.
Oregon finished seventh in the Pac-12 conference but is on a two-game win streak. Oregon finished the season with a record of 7-5.
Boise State has one of the longest bowl streaks in the country and will be playing in their 16th straight bowl game. Oregon did not qualify for a bowl last year after they finished the season 4-8.
The last two games between Boise State and Oregon were memorable games for being some of Kellen Moore’s first games, in which he received national attention. The end of the game in 2009 was the most memorable. Following Boise State’s victory in the game, Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount punched Boise State linebacker Byron Hout, after Hout said something to Blount. Blount had to be restrained by coaches and carried out of the game.
After this incident, despite not playing again, some fans from both sides still feel animosity towards each other.
Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin is 4-1 against Pac-12 teams since being at Boise State. Oregon’s head coach Willie Taggart left to take the head coaching job at Florida State and has been replaced by interim head coach Mario Cristobal. Cristobal used to be the head coach at Florida International University from 2007 to 2012, where he had a 27-47 record. This will be the first game since then where he has been head coach.
The Boise State players have stated their excitement for this game.
“Anytime you get to play a big team, like a Pac-12 team, there’s added energy and motivation to bring your A game,” said Boise State sophomore safety Kekoa Nawahine.
Redshirt junior linebacker Leighton Vander Esch remembers watching the Boise State vs. Oregon games on television, and he realizes the feud that kind of comes with the game.
“It’s a great opportunity to go play them again,” Vander Esch said. “I know it’s been awhile since this program has played them. I know the feud that comes with it, growing up watching them and knowing all the hype that comes along with playing them.”
Harsin views this as another goal for his team to accomplish before the season is over.
“Our guys are excited,” Harsin said. “Excited to be in this game, obviously excited coming off the championship game. Knowing we have another opportunity, another goal to achieve and to do it against an opponent like Oregon is something that our guys are going to be looking forward to.”
This will be the last game for 15 seniors on Boise State. Those players are wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, quarterback Montell Cozart, wide receiver Austin Cottrell, running back Ryan Wolpin, linebacker Gabe Perez, linebacker Blake Whitlock, safety Cameron Hartsfield, offensive lineman Andrew Tercek, offensive lineman Mason Hampton, offensive lineman Archie Lewis, tight end Alec Dhaenens, tight end Jake Roh, wide receiver Brock Barr, defensive tackle Daniel Auelua and defensive tackle Austin Silsby.
The Broncos will come into the game as slight underdogs, according to Vegas oddsmakers—people whose job it is to set gambling lines for bettors—who list Boise State as +7.5 underdogs.