Boise State beats Wyoming 34-14
BOISE, Idaho (AP) Brett Rypien passed for 211 yards and three touchdowns and Jeremy McNichols rushed for 166 yards to lead Boise State to a 34-14 victory over Wyoming on Saturday night.
Boise State (6-2, 3-1), humbled in its worst Mountain West Conference loss in school history a week ago, needed the win to keep pace with Mountain Division-leading Utah State.
Wyoming (1-7, 1-3), which notched its first victory last week, suffered its largest defeat of the season.
The Cowboys' Brian Hill, who entered the game ranked fourth in the nation in rushing, eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season and became the fastest to reach that plateau in school history.
However, Boise State's defense held Hill well below his 140.7 yards per game average, limiting him to 76 yards on 23 carries. Wyoming mustered only 233 yards, its lowest output of the season.
''I think we're still a few classes away, but we're getting there,'' said Wyoming coach Craig Bohl, whose team lost 63-14 to Boise State a year ago. ''Our players have proven to be resilient. They continue to play hard even when we get down like we were.''
Wyoming started down because of a fast start by Rypien.
A week ago, Rypien was 6-of-15 passing with two interceptions and two lost fumbles in the first five possessions during the Broncos' 52-26 loss to Utah State.
Against Wyoming, Rypien completed 13 of his first 14 passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns in staking Boise State to an early lead.
''Tonight, (Rypien) hung onto the ball. He did a better job in the pocket. He stepped up and was aggressive that way,'' Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. ''Those are things you want to see the next week when you play - you want to see those mistakes being corrected. And he did that. It's just a continuation of his growth.''
Rypien started the scoring by hitting Thomas Sperbeck on a 13-yard touchdown pass on the Broncos' opening drive. Tyler Rausa's 39-yard field goal pushed Boise State's lead to 10-0, and McNichols bulled his way into the end zone on a 1-yard run.
With 7:37 left in the second quarter, Rypien connected with McNichols for a 4-yard scoring strike to give the Broncos a 24-0 advantage.
Wyoming scored its first points with less than a minute before halftime when Cam Coffman hit Jake Maulhardt for a 15-yard touchdown pass, cutting the deficit to 24-7.
A 36-yard scoring pass from Rypien to Sperbeck along with a 28-yard field goal by Rausa gave Boise State a 34-7 lead late in the third quarter.
Wyoming tried to fight back, but had to do so without Coffman, who left the field favoring his right shoulder and never returned. Backup quarterback Nick Smith engineered an 11-play, 83-yard drive that ended when he plowed into the end zone on a 6-yard run.
McNichols, who sat out the Utah State game from a concussion he suffered against Colorado State, factored into the offense in a prominent way, carrying the ball 33 times and catching seven passes for 36 yards.
''We wanted to come in and run the ball, but whatever coach calls going through the game, we go with it,'' McNichols said. ''It hurt just watching that game last week. So, I came in with a chip on my shoulder and wanted to help the team tonight.
''(All the opportunities) were just the flow of the game. Whether it's ten carries or 30 carries, I don't care as long as we win.''