No. 21 Boise State (5-2) entered Friday night on a four-game winning streak, but the Broncos are likely to fall out of the Top 25 after getting thumped, 52-26, by an unranked Utah State (4-2) team at Maverik Stadium on Friday night.
The Aggies impressed earlier in the season by remaining competitive in losses against Utah and Washington, but Friday evening's shellacking of the Broncos was a performance of an entirely different caliber.
Things were going well when Utah State led 17-3 after the first quarter, but a 28-7 advantage in the second frame put the Aggies in complete control. At that point, the rout was on.
Utah State forced seven—yes, seven—first-half turnovers, and as Bleacher Report's Bryan Fischer noted, the Aggies' numbers over the first 30 minutes would have been good enough for an entire game considering their opponent:
According to Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman, Boise State tallied just six turnovers all season prior to Friday night's contest. The seven first-half turnovers were also the most by any FBS team in the last 10 seasons, per ESPN College Football, as Boise finished with its most turnovers in a game (eight) since 1989, per the Idaho Statesman's Chadd Cripe.
Dave Southorn of the Idaho Statesman summed up the result for the Broncos, who had outscored their last four opponents 204-24:
Utah State scored 35 points off turnovers in the first half, and that absurd total allowed Matt Wells' side to cruise to a statement victory.
NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah noted Wells was the big winner Friday night:
Fox Sports' Stewart Mandel added Friday was another day at the office for a Utah State defense that entered the night ranked 18th in total defense:
Since Utah State's defense did so much of the heavy lifting throughout the first half, the Kent Myers-led offense merely had to control clock and play efficiently to salt away the Broncos.
Myers completed 17 of 24 passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran 14 times for 63 yards and a score. Running back Devante Mays tacked on 63 yards and a touchdown for good measure.
Boise State signal-caller Brett Rypien fell on the opposite end of the efficiency spectrum, which was surprising given the tear he'd been on since late September. Entering Friday night, Rypien had thrown seven touchdowns and one interception over his past three games. He also topped 300 yards in two of those outings.
Matched up against a stout defense, Rypien found rhythm to be elusive. He finished 25-of-50 for 299 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. Utah State also shut down Boise's rushing attack with gusto. The Broncos collectively rushed 30 times for 34 yards and a trio of short-yardage touchdowns.
Utah State imposed its will and became the first team to drop 50 points on Boise State in regulation since 1998, per Cripe, and the Broncos will now be tasked with rebounding as they face the prospect of relinquishing ranked status.
A matchup with Wyoming next Saturday should provide some relief, and Boise State will be looking to put on an explosive offensive display to forget Friday's struggles.
The Aggies, meanwhile, shot to the top of the MWC's Mountain Division, and they could conceivably win all six of their remaining regular-season games. Wells will need his defense to play well in late-season showdowns with BYU and Air Force, but a 10-2 finish isn't out of the question for a Utah State team on the rise.
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