BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Pressure surrounded the Boise State Football program entering Friday night. The Broncos were tasked with having to win their final three games, to secure a seat in the Mountain West Championship.
First standing in their way, a Fresno State team, ranked 16th in the Associated Press poll.
BSU's gutsy performance led them to a second half rally, knocking off the Bulldogs.
Gameday vibes. Nothing beats it. This man drove up from California to follow his beloved Bulldogs.
"The Smurf Turf is difficult to play on, no matter what Boise State does, they're hard to beat at home and we know that. Respect, if we obviously beat them, it elevates us," explained Fresno State fan Punkin Salazar.
In the first half, Boise State had chances to capitalize, but went into the break with just a field goal by Haden Hoggarth.
The Bulldogs scored on a three yard touchdown play from Marcus McMaryion to Keesean Johnson, as well as an Asa Fuller field goal.
Down but not deflated, the Broncos knew they had to make changes.
"Just told the guys in the locker room, I don't feel like they stopped us, we were playing well, but we just need to finish drives," explained senior quarterback Brett Rypien who was 24-29, 269 yards, 1 TD, to go along with 33 rushing yards.
That's when Alexander Mattison took over. The junior back rushed for 91 yards in the second half alone to go along with two crucial touchdowns, tying up the game, as the fourth quarter began.
Mattison produced a memorable night overall with a total of 144 yards and two touchdowns, "we saw some weaknesses in their defense, and we saw some advantages in our offense, so we just started to do different strategies and it worked out for us."
Five minutes later, Brett Rypien connected with Khalil Shakir for the 49 yard touchdown and the defense prevailed...
"Games like that, this one and the BYU game it shows us how our practice and mentality really carries over into the game," said Tyson Maeva.
Maeva and Tony Lashley combined for a crucial sack with just over a minute to go, followed by the tipped pass by Avery Williams.
Coach Bryan Harsin said, "they showed toughness, they showed guts during that stretch. They overcame a loss against a really good San Diego State team and been able to find ways to win ballgames."
Boise State took this one, 24–17. Not only did the Milk Can return to Boise on Friday, but also hope.
Next up, an away game at New Mexico, followed by the season finale, Utah State at home on November 24th. The Aggies sit at 14th in the Associated Press poll and if they maintain that ranking, they'll will mark the highest ranked opponent ever at Albertsons Stadium.