Boise State’s Shane Williams-Rhodes out for game; Utah State football team wins Mountain Division

By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman


First quarter

BSU — Matt Miller 1 pass from Joe Southwick (Dan Goodale kick), 14:02. Key play: On the second play, tailback Jay Ajayi took a swing pass 64 yards down the left sideline. Drive: 3 plays, 65 yards, :58. Boise State 7, New Mexico 0

NM — Crusoe Gongbay 18 run (Justus Adams kick), 6:58. Key plays: The Lobos got the ball at the Broncos’ 33-yard line after a poor punt by Trevor Harman. Teriyon Gipson gained 10 yards on the option on third-and-5. Drive: 5 plays, 33 yards, 2:35. Boise State 7, New Mexico 7

BSU — Devan Demas 15 run (Goodale kick), 2:17. Key play: Backup Donte Deayon returned a punt 33 yards to the New Mexico 15. Drive: 1 play, 15 yards, :06. Boise State 14, New Mexico 7

Second quarter

BSU — Ajayi 29 pass from Grant Hedrick (Goodale kick), 7:16. Key plays: Ajayi ran for 4 yards on third-and-2 from the Boise State 9-yard line after a goal-line stand by the defense. On the drive, Ajayi accounted for 66 yards. Drive: 14 plays, 99 yards, 4:46. Boise State 21, New Mexico 7

Third quarter

NM — Adams 42 field goal, 11:25. Key plays: Gongbay gained 47 yards on third-and-1 but defensive end Gabe Perez sacked quarterback Clayton Mitchem to force the field goal. Drive: 7 plays, 51 yards, 3:35. Boise State 28, New Mexico 10

BSU — Ajayi 18 run (Goodale kick), 9:30. Key play: Ajayi gained 57 yards on the first play of the drive, which started at the 8-yard line. Drive: 5 plays, 92 yards, 1:55. Boise State 28, New Mexico 10

Fourth quarter

BSU — Miller 24 pass from Hedrick (Goodale kick), 14:22. Key plays: Miller made a 29-yard catch earlier in the drive. His TD came on fourth down. Drive: 8 plays, 72 yards, 2:57. Boise State 35, New Mexico 10

BSU — Miller 13 pass from Hedrick (Goodale kick), 7:31. Key play: Defensive end Gabe Perez recovered a fumble on the Broncos’ punt. Drive: 2 plays, 18 yards, :35. Boise State 42, New Mexico 10

NM — Gipson 22 run (Adams kick), 4:48. Drive: 6 plays, 62 yards, 2:43. Boise State 42, New Mexico 17



Harman throws a strike

Boise State senior punter Trevor Harman fired a perfect pass to wide receiver Matt Miller on a fake punt in the first quarter. The throw on an out route gave the Broncos a 12-yard gain on fourth-and-2.

Harman has one of the best arms on the team. In practice, he throws the ball downfield to simulate punts during punt-return practice to save the kickers’ legs.

The drive ended in a punt anyway.

Williams-Rhodes out

Boise State sophomore wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes, the team’s leading receiver, missed the New Mexico game with an injury. He injured a leg in the previous game at San Diego State.

Sophomore right guard Marcus Henry also missed the game with an injury. Redshirt freshman Mario Yakoo made his first start in his place. Sophomore right tackle Rees Odhiambo — who missed four of the previous six games — was available but did not start. Redshirt freshman Travis Averill started.

Senior quarterback Joe Southwick also returned to the starting lineup. He had missed four straight games with a broken ankle.

Defensive lineman commits

David Moa (6-foot-4, 260 pounds) of Kearny High in San Diego has committed to Boise State for the class of 2014, his coach said.

Here is the updated class:

— DB Khalil Oliver, 6-1, 185, Rocky Mountain HS
— QB Jalen Greene, 6-3, 194, Serra HS (Los Angeles)
— CB Brandon Lewis, 5-11, 180, Pleasant Grove HS (Elk Grove, Calif.)
— DL Greg Gaines, 6-1, 290, La Habra (Calif.) HS
— TE Drew Sample, 6-4, 235, Newport (Wash.) HS
— WR Sean Modster, 5-11, 190, Mission Viejo (Calif.) HS
— OL Jesse Sosebee, 6-5, 300, Edison HS (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
— OL Ryan Griswold, 6-5, 250, Pearland (Texas) HS
— DL/LB Jaylen Johnson, 6-4, 240, Centennial HS (Corona, Calif.)
— ATH Kekoa Nawahine, 6-2, 190, Rocky Mountain HS
— OL Troy Bacon, 6-4, 280, Oak Hills (Calif.) HS
— DL David Moa, 6-4, 260, Kearny HS (San Diego)

Quick hits

Boise State captains: cornerback Bryan Douglas, Miller, defensive end Demarcus Lawrence and linebacker Corey Bell. … Boise State wore all blue uniforms. … Former Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore was on the field for senior introductions to support his brother, wide receiver Kirby Moore. Kellen’s Detroit Lions played Thursday. … The Varsity B honorary captains were end Al Kiler (1940) and fullback Dave Toney (1966-70). … New Mexico won the coin toss and deferred. … Defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe carried the Hammer. … New Mexico senior left tackle Darryl Johnson gained 13 yards on a lateral in the first quarter. … The Broncos’ 99-yard drive in the first half was the longest since 2008 against Idaho State.



The Boise State football team will not play in the first Mountain West championship game.

Utah State crushed Wyoming 35-7 on Saturday to clinch the Mountain Division title with a 7-1 conference record.

Boise State, 5-2 going into tonight’s game against New Mexico (8:21 p.m., ESPN2), will finish second in the Mountain.

Utah State will play at Fresno State (7-1) at 8 p.m. MT next Saturday on CBS. The teams did not meet during the regular season.

A couple of odd footnotes: Boise State, which is 4-0 in the Mountain Division, is the only team in the Mountain West without a loss in its division; and the Broncos have not lost to a team in the Mountain Division since 1997.

The possible difference? Boise State’s three crossover opponents are 16-7 in conference play. Utah State’s opponents are 9-14.


Meanwhile, Colorado State rolled Air Force. That moved the Rams to 7-6 and gave the Mountain West seven bowl-eligible teams for six guaranteed bowl spots. That means the Mountain West is going to have to go out on the market and compete with other conferences to try to find a seventh spot. There are some projected openings, but the competition will be tough.

Here are the eligible teams:

Fresno State 10-1
Utah State 8-4
San Diego State 7-4 (at UNLV)
Boise State 7-4 (vs. New Mexico)
Colorado State 7-6
UNLV 6-5 (vs. San Diego State)
San Jose State 6-6

Here are the MW bowls:

1. Las Vegas Bowl, Dec. 21, vs. Pac-12 No. 5
2. Poinsettia Bowl, Dec. 26, San Diego, vs. MAC
(No pecking order for rest)
New Mexico Bowl, Dec. 21, Albuquerque, vs. Pac-12 No. 7
Hawaii Bowl, Dec. 24, Honolulu, vs. C-USA
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Dec. 21, Boise, vs. MAC No. 3
Armed Forces Bowl, Dec. 30, Fort Worth, Texas, vs. Navy

As I wrote yesterday, I’d expect the Mountain West to use Boise State to try to land a seventh bowl spot. The Broncos are the most marketable team other than Fresno State — and the Bulldogs appear set for a trip to Las Vegas. If a team gets left out of a bowl entirely, I think that will be UNLV unless it beats San Diego State — the Rebels lost to San Jose State, don’t have a marketable star quarterback (San Jose State has David Fales) and isn’t expected to travel a bunch of fans.

My current projected selections:

Las Vegas: Fresno State
Poinsettia: Utah State
New Mexico: Colorado State
Hawaii: UNLV
Famous Idaho Potato: San Jose State
Armed Forces: San Diego State
Non-MW bowl: Boise State

If the MW does not get a seventh bowl, here’s how I’d project it:

Las Vegas: Fresno State
Poinsettia: Utah State
New Mexico: Boise State
Hawaii: San Jose State
Famous Idaho Potato: Colorado State
Armed Forces: San Diego State

But I could see Boise State going to Hawaii or Armed Forces. One interesting note: San Jose State, Colorado State and San Diego State played in Hawaii this year. So the fact that Boise State did not could influence the Mountain West decision.



Monday blog: Southwick likely to start; Petersen press conference video
Tuesday story: Weekly notes
Tuesday blog: Mountain West Football Report
Wednesday story: Scouting New Mexico
Wednesday blog: Improved run defense will be tested
Thursday story: Gabe Linehan completes family’s college football odyssey
Thursday blog: Breaking down the bowl possibilities
Friday story: Kirby Moore, like Kellen, hopes to coach
Saturday story: Senior tribute
Murphy column: BSU offense probably here to stay

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Chadd Cripe has spent the past 12 years as the Boise State football beat writer. You can follow him on Twitter @IDS_BroncoBeat.

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