A crushing loss for Bronco Nation, as the Mountain West Conference Championship Game wrapped up at Albertsons Stadium in overtime, 19-16.
Before tonight, the Fresno State Bulldogs had never won on the Blue (more appropriately called 'The White' tonight because of all the snow). This game was a classic between the Broncos and the Bulldogs, the old rivals battling it out for the Mountain West Conference Title.
🔶🔷🔶🔷6 On Your Side’s @madelinewhiteTV is down at Albertsons Stadium getting hyped with @BSUPimp for the #BoiseState vs. #Fresno game! Catch her tonight at 5:00 with @idahodent on 6 On Your Side! #BleedBlue 🔶🔷🔶🔷 pic.twitter.com/2iA1BHHEEA
— 6 On Your Side (@IdahoOnYourSide) December 1, 2018
Fresno struck first after Brett Rypien fumbled. Marcus McMaryion of Fresno threw a touchdown, but Boise State answered with a connection between Rypien and Sean Modster. After that, the snow really started coming down, making it hard on both offenses.
1Q, 1:56; 6-7 | TOUCHDOWN BRONCOS!!!
— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) December 2, 2018
Boise State engineered a beautiful 86 yard drive in the 4th quarter, capped by a huge run by Alexander Mattison, but Fresno blocked the extra point.
The kicking game marked a huge difference in this game, with Fresno State going two for two while the Broncos missed one and had a pat blocked. In overtime, the Bulldogs scored the game-winning touchdown.
Looking forward, the Broncos will play in a bowl game, but they fell just short of winning the Mountain West. The final bowl pairings will be announced tomorrow, but it's a possibility that the Broncos will return to Pheonix for the Cheez-It Bowl, to face a Pac-12 team.
Tonight was all about grit, not just for the players, but for the fans. People came out to support the "Boys in Blue" for all sorts of reasons, some to visit their alma mater, others because they love Boise, but all of them braved freezing cold temperatures as snow began to fall mid-game.
Of all the teams in the Mountain West Conference, Broncos fans are arguably the most loyal. The Broncos boast an average of 34,000 fans per game, the most of any in the league. For some tailgaters, it's not just about school loyalty, but loyalty to family. James and Shawna Cleveland came out to the game to support their son, sophomore left-tackle Ezra Cleveland, and say watching the games is "pretty cool."
"See him um excelling and going above and beyond what we've ever expected him to do," Cleveland said.
The past five starting left-tackles for the Broncos have ended up in the NFL.