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Utah State vs. Boise State winner hosts the Mountain West Conference championship

Posted: 2:48 PM, Nov 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-23 21:48:10Z

The #22 ranked Boise State Broncos host the #14 ranked Utah State Aggies on Saturday night, kickoff 8:15 at Albertsons Stadium.

It's a huge matchup where the winner will move on to host the Mountain West Championship game against Fresno State.

"We are just excited to have this opportunity to protect the blue," said running back Alexander Mattison. "We are just having fun with it, we are all excited and happy to be in this program."

A program that has enjoyed so much success which Eagle native Paul Semons got to watch growing up, he hasn't played much during his career at Boise State but the walk on is proud to play for the team he idolized as a kid.

"I was religious when it comes to watching Boise State I remember all the games like who we played before the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, which was Nevada," said Semons. "It has been great, it has been fun, it was a dream come true when I got the walk-on spot to come play for the Broncos."

Compare that with Senior Quarterback Brett Rypien who is rewriting the Mountain West record books, Rypien is the all-time leader in completions, passing years and needs seven touchdown passes to break that record, however, Rypien doesn't think those are his most important accomplishments.

"I think probably being a three-year captain," said Rypien. "It's something I never imagined would have happened and I don't think it happens too often, I have never taken that for granted and it is something that is really special to me."

As for the Broncos season, one of the biggest turning points came in the second half against Fresno State when something clicked for running back Alexander Mattison and the Broncos offensive line.

Boise State erased a fourteen point deficit as Mattison rushed for 91 yards, in his last four games the junior is averaging 128 yards per game compared to 71 through the first seven games.

"He's been great all year," said Rypien. "Alex probably has the hardest one thousand years I've ever seen anyone run."

That helps open up the passing game for Brett Rypien and that balance will be key against Utah State who leads the nation in interceptions and they are second in forcing turnovers.

The Aggies also have a good offense averaging the second most points in the country and something that has been on the mind of the Broncos coaches is their kick return game, they have the most kick return touchdowns in the country.