BOISE, Idaho — Despite Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien’s sparkling passing performance in the Broncos’ 41-14 rout of Nevada on Saturday night, he’s not above receiving unconventional coaching.
After leaping up and catching a 15-yard wide receiver pass from Cedrick Wilson, Rypien went back to the huddle and received some direction from Wilson.
“Cedrick told me that’s what he wanted me to do on the next deep ball_just throw it up there so he could make a play,” Rypien said after the game. “So, I said, ‘All right.’ And he just went up and made the play.”
The play Rypien referred to was a 44-yard grab by Wilson on a goal line in double coverage, a scoring strike that helped Boise State retake the lead early in the second quarter and never look back.
“Brett is seeing things on the field,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “His vision is better, and his passing is better.”
Rypien, who has shared playing time this season with graduate transfer Montell Cozart, has thrived in the dual system. He finished 20-of-27 passing for 258 yards and two touchdowns.
Boise State (7-2, 5-0 Mountain West Conference) won its fifth straight game and also recorded its fifth consecutive victory over conference rivals.
Nevada (1-8, 1-4), which lost its previous two games by a combined total of five points against Colorado State and Air Force, looked overmatched after putting up a fight early.
After falling behind 7-0 and then again at 14-10 early in the second quarter, Boise State turned to Rypien to spark the Broncos’ offense. The result was more than enough firepower to extinguish any hopes Nevada had of an upset.
Rypien’s touchdown pass to Wilson gave the Broncos a 17-14 lead, but Rypien was far from finished.
He led Boise State on its next two drives that ended with touchdowns_one on a 1-yard scoring run by Ryan Wolpin and the other on another 25-yard pass to Jake Roh_as the Broncos built a 31-14 halftime lead.
Alexander Mattison, who rushed for 64 yards and two touchdowns, added a 6-yard TD jaunt on the Broncos’ opening drive of the second half to take a 38-14 lead and the Wolfpack never threatened after that.
Nevada’s Kelton Moore was the first running back to eclipse the 100-yard mark against Boise State’s defense this season, finishing with 106 yards. But an inaccurate passing game that threw three interceptions stunted the Wolfpack’s offense all game long.
“We had too many turnovers,” Nevada coach Jay Norvell said. “We ran the ball well early, but we weren’t sharp enough in the passing game to stay in it.”
Nevada quarterback Ty Gangi threw three interceptions in a single game for the third time this season, something the Wolfpack can ill-afford the rest of the season if they hope to notch a victory in their final three games. Nevada’s offense has been steadily improving under Norvell in his first year as head coach, but it’s clear there is little margin for error with his young team.
Boise State stumbled out of the gate with losses in September to Washington State and Virginia, but the Broncos have turned their season around. If Boise State wins two of its next three conference games, the Broncos will have a chance to win their first Mountain West title since 2014.
“We’ve been here before,” Harsin said, recalling the past two seasons when the Broncos fizzled out at the end of the season and lost an opportunity to play for the conference championship. “What can we do_the minimum or the maximum? That’s not how we want to operate. Every game is important for us. There are no throwaway games, and we want to win them all.”
Nevada returns home next Saturday to host San Jose State, while Boise State travels to Fort Collins for a matchup with conference foe Colorado State.