Boise State came out roaring against Oregon, and held on late to win the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl. Here are five things that matter.
2017 Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State 38, Oregon 28
Prediction & Game Preview
Oregon 30, Boise State 24
Oregon -7.5, o/u: 59.5
5. Oregon didn’t show up until it was too late
Give the Ducks credit for battling back late to make it a game, but Boise State showed up in the Las Vegas Bowl jacked up to make a statement, and Oregon was sleepwalking. Considering what the players did to petition for Mario Cristobal to be the head coach, and with the talent on both sides of the ball, that wasn’t an okay start.
And no, it had nothing to do with star RB Royce Freeman sitting out, and it didn’t matter that he was on the sidelines. Oregon played poorly, and …
4. Boise State was phenomenal
The Boise State offense took some early chances, it tried a few quirky things – some really didn’t work – and it was sharp fro the start.
The Bronco defense came out roaring. Oregon’s offense didn’t know what the other side of the field looked like for a long, long time, and the defense – while it battled – got marched on way too easily.
The Bronco defense showed up with an attitude, with Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Leighton Vander Esch leading a charged up group that ended up allowing just 285 yards of total Oregon offense with a mere 52 rushing yards.
How good was Boise State? It could’ve and should’ve been 38-0 except for …
3. The Oregon defense came up with the most fun 30 second of bowl time you’ll see over the next month
Boise State was marching and about to make it 31-0 – or, at worst, go up 27 – but the Ducks’ Troy Dye grabbed a fumble on a botched Statue of Liberty play, and took it 86 yards for a touchdown.
The Broncos cranked out another great drive in a hurry to answer, but in the final few seconds of the first half, Brett Rypien threw a bad pass in the end zone, Tyree Robinson took it in stride, and he was off for.a 100-yard pick six.
Oregon’s D held firm at times in the second half, but when Boise State had to put the game away, it did.
2. Ugh. There were way, way too many mistakes
It was interesting. There were big plays, lots of stuff to talk about, and a whole slew of storylines with the way the game played out, but Oregon was penalized ten times, turned it over four more times, sputtered too often offensively, and couldn’t seem to block the Broncos at times.
Boise State turned it over three times – with those two that went to the house – and it struggled to drop the hammer and end this before the late final scoring drive.
Neither team could run, there was too much talk about Freeman sitting out, and it was a strange game all the way around. It was an interesting bowl – that’s all you can ask for.
1. The huge moment for the Mountain West – and Boise State
For the second year in a row, the Mountain West champion – San Diego State last year over Houston – came out roaring with a great performance in the Las Vegas Bowl. And now, Boise State has won seven of its last nine bowl games going back to 2010, it totally erases last year’s clunker of a Cactus Bowl performance against Baylor, and it now has bowl wins over Oregon, Arizona, Washington, Arizona State, Utah, TCU and Oklahoma going back to that epic 2007 Fiesta.
Blow off the loss to Fresno State last in the year – that was a weird game considering they had to play the week after in the Mountain West title game. The Broncos finished with a conference championship, a dominant bowl win over a brand name Pac-12 team, and an 11-win season.
It was the seventh-time in nine years Boise State won at least 11 games. That’s pretty good, even with the program’s impossibly high standards.