BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Brett Rypien threw for 310 yards and a touchdown, Alexander Mattison rushed for 200 yards and three scores, and No. 21 Boise State beat No. 14 Utah State 33-24 on Saturday night.
Boise State (10-2, 7-1), which has won seven straight since losing to San Diego State on Oct. 6, will host Fresno State for the Mountain West championship on Saturday in a rematch from last season.
Utah State (10-2, 7-1) had its 10-game winning streak snapped as had its hopes dashed of earning a berth to one of the New Year’s Six bowls.
The Broncos relied on a bend-but-don’t-break defense as the offense struggled to land a knockout blow in a tight game throughout.
In a see-saw affair early, the game seemed to turn in Boise State’s favor after a big gamble by the Aggies.
Trailing 10-7 early in the second quarter, Utah State faked a punt on fourth-and-1 from its own 34 on a direct snap to tight end Dax Raymond. But Boise State, which had its defensive unit on the field, stuffed Raymond at the line of scrimmage.
Boise State promptly responded with a scoring drive that took seven plays and overcame a pair of personal fouls, culminating on a 1-yard run by Mattison.
Despite a 348-yard passing performance by Jordan Love, Utah State never seemed to find a rhythm on offense.
The Aggies stayed within striking distance late in the fourth quarter after Gerold Bright took a screen pass from Love and raced 83 yards for the touchdown.
But Boise State drove right back down the field, scoring on another 1-yard run by Mattison to ice the victory.
Utah State: The Aggies weren’t consistent on the road this season and it finally caught up with them. However, Love is only a sophomore and the future is bright for Utah State in the Mountain West.
Boise State: The Broncos have yet to put together four solid quarters since early in the season, but they continue to find a way to win in close games down the stretch. While this hasn’t been Bryan Harsin’s strongest team, it has been resilient and could be a formidable foe in a New Year’s Six bowl should Central Florida stumble next week and open the door for the Broncos.
Utah State: The Aggies will slide but shouldn’t fall all the way out of the rankings after losing a relatively close game to another ranked team.
Boise State: The Broncos may move up a couple of notches but there isn’t much room to climb, as most of the teams directly in front of them won over the weekend.
Utah State: The Aggies will await the bowl announcements on Dec. 2 to see where they will conclude the season.
Boise State: The Broncos will remain at home next week to host Fresno State in a rematch of last season’s Mountain West championship game.