Rivers’ TD run in over­time sends Fresno State into Las Ve­gas Bowl

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - COLLEGE FOOTBALL - By Ja­son Cha­traw

BOISE, Idaho — Ron­nie Rivers scored on a 1-yard run in over­time to give No. 24 Fresno State a 19-16 vic­tory over No. 19 Boise State on Satur­day night in the snowy Moun­tain West cham­pi­onship game.

Fresno State (11-2, No. 25 CFP) won its first con­fer­ence ti­tle since 2013, beat­ing the Bron­cos (10-3, No. 22 CFP) on their blue turf for the first time in 10 tries.

The Bull­dogs will head to the Las Ve­gas Bowl at Sam Boyd Sta­dium on Dec. 15 for a matchup with a Pac-12 team.

Rivers scored af­ter Boise State’s Haden Hog­garth made a 23-yard field goal on the open­ing over­time pos­ses­sion. Hog­garth had an extra point at­tempt blocked by Matt Boetang with 8:01 left, leav­ing it tied.

“We were in a cou­ple of tough games here and weren’t able to fin­ish them,” said Fresno State coach Jeff Ted­ford, who won a ti­tle in his sec­ond season with the Bull­dogs. “But block­ing the extra point to keep this game go­ing re­ally says a lot about this team. And we fi­nally got the job done tonight.”

Boise State’s seven-game win­ning streak ended, and both teams’ dreams of crash­ing the New Year’s Six bowl games died when Cen­tral Florida beat Mem­phis to com­plete a per­fect season.

“We’ve played (Fresno State) four times now and they’ve done a good job of get­ting them­selves ready to play ev­ery time,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “Con­grat­u­la­tions to Fresno. We just came up short. And the bot­tom line is that’s what it comes down to — and we didn’t do that tonight.”

With the tem­per­a­ture in the 30s and a con­stant mix of snow and rain fall­ing, both teams strug­gled to sus­tain any­thing of­fen­sively.

An op­por­tunis­tic Fresno State struck first, turn­ing Brett Ryp­ien’s fum­ble into a touch­down when Mar­cus McMaryion hit Michiah Quick on a 15-yard strike,

Ryp­ien atoned for his mis­take by driv­ing Boise State and hit­ting Sean Mod­ster on a 10-yard scor­ing play to tie it.

The Bull­dogs cob­bled to­gether a 13-7 lead on Asa Fuller’s field goals in the sec­ond and third quar­ters.

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