Bron­cos down Bull­dogs in Moun­tain West clash

The Maui News - - SPORTS - By JA­SON CHATRAW The As­so­ci­ated Press

BOISE, Idaho — Brett Ryp­ien threw for 269 yards and Alexan­der Mat­ti­son rushed for 143 yards and a pair of touch­downs to lead Boise State to a 24-17 up­set over No. 16 Fresno State on Fri­day.

Boise State (8-2, 5-1 Moun­tain West), which hasn’t lost to Fresno State at home since 1984, beat a ranked team for the first time in Novem­ber in pro­gram his­tory to keep its con­fer­ence ti­tle as­pi­ra­tions alive.

Fresno State (8-2, 5-1) en­tered the game as the na­tion’s No. 2 scor­ing de­fense and had only given up three touch­downs in con­fer­ence play be­fore fac­ing the Bron­cos.

Ryp­ien, who be­came the Moun­tain West’s all-time pass­ing leader in both yards and re­cep­tions, hit Khalil Shakir in stride on a 49-yard scor­ing strike with 9:22 re­main­ing in the fourth quar­ter to give the Bron­cos a 24-17 lead.

The Bron­cos held Fresno State on its fi­nal two drives be­fore run­ning out the clock to se­cure the vic­tory.

Lead­ing 10-3 at half­time, Fresno State ap­peared to take con­trol of the game by driv­ing 75 yards on the open­ing pos­ses­sion of the sec­ond half and scor­ing on a 1-yard run by Ron­nie Rivers for a 17-3 ad­van­tage.

But Boise State stormed back, scor­ing on con­sec­u­tive pos­ses­sions on a pair of short runs by Mat­ti­son to knot the score at 17.

The Bull­dogs’ faint hopes to emerge from the Group of Five and earn a berth in a New Year’s Six bowl dimmed with the loss. How­ever, they still have a chance to win the West divi­sion and get back to the con­fer­ence ti­tle game.

Mean­while, the Bron­cos still have plenty of work to do in or­der to get an op­por­tu­nity to de­fend their con­fer­ence ti­tle, in­clud­ing a home date in two weeks against Moun­tain divi­sion leader No. 14 Utah State.

AP photo

Brett Ryp­ien of Boise State passes in the first half.

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