McNichols Scores Thrice In Win
Sept. 19, 2015
The Broncos (2-1), coming off a gut-wrenching loss to BYU a week ago, suffered another tough loss when starting quarterback Ryan Finley left in the first quarter with a right ankle injury and never returned. His status is unknown for Boise State's game next Friday at Virginia.
Thomas Stuart, who filled in for Finley in the first half, threw for 69 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 46 more.
But in the second half, freshman quarterback Brett Rypien, the highly-touted recruit and nephew of former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien, made his debut and became the first true freshman to player the position at Boise State since Tony Hilde in 1993.
With Rypien at the helm, Boise State scored on all four of his possessions and he finished 8-of-9 for 126 yards.
Boise State coach Bryan Harsin refused to speculate as to who might start at quarterback next week.
"Both (Stuart and Rypien) operated and made the throws we expected them to make," Harsin said. "They both put themselves in this position to play through their prep.
"We don't know the extent of (Finley's injury) and how fast he'll heal, but things happen. This is where opportunity shows up for Thomas and Brett."
Idaho State (1-2) came away empty on two trips inside the Boise State 20.
"The bottom line for us is that we weren't accurate passing near (Boise State's) end zone," Idaho State coach Mike Kramer said. "We were able to move the ball but just couldn't find a way to score when we got down close."
Bengals quarterback Michael Sanders was 21 of 42 for 169 yards and an interception, while Xavier Finney led Idaho State with 38 yards on 14 carries.
The shutout was Boise State's first since blanking New Mexico 45-0 on Dec. 3, 2011.
After punting on its first possession, Boise State went 48 yards on eight plays, scoring on a six-yard run by McNichols.
On the Broncos' next possession, Finley was injured during a keeper on the third play of the possession. Stuart finished the 11-play, 95-yard drive, which ended on a 13-yard run by Devan Demas.
Stuart led the Broncos on two more scoring drives and a comfortable 28-0 lead before yielding to Rypien.
Rypien wasted little time in showing why he was so highly recruited. On his second drive, Rypien completed a 46-yard pass to Thomas Sperbeck on the Broncos' first deep throw of the game. On the next play, McNichols scampered into the end zone, pushing Boise State's lead to 42-0.
With Finley out, the Broncos relied heavily on its ground game, which amassed 344 yards on 58 carries. McNichols rushed for 69 yards on 15 carries, while Cory Young also ran for 69 yards on nine carries. Demas added 65 yards and one touchdown.
McNichols, who already has eight touchdowns this season, reveled in the fact that some of his teammates finally scored.
"We started running more downhill this week," McNichols said. "We try to do what we can on our running game. As a unit, we want to be good and see everybody succeed."
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