Boise State Claims MW Title
Dec. 03, 2017

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Brett Rypien threw for 246 yards and led a fourth-quarter comeback to help Boise State beat No. 25 Fresno State 17-14 on Saturday night in the Mountain West championship game.

Boise State (10-3), which lost 28-17 to the Bulldogs a week ago in Fresno in the regular-season finale, won its second conference title in four years.

Fresno State (9-4), which hasn't won in Boise since 1984, still completed one of the best turnarounds in college history under first-year coach Jeff Tedford after going 1-11 a year ago.

''To be in this position-even though we fell short tonight-this group has accomplished quite a bit,'' Tedford said. ''We have a lot to be proud of. Nobody believed in us coming off last season. ''We'll go back to the drawing board, but we'll be back.''

It was the fourth time in the past five years that the title game was decided by seven points or less.

Boise State had only mustered 103 yards of offense on its first four possessions of the second half until the Broncos broke out.

Rypien hit Cedrick Wilson on a 59-yard pass play to the Fresno State 36. After a pass interference call in the end zone put the ball at the 2, Ryan Wolpin, filling in for injured starting running back Alexander Mattison, powered his way into the end zone to give Boise State the decisive score.

''We faced a lot of adversity all year long, so this was nothing new for us,'' Rypien said of trailing for most of the game. Rypien, who earned offensive MVP honors, offered plenty of praise for Wilson, who had eight catches for 148 yards. ''Cedrick was getting double teamed all night long but he came up with some big plays at the end of the game when we really needed it,'' Rypien said.

Fresno State had two more possessions, but failed to get a first down. Marcus McMaryion's final pass was intercepted by Leighton Vander Esch

After two tough losses in September, Boise State strung together seven victories, including a 25-point comeback win on the road against Colorado State in overtime that kept its conference title hopes alive.

Fresno State: Playing consecutive games against Boise State proved too much for the Bulldogs after a dominant victory at home a week ago. McMaryion passed for 332 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-17 victory, but struggled to just 172 yards with no touchdowns and an interception in the title game. However, the Bulldogs will have a chance to add to their surprising turnaround in a well-deserved bowl game.

Boise State: The defense kept Boise State in the game, making significant adjustments after last week's loss. The halftime changes, however, proved to be the difference in the victory. Boise State held the Bulldogs to just 85 yards of total offense in the second half and forced a game-clinching turnover.

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