Halloween In Vegas
Oct. 26, 2015

Boise State
6-2, 3-1 MW
Boise State at UNLV
Saturday, Oct. 31 | 1:30 p.m. MT
Sam Boyd Stadium | Las Vegas, Nev.
TV: ESPNU
Video  |  Audio  |  Gametracker   
UNLV Logo
2-5, 1-2 MW
Roster | Stats
Game Notes
Media Guide
Roster | Stats
Game Notes
Media Guide
  
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BOISE, Idaho - The Boise State football team will play its ninth-straight game before its first bye of the season, a tilt at UNLV at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Saturday (Oct. 31). Th e Halloween showdown is set for 1:30 p.m. (MT), and will be televised on ESPNU.

The Broncos (6-2, 3-1 MW) are coming off a 34-14 victory at home over Wyoming, and will be playing their third road game in four weeks. UNLV (2-5, 1-2 MW) dropped back-to-back games before its bye last week.

HALLOWEEN GAMES: This week’s match-up with UNLV will be the seventh game in school history played on Halloween. The Broncos are 3-3 all-time on All Hallows’ Eve, the last such match-up coming in 2009 – a 45-7 victory over San Jose State. Four of the previous six such games have also been played on the road (2-2).

THE SERIES: Boise State leads the all-time series 5-3, including victories in each of the last three meetings. This will be just the third game played between the schools as Mountain West opponents, with the Broncos winning on the road in 2011 (48-21) and at home in 2012 (32-7). The schools were an even 3-3 when playing from 1972-77, each holding serve at its home stadium.

THOMPSON GETTING NATIONAL RECOGNITION: Redshirt senior safety Darian Thompson, the Mountain West’s career co-leader in interceptions with 18 (tied with Eric Weddle), shared the team lead with seven tackles (five solo) against Wyoming. Thompson was also a force on a safety blitz early, recording a sack of Wyoming quarterback Cameron Coffman.

Monday morning, Thompson, who shares the Bronco lead with four interceptions in 2015, got some more national recognition as he was named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to college football’s top defensive back.

Although Thompson didn’t have an interception against Wyoming, he remains tied with Weddle as the Mountain West’s all-time interceptions leader with 18. Thompson pulled into that tie with Weddle Oct. 10 at Colorado State, when he intercepted a Coleman Key pass in the first quarter of Boise State’s 41-10 win. The pick tied him for third-best in Boise State history with Gabe Franklin (2001-04).

This year his four interceptions are tied for the ninth-most in the country, just three behind national leader Shawun Lurry (seven) of Northern Illinois.

RETURNING WITH APLOMB: After missing Oct. 16’s game at Utah State due to injury, running back Jeremy McNichols made an emphatic return Saturday night against Wyoming, scoring twice and posting career highs in carries (33), rushing yards (166), touches (40) and receptions (seven).

McNichols’ 40 touches (33 carries, seven catches) set a Boise State single-game record, while his 33 rushing attempts tied for the fourth-highest in a game by a Bronco. His two touchdowns upped his season total to 16, tops in the Mountain West and second-best in the FBS behind Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman (18).

In addition to his career-best rushing totals, McNichols also accumulated 33 yards and a touchdown over his seven catches. His rushing touchdown was also his 13th of the season, best in the Mountain West.

SPERBECK MOVING UP THE RANKINGS: Wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck continued his surge in 2015 in Oct. 24’s win over Wyoming, catching six passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns.

The two touchdown catches put Sperbeck alone into the Mountain West lead with seven this season, while he also leads the conference in receiving yards (766), is second in yards per catch (19.6) and yards per game (95.8), and fifth in receptions (39). Over this six-game stretch (beginning Sept. 18 against Idaho State), Sperbeck has caught 34 passes for 725 yards and seven touchdowns. For the year, he has averaged 19.6 yards per catch, which currently ranks 10th on Boise State’s single-season list.


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