Cactus Bowl Up Next For Boise State
Dec. 19, 2016

2016 Cactus Bowl Header

Boise State
10-2, 6-2 MW
Boise State vs. Baylor
Tuesday, Dec. 27 | 8:15 p.m. MT
Chase Field | Phoenix, Ariz.
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Baylor Logo
6-6, 3-6 Big 12
Roster | Stats
Game Notes
Media Guide
Roster | Stats
Game Notes
Media Guide

BOISE, Idaho - The Boise State football team will travel to Phoenix to square off against Baylor in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl, Dec. 27 (Tuesday). The Broncos (10-2) and Bears (6-6) are slated to kick at 8:15 p.m. at Chase Field, home of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks, and the game will be nationally televised by ESPN.

The Broncos are making their 15th-consecutive bowl appearance, a streak that ranks tied for sixth nationally.

VS. THE BIG 12: Boise State is 2-0 against the Big 12, with each victory coming in a bowl game. The Broncos defeated Iowa State (34-16) in the 2002 Humanitarian Bowl, Dec. 31, 2002, the school's first victory over what has become known as a Power Five opponent. Boise State's second win came in the school's most-famous victory, a 43-42 overtime victory in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 1, 2007.

EXORCISING DEMONS: Boise State lost four games last season, and all four teams were back on the schedule for 2016. The Road to Redemption began Oct. 1 against Utah State, and continued against New Mexico (Oct. 7) and BYU (Oct. 20). The Broncos avenged the first three losses, but dropped its regular-season finale to Air Force (27-20).

SENIOR SUCCESS: Each of the last 14 Boise State senior classes have won at least 40 games during their careers, or an average of 10 victories per season. The 2016 class, currently sitting on 39-career victories, will need to win the 2016 Motel 6 Cactus Bowl to make it 15-straight senior classes, having won eight games in 2013, 12 in 2014 and nine last season.

NON-SATURDAY GAMES: Boise State's Tuesday (Dec. 27) contest against Baylor in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl will mark the team's sixth non-Saturday game of the season. The Broncos are 53-15 all-time in non-Saturday games, including a mark of 8-5 in bowl games. Boise State has previously played on Tuesday five times, including four bowl games. The Broncos are 3-2 overall on Tuesday, including a mark of 2-2 in bowl games.

AGAINST THE POWER FIVE: Boise State's Cactus Bowl matchup with Baylor will be the Broncos' third this year against a "Power Five" program. The Broncos are 2-0 in its matchups with the Power Five in 2016, defeating Washington State (31-28) and Oregon State (38-24) on Sept. 10 and Sept. 24, respectively, and with a win over Baylor could go 3-0 against the Power Five in a single season for the first time.

The Broncos enter the Cactus Bowl 14-5 against schools from the Power Five since the start of the 2006 season, and have won five in a row against such opposition. Boise State has also won 15 games against Power Five schools since 2003, third-best among all Group of Five teams over that span (BYU and Navy are tied with 23 apiece). It should be noted that all five of Boise State's losses to Power Five schools since 2006 have come on the road or at a neutral site. Since notching its first victory over a Power Five school, a 34-16 win over Iowa State in the 2002 Humanitarian Bowl, Boise State is 16-9 all-time in games against Power Five teams, and 16-21 overall.

McNICHOLS ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S TOP RBs: Junior running back Jeremy McNichols, a Doak Walker Award semifinalist, enters bowl season as the nation's leader in touchdowns with 27 and third with 23 rushing touchdowns. He also ranks fifth in the country in both rushing yards (1,663) and all-purpose yards (2,185), while leading the Mountain West in the latter category. Over the past two seasons (2015-16), McNichols' total of 53 touchdowns is the most of any FBS player. He has also scored a touchdown in 24-straight games, the longest streak in the FBS over the last 10 years.

He's eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the second-straight season and currently stands fifth in the FBS with 1,663 rushing yards. Nov. 18's 206-yard effort against UNLV was McNichols' third of the season, making him the first Bronco in school history to achieve that feat, with his previous two coming Oct. 15 against Colorado State in which he set career bests in carries (40), rushing yards (217) and all-purpose yards (264) in Boise State's 28-23 win, and Sept. 24 at Oregon State when he went for 208 yards and four touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving). McNichols' 40 carries against Colorado State also set a Boise State single-game record, eclipsing Cedric Minter's 38-year-old record of 38.

McNichols has also been a major threat out wide, catching 32 passes for 450 yards and four touchdowns this season, a year after hauling in 51 passes for 460 yards and six scores in 2015. On Oct. 20 against BYU, McNichols caught five passes for 109 yards including a catch that went for 76 yards and the game's opening score. Paired with his 140 rushing yards, McNichols' 100-100 game that night was just the fifth in Boise State history.

McNichols has also worked his way into good company in the Boise State record books. His 3,159 career rushing yards rank seventh at Boise State, his 44 rushing touchdowns fourth and his 55 total touchdowns tied for third all-time. McNichols has posted 16 100-yard rushing games in his career, tied for fifth-best at Boise State while he is one of just two Broncos to post three 200-yard rushing games. His total of seven career 200-all-purpose-yard performances is second in school history, just one back of leader Brock Forsey.

SPERBECK, WILSON MAKE BRONCO HISTORY: For the first time in Boise State history, the Broncos have produced a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in a single season as Thomas Sperbeck (1,193) and Cedrick Wilson (1,041) are both over the mark. Together, the pair has posted a combined 12 100-yard receiving games in 2016, with both hitting the century mark in four contests (Sept. 3 at Louisiana, Oct. 7 at New Mexico, Nov. 12 at Hawai'i, Nov. 25 at Air Force).

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