Bowl-busting Broncos led by Rypien

By Anthony Andro

For the last 16 college football seasons there have been two things you could count – the Boise State Broncos would go bowling and bring a dynamic offense along with them.

Nothing has changed this year as the Broncos made it 17 straight bowls by clinching a trip to the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl. When they face Boston College in the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium, the Broncos (10-3) will buoy their hopes once again around a dynamic offense.

Senior quarterback Brett Rypien, the nephew of former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien, was the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year. Running back Alexander Mattison was a first-team all-conference selection after a season that saw him rank in the top 10 nationally in rushing yards. Two offensive linemen were also first team all-conference picks. Wide receiver Sean Modster has been Rypien’s favorite target and will likely go over the 1,000-yard mark in the game.

If the offense can keep it up against the Eagles, Boise State will have a chance to improve to 32-9 over its last three seasons. It all starts with Rypien.

“This is the class that’s been with us and helped us get to where we are now,” Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin said. “His game has elevated every week. Every single week we’ve been getting better. Every single week we’ve been able to convert third downs. His focus, his concentration habits are second to none.”

Rypien comes into the game as the national leader among active players in passing yards with 13,581. He’s the conference’s all-time leader in passing yards and completions, and has thrown for at least 300 yards 21 times, a Boise State and MWC record.

The Broncos rank 23rd nationally in total offense, averaging 460 yards a game. They also average 35.4 points a game, good enough for 25th nationally.

It’s been that kind of prolific offense that has allowed the Broncos to become a force on the national scene despite not being in a Power Five conference. One of the biggest reasons for their national resume has been the way they’ve performed in bowls against teams with higher national profiles.

Boise State is 12-6 all-time in bowl games and has feasted on Power Five schools along the way for a program that has reached double figures in wins in 16 of the last 20 years. The biggest win was the 2006 Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma but since then the Broncos have also beaten TCU, Utah, Arizona State, Washington, Arizona and Oregon.

Beating Boston College would just add to the impressive list.

“In the past we’ve played some really good teams in the bowl games, and that’s exciting for our players,” Harsin said. “Every one of our guys wants to play the best competition. I think we have competitors on this team so when you get a chance to play Boston College it gets you excited, so your preparation is important. It’s exciting. We’re looking forward to it. Bowl season is when everybody is watching. Everybody wants to see what the bowl games are like.”