For the second straight season, Fresno State and Boise State will meet with a Mountain West championship on the line. This time, a berth in a New Year’s Day bowl could be on the line.
Last year, Brett Rypien’s 246 passing yards helped the Broncos squeeze past the Bulldogs for a 17-14 win, but their conference title and 10-win season was gifted over the meager reward of a slot in the Las Vegas Bowl. But with Central Florida suddenly vulnerable for a loss without quarterback McKenzie Milton, the FBS’s mandatory Group of 5 bid for January 1 could shift west.
That’s no easy path to a Fiesta Bowl spot, but it’s still viable. Saturday’s game pits two of the NCAA’s most impressive and overlooked teams against each other in a pivotal rematch. Fresno State’s only losses have come against a better-than-expected Minnesota team and Boise. Boise State’s defeats came against the Oklahoma State random event generator and a since-cratered 7-5 San Diego State team. Those aren’t great resumes, but they could cover enough group to slide past a one-loss UCF team and into the promised land of a premier bowl.
The S&P+ ratings see Fresno State as the nation’s No. 10 team. Boise State clocks in at 29th, one slot behind a 6-6 Oklahoma State. That puts the Bulldogs in the driver’s seat, even after losing to the Broncos on November 10. But last year’s MWC title game was a tale of revenge, and this one will be too; Fresno State pulls off a narrow win for the conference crown.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 7:45 p.m. ET
- Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
- TV: ESPN
- Streaming: WatchESPN
- Odds: Boise State is favored by 2.5 points.
Fresno State vs. Boise State news:
- So the last time these teams played, things got a bit controversial.
- The Broncos fit seven players on the year-end All-Mountain West first team. Fresno State had four players on the first team — but that included defensive player of the year Jeff Allison.
- How much did a win over a fading Utah State team prep Boise for its rematch with Fresno State?
What will Brett Rypien’s final game in Boise look like?
Rypien has been a powerhouse in his four years as starting quarterback in Boise. 2018 has been his finest performance yet. He’s set career highs in completion rate, passing yards per game, and passing touchdowns to lead the Broncos back to the spotlight.
He’ll get a national stage Saturday night to show what he can do. Another big performance won’t just bring Boise State a conference title, but also could be a major boost to his NFL Draft stock