BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Ronnie Rivers scored on a 1-yard run in overtime to give No. 24 Fresno State a 19-16 victory over No. 19 Boise State on Saturday night in the snowy Mountain West championship game.
Fresno State (11-2, No. 25 CFP) won its first conference title since 2013, beating the Broncos (10-3, No. 22 CFP) on their blue turf for the first time in 10 tries.
Rivers scored after Boise State’s Haden Hoggarth made a 23-yard field goal on the opening overtime possession. Hoggarth had an extra point attempt blocked by Matt Boetang with 8:01 left, leaving it tied.
“We were in a couple of tough games here and weren’t able to finish them,” said Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford, who won a title in his second season with the Bulldogs. “But blocking the extra point to keep this game going really says a lot about this team. And we finally got the job done tonight.”
Boise State’s seven-game winning streak ended, and both teams’ dreams of crashing the New Year’s Six bowl games died when UCF beat Memphis to complete a perfect season.
“We’ve played (Fresno State) four times now and they’ve done a good job of getting themselves ready to play every time,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “Congratulations to Fresno. We just came up short. And the bottom line is that’s what it comes down to — and we didn’t do that tonight.”
With the temperature in the 30s and a constant mix of snow and rain falling, both teams struggled to sustain anything offensively.
An opportunistic Fresno State struck first, turning Brett Rypien’s fumble into a touchdown when Marcus McMaryion hit Michiah Quick on a 15-yard strike,
Rypien atoned for his mistake by driving Boise State and hitting Sean Modster on a 10-yard scoring play to tie it.
The Bulldogs cobbled together a 13-7 lead on Asa Fuller’s field goals in the second and third quarters.
With 8:01 left, Boise State’s Alexander Mattison ripped off a 34-yard run, muscling his way into the end zone with a defender draped on his back. However, Hoggarth’s extra point was blocked by Boetang.
McMaryion was 20 of 32 for 170 yards and one touchdown, and Rivers led the Bulldogs on the ground with 63 yards. Mattison rushed for 200 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries for the Boise State. Rypien threw for 125 yards, completing 15 of 31 passes with one touchdown.
Boise State’s last overtime game at home was a 69-67 victory over Nevada on Oct. 14, 2007.
Fresno State: The Bulldogs won’t move up much but could gain a spot or two after a few teams ahead of them lost this weekend.
Boise State: The Broncos aren’t likely to remain in the polls, but should have a chance to finish ranked with a win in their bowl game.
Fresno State: With UCF’s victory likely securing the Group of 5’s spot in the New Year’s Six bowls, the Bulldogs will head to the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 15 for a matchup with a Pac-12 team.
Boise State: The Broncos will find out the location and foe for their bowl game Sunday afternoon following the Bowl Selection Committee pairings announcement.