Boise State sat comfortably in the national spotlight back on Nov. 6 when it hosted BYU in a Friday night showdown of highly-regarded non-power conference teams. The Broncos were 2-0 and ranked No. 21 at the time, while BYU was 7-0 and ranked No. 9. A win would have catapulted Boise State in the national rankings and made the Broncos a contender for a New Year’s Six bowl game. However, the Broncos were missing their top two quarterbacks and lost 51-17, which largely relegated them to continuing their season off the national radar.
But the Broncos have regained their form in two games since as they carry the nation’s second-longest conference winning streak into Saturday’s regular-season finale against Wyoming, which is one of five games set to be shown on CBS Sports Network this weekend. The Broncos (4-1) have won 13 straight league games, second only to Ohio State’s 20-game conference winning streak. With sophomore quarterback Hank Bachmeier back in the lineup, Boise State has again looked like one of the top Group of Five teams.
The Broncos have all but assured themselves a spot in the Mountain West title game, but they can close their regular season with a statement on Saturday and potentially position themselves to reclaim a spot in the polls with a victory next week in the Mountain West title game.
But before we get to that game, the action kicks off on Friday with another Mountain West showdown when Nevada plays host to San Jose State. Both teams are among the best in the conference this year and looking for a spot in the conference title game.
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Storylines: Nevada (6-1) has won 10 of the last 11 in the series and three straight, but the Spartans (5-0) are on the rise under fourth-year coach Brent Brennan and could be poised to a steal a victory in a high-stakes game, as this year’s winner will position themselves to play in the Mountain West title game. Though it’s still technically a home game for San Jose State, the contest has been moved to Las Vegas due to COVID-19 restrictions in the Spartans’ home county.
Storylines: Buffalo has already clinched a spot in the MAC title game, but the Bulls, who are ranked No. 24 in the AP poll, will look to stay undefeated as 32.5-point favorites against 1-4 Akron. It’s the Bulls’ first game since running back Jaret Patterson tied an FBS record with eight touchdowns in a 70-41 win over Kent State on Nov. 28. Patterson needs 80 yards to become just the 12th player in FBS history to reach 1,000 yards rushing in five games.
Boise State vs. Wyoming
Storylines: The Broncos (4-1) have likely already clinched their spot in the Mountain West title game but can close the regular season with a 14th straight conference victory if they handle business at Wyoming. Boise State’s only loss came against BYU in nonconference play when it was missing its top two quarterbacks. Otherwise, it’s been smooth sailing as the Broncos have won their four league games by an average of 21.8 points. Wyoming (2-3) is coming off a shocking loss to previously winless New Mexico, but the Cowboys played Boise State close in a 20-17 loss last season.