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Sophomore running back Ronnie Rivers dashed for the winning 1-yard score in overtime as No. 25 Fresno State edged No. 22 Boise State 19-16 on Saturday night in the Mountain West championship game in heavy snow in Boise, Idaho.
Rivers received an option pitch from senior quarterback Marcus McMaryion and outraced defenders into the right corner to give the Bulldogs (11-2) their third-ever Mountain West title.
The victory also snapped a 10-game losing streak on the blue turf in Boise for the Bulldogs. Fresno State’s last win in the Idaho capital city was in 1984, two years before the famous surface was installed.
Junior running back Alexander Mattison matched his season high of 200 yards on 40 carries for the Broncos (10-3). It is his second straight 200-yard outing and third of his career.
Boise State had the ball first in overtime and stalled at the Fresno State 6-yard line. Senior Haden Hoggarth kicked a 23-yard field goal to give the Broncos a 16-13 lead.
Fresno State knew it could win with a touchdown and finished off the game with the five-play drive to win the conference crown just two years after suffering through a 1-11 campaign.
McMaryion passed for 170 yards and one touchdown and redshirt freshman Asa Fuller kicked two field goals for the Bulldogs.
Boise State senior quarterback Brett Rypien struggled in the elements and was just 15-of-31 passing for 125 yards.
Fuller’s 44-yard field goal through heavy snow gave the Bulldogs a 10-7 lead with 3:20 left in the first half.
Fuller added a 38-yarder with 11:07 remaining in the third quarter to increase Fresno State’s lead to six.
Boise State tied the game when Mattison exploded for a 34-yard touchdown run with 8:01 remaining. The point-after attempt was blocked by Fresno State senior Matt Boateng.
There was freezing rain in the first quarter when Rypien had the ball slip out of his hands while preparing to pass with Fresno State junior defensive end Mykal Walker recovering at the Boise State 20-yard line.
Three plays later, McMaryion tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout Michiah Quick in the left corner of the end zone for a 7-0 lead with 9:03 remaining in the quarter.
The Broncos answered with a 15-play, 75-yard drive with Rypien connecting on a 10-yard touchdown pass to senior Sean Modster in the back of the end zone to knot the score at 7 with 1:56 left.
—Field Level Media