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Shot by TQ. Edited by Trisha LaCoste

FSM Recap: UNLV vs Boise State –  2023 Mountain West Conference Championship Game

Franchise Sports Media.com

UNLV Rebels (9-4/6-2) | Boise State Broncos (8-5/6-2)

 

The 2023 Mountain West Conference Championship game was UNLV vs Boise State on Saturday. The Broncos dominated the Rebels en route to the MWC crown.

It was the UNLV vs Boise State on Saturday.

UNLV vs Boise State | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Alon Sowell/Franchise Sports Media

Allegiant Stadium held its first-ever Mountain West Conference championship game on Saturday afternoon as UNLV hosted Boise State. It was the 11th time the Broncos played for the MWC title, while it was the first time the Rebels played in the conference championship game.

A sea of scarlet flooded the stadium as a Mountain West Conference championship record crowd of 31,473 filled the seats. Hopes were high as UNLV fans tailgated in front of the stadium. “Go Rebels” was heard from the Allegiant Stadium employees ushering people in. For the first time, Allegiant Stadium felt like a college stadium for UNLV.

The game started with each team scoring on their first possession, and the score was tied at 14 until early in the second quarter. But costly turnovers led to 10 Broncos points as they took a two-score lead into the half. 

Boise State was just too much in the second half as they defeated UNLV 44–20 to win the Mountain Conference championship. 

But as disappointing as it may be for the players, fans, and coaches, we must use some perspective. UNLV was playing with house money. Before the season began, if you were told that UNLV would have nine wins and be playing for a conference championship, but they would lose, almost every Rebels fan would say that would be a successful season.

 

UNLV vs Boise State | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

No one expected them to be playing for the conference championship, and very few expected them to make a bowl, so they already exceeded expectations. Barry Odom has set the benchmark in his first year as head coach. The standard has been set, and there is no turning back.

Coach Odom challenged the fans to come out and give the Rebels a home-field advantage earlier in the week. The rebellion did just that, and now they have shown that they will come out and support the team. 

I want to thank Vegas, it was a great environment. When we walked in, you felt it, we felt it even pulling into the stadium, and that’s what this place is going to be,Coach Odom said after the game. “I hate that we came up short, but we’re going to be back in this arena, and that’s the standard. That’s what one of our goals will be every single year. I’m thankful for our coaching staff and our administration, and these players are a heck of a crew.”

So, as the disappointment leaves the players, coaches, and fans alike, excitement should rise as UNLV will find out their Bowl fate midday on Sunday afternoon. 

UNLV vs Boise State at Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas Sports news today from Las Vegas sports teams.

UNLV vs Boise State – 1st Quarter:

It was the start of the UNLV vs Boise State first quarter. 

UNLV vs Boise State | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

On Boise State’s first possession, Taylen Green led the Broncos down and scored from 8 yards out to give Boise State a 7–0 lead after the extra point. The drive was eight plays and went 75 yards in 3:52.

UNLV now had the ball and started their own drive. Jayden Maiava hit Ricky White III early and often to kick off the Rebels opening. On this drive, White III became the single-season receiving yardage record holder in UNLV history. White III broke one of the oldest significant records left in the UNLV record book. His 1,386 yards moved him past Jim Sandusky, who had 1,346 way back in 1981.

Maiava led UNLV on a 13-play, 87-yard drive capped off by Vincent Davis Jr. 5 yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7–7.

Boise State came right back down and scored a touchdown on the ground; this time, Ashton Jeanty scored from 5 yards out to give Boise State a 14–7 lead. That drive lasted 8-plays and went 75 yards.

UNLV went three and out and punted. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 14–7 Boise State. 

It was the end of the UNLV vs Boise State first quarter. 

UNLV vs Boise State – 2nd Quarter:

The start of the UNLV vs Boise State second quarter. 

UNLV vs Boise State | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Alon Sowell/Franchise Sports Media

On the very first play to start the second quarter, Green was intercepted by Fred Tompkins, who returned it 47 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 14 apiece. Allegiant Stadium was rockin’, Rebels fans were loud and into the game, and momentum has swung UNLV’s way.

Boise State answered right back and quickly. It took them three plays to go 75 yards as Green bolted for a 57-yard touchdown to give the Broncos a 21–14 lead.

UNLV was marching down the field, but Maiava fumbled the ball after picking up 9 yards, and Boise State recovered it. The Rebels had gone 41 yards on three plays before the fumble and looked poised to score.

Boise State once against court quickly. This time, Green kept the ball and went 70 yards to pay dirt to give Boise State a 28–14 lead. 

Just three plays later, Maiava was intercepted by A’Marion McCoy, and the Rebels’ second quarter of horror continued. UNLV defense did a good job, holding Boise State to a field goal to make the score 31–14.

UNLV answered Boise State with a field goal of their own. Jose Pizano nailed a 51-yarder to cut the score to 31–17.

Neither team scored for the remainder of the second quarter. UNLV was set to receive the ball to start the second half and hoped to have another comeback in them.

UNLV vs Boise State at Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas Sports news today from Las Vegas sports teams.

UNLV vs Boise State – 3rd Quarter:

It was the start of the UNLV vs Boise State third quarter. 

 

UNLV vs Boise State | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

UNLV went 45 yards on 12 plays but were headed to another Pizano field goal to make the score 31–20. But Boise State went 41 yards and kicked the field goal out of their own to once again make it a two-touchdown game, 34–20.

UNLV got a huge kick return by Jacob De Jesus that set them up to start their drive at the 50-yard line. But the Broncos’ defense was stout, and on fourth and five, UNLV decided to go for it as Maiava ran up the middle but only gained 4 yards, and it was a turnover on downs. 

Boise State scored again as Green hit Matt Lauter for a 16-yard touchdown. After the extra point, the Broncos led 41–20.

It was the end of the UNLV vs Boise State third quarter. 

UNLV vs Boise State – 4th Quarter:

The start of the UNLV vs Boise State fourth quarter. 

UNLV vs Boise State | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

On UNLV’s first possession, they gained -5 yards on three plays and were forced to punt. The Rebels, defense, who started to play better as the game went on, forced the Boise State turnover as Jaxen Turner forced a fumble that was recovered by Jerrae Williams. 

Unfortunately, two plays later, Maiava was intercepted, and Boise State again had the ball and the momentum.

The Broncos didn’t get a yard, and we’re forced to put after three plays. Maiava was pulled due to injury, and UNLV inserted Doug Brumfield in at quarterback. The offense still didn’t get going as they were forced to put after three plays. 

Boise State added a late field goal to make the score 44–20, which was the final score.

 

UNLV vs Boise State | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Alon Sowell/Franchise Sports Media

On the day, Jayden Maiava was 15–29 for 166 yards. He did not throw a touchdown and had two interceptions and a fumble on the evening.

Ricky White III led the way for the Rebels receivers with six catches for 86 yards. White III now has 81 receptions on the season, putting him in fourth place at the school and seven shy of Ryan Wolfe’s 88 posted in 2008. De Jesus also had six receptions for 55 yards. Vincent Davis Jr. had 14 rushes for 61 yards and a touchdown on the day.

Defensively, Jonathan Baldwin had 12 tackles, while Jackson Woodard had nine and a sack to lead the Rebels. Fred Tompkins had three tackles and an interception that he returned 47 yards for a touchdown. Thompkins’ pick-six marked UNLV’s 14th interception of the season but the first this season that went back for a score. The last interception UNLV returned for a TD was in 2022.

UNLV vs Boise State at Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas Sports news today from Las Vegas sports teams.

UNLV will now wait to see where and who they play in their Bowl game, with the announcement happening Sunday afternoon. Thanks for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news today.

 

Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas sports news about Las Vegas Sports teams.

-Joe Arrigo   Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on X, Threads, and Instagram: @JoeArrigoFSM

 

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