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Boise State beats Oregon with a strong defensive effort in the Las Vegas bowl

The Broncos are now 4-0 in the Vegas bowl, and they end the season on a positive note.

Las Vegas Bowl - Boise State v Oregon Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

Final: Boise State 38, Oregon 28.

That score may not scream defensive effort, but trust that it was. The Ducks scored two defensive touchdowns late in the first half and a late TD in garbage time near the end of the game. The Broncos stifled Oregon all day, and UO only crossed Boise State’s 40-yard line twice.

Boise State also got four turnovers and threw an interception of their own in the red zone while driving for a possible score.

For Oregon, the debut of new head coach Mario Cristobal is spoiled.

Fourth quarter

Boise State 38, Oregon 28.

Oregon scores at the end. Good for you, Ducks.

2:22. Boise State 38, Oregon 21.

And that’ll do it. Boise State seals it with a pirouette again.

10:07. Boise State 31, Oregon 21.

Oregon might not be done yet. The Ducks pull within 10 points with a TD to start the fourth quarter.

Third quarter

We got a FRACAS in the Vegas bowl.

But there are levels to this too. That punch was eight years in the making from the last time the two teams played.

9:41. Boise State 31, Oregon 14,

Boise State scores on a 13-yard TD pass. It’s one of those back-breaking TDs because it looked like Oregon had a chance to make a tackle and continue on the comeback trail by holding the Broncos to a field goal. But it was all for naught as Boise State scored and extended its advantage.


Boise State 24, Oregon 14.

The Ducks were getting routed, but they turned things around swiftly at the end of the half. Troy Dye had an 86-yard fumble return for a touchdown with 54 seconds left in the second quarter, giving UO its first points.

Then Tyree Robinson intercepted a Brett Rypien pass and ran it back 100 yards, making it 24-14 with 23 seconds left in the quarter. It was a wild turn of events, but we’ve got a game now.

Second quarter

5:11. Boise State 24, Oregon 0.

Now four turnovers committed by the Ducks and the rough afternoon keeps getting worse for the Ducks. The Broncos’ defense isn’t just opportunistic though, they haven’t let Oregon cross the 50-yard line. It is a consummate beatdown.

8:59. Boise State 17, Oregon 0.

The Broncos extend their lead, and Oregon isn’t doing much of anything well on offense.

First quarter

1:21. Boise State 14, Oregon 0.

It’s a hot start for Boise State.

Oregon’s offense on the other hand has been really bad. Conventional wisdom said the Ducks would be better on offense with the reinsertion of QB Justin Herbert. That isn’t the case.

Oregon has now turned the ball over twice, and this one’s close to being a blowout. It would have been more if not for this circus interception earlier in the game.

8:17. Boise State 7, Oregon 0.

Boise State scored to open the game on a relatively normal play post-snap. But pre-snap, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen this. It’s like synchronized swimming on the football field.

I’m not really sure what the motivation or justification is for the pirouettes here. Maybe it’s to create better blocking angles on the defenders? That is purely a guess. Either way, it looks pretty cool.

15:00. Oregon 0, Boise State 0.

Oh, hello there. This is low-key one of the cooler uniform matchups of bowl season. Nice color rush aesthetic we’ve got going on here.


The Boise State Broncos and Oregon Ducks will meet for the first time in nearly a decade in the 26th Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday. The game is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

All eyes are on Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, who had the Ducks off to a 4-1 start before he broke his collarbone in a victory over Cal on Sept. 30. Herbert returned for Oregon’s final two games, both of which were wins, but that was only good enough to lift the Ducks to a 7-5 record.

Herbert is considered a potential Heisman Trophy candidate going into 2018, and if he can give his Ducks a victory on Saturday, it should do wonders for his confidence and future going into the offseason.

Boise State finished the season with a 10-3 mark, atop the Mountain West division. It has beaten the Ducks the last two times they played. Their last meeting from Sept. 3, 2009, lives on in infamy for the punch thrown by then-Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount on Byron Hunt following the game.

The Broncos are no strangers to the Las Vegas Bowl, winning three straight from 2010-12, and are making their 16th consecutive bowl appearance for the game.

Below is all you need to know to watch the action, stream the game and more.

Time, TV channel, and streaming info

  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • TV: ABC
  • Streaming: WatchESPN
  • Odds: Oregon opened as 5-point favorites, and that line increased on most books throughout the week

Oregon vs. Boise State news:

  • For Oregon football, it got some big news prior to the bowl game, as Mario Cristobal was named head coach. It seems like everyone in the locker room wanted Cristobal to get the job, and now he has.
  • Both Boise State and Oregon have players represented on SB Nation’s list of All-Americans for 2017. Curtis Weaver of Bosie State is an honorable mention at defensive end. Tyrell Crosby and Royce Freeman of Oregon are both listed for their teams.
  • Boise State fans are aware of the Herbert effect, though. They talked about it at length over at One Bronco Nation Under God.

The Ducks are a different team when hometown hero Justin Herbert is under center and as luck wouldn’t have it...he’ll be in action for the Ducks on Saturday. Herbert had to sit five games this season with an injury and during the stretch the Ducks went 1-4 and were crushed on consecutive weeks by WSU, Stanford, and UCLA—managed to get past Utah and then put up a measly 3 points on Washington. The fun was over for the Pac-12 after that as Herbert returned for the last two games of the season, leading the Ducks to dominant wins over Arizona and rival Oregon State. With Herbert? Ducks were 6-1 and averaged 52 points a game. Without Herbert? Ducks were 1-4 and averaged 15 points per contest. Frankly, Herbert may be a wizard.