BOISE, Idaho — The last time UNR and Boise State squared off, the Wolf Pack mounted a furious second-half rally before winning the game on a field goal in overtime, ruining the Broncos’ bid for a second straight perfect season and even loftier postseason dreams.
So Boise State’s motivation heading into today’s rematch would seem clear.
“I call it just another game where we have something to prove,” safety George Iloka said of No. 4 Boise State’s focus heading into the game at Bronco Stadium. “I don’t want to call it revenge. It’s a different team we’re facing. Even if we beat this team this year, it won’t change what happened last year.”
Still, Iloka and the rest of his teammates acknowledge bitter memories linger from last season’s collapse in Reno.
The Broncos led by 17 at halftime and seemed poised and primed for a 10th straight win over their longtime conference rivals.
But UNR, led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, stormed back. Kaepernick threw for 259 yards and used his legs to help the Wolf Pack amass a whopping 258 yards on the ground in the second half. Aided by two missed Broncos field goals from short range — one with two seconds left in regulation and the other in overtime — UNR went on to beat then-No. 3 Boise State, 34-31.
UNR coach Chris Ault immediately declared the victory the biggest in school history.
For the Broncos, the loss ended their 24-game winning streak and dashed any hopes of appearing in the BCS title game.
The Wolf Pack team (1-2) coming to Boise is different from the one that gave the Broncos (3-0) second-half fits last year. Kaepernick, the key to UNR’s potent pistol offense, and defensive leader Dantay Moch, are gone and playing in the NFL.
Ault has yet to find an answer to replace Kaepernick, and through the first three games has shared control of the offense between senior Tyler Lantrip and redshirt freshman Cody Fajardo, depending on the game situation.
“They’ll both be a part of this offense and play (today),” Ault said. “We’ll try to utilize both of their talents as best we can.”UNR VS. BOISE STATE
WHEN: 11:30 a.m. today
WHERE: Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho
TV/RADIO: Versus (38); KBAD-AM (920)
LINE: Boise State -27, total 60.5