RENO — Trailing by seven points with 28 seconds remaining, UNR was on the verge of forcing another overtime thriller against Boise State.
But the ninth-ranked Broncos, who held the nation’s best rushing attack to 31 yards in the first half, did just enough, knocking down a pass in the end zone as time expired to remain undefeated with a 41-34 victory over the Wolf Pack.
“I knew it would be a tight game,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. “I knew they would make a run, especially if we turned the ball over.”
Kellen Moore passed for 414 yards and three touchdowns, including 319 yards by halftime when the Broncos led 24-3, but threw three interceptions in the third quarter.
Ian Johnson broke free for a 66-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for Boise State, which clinched its sixth Western Athletic Conference title in seven years. The Broncos (10-0, 7-0) close the regular season Friday at home against Fresno State.
Colin Kaepernick passed for 241 yards and a TD and ran for 70 yards for UNR (6-5, 4-3), which got the ball back with 1:34 left near midfield and moved to Boise’s 26 on Kaeper-nick’s 28-yard pass to Chris Wellington with 28 seconds left.
But a delay-of-game penalty pushed the Wolf Pack back, Kaepernick’s next three passes fell incomplete, and on fourth-and-13, cornerbacks Brandyn Thompson and Kyle Wilson knocked down his throw to wide receiver Marko Mitchell in the end zone.
Kaepernick entered the game completing 58 percent of his passes but connected on only 19 of 50 attempts.
Trailing by 21 points, the Wolf Pack intercepted Moore three times in the third quarter and returned two for touchdowns. Linebacker Jerome Johnson went 28 yards with one, and linebacker Josh Mauga went 46 yards with another to make the score 31-24.