Friday’s Top 25: Utah State upends Boise State

Associated Press

Logan, Utah — Utah State entered Friday night having lost 12 straight games to No. 21 Boise State with its last victory over the Broncos coming 18 years ago. That streak was all but officially over after two quarters.

Utah State upset its Mountain West Conference rival 52-26 thanks to seven first-half turnovers, including a 90-yard interception return by Marwin Evans as time expired in the half. The Aggies scored 21 points in the final 85 seconds of the first half thanks to two fumbles and the interception.

The 52 points are the most Boise State has ever allowed as a ranked team.

Utah State (4-2, 3-0) holds onto a share of first place in the Mountain Division with the win. Boise State (5-2, 2-1) falls out of first with its first conference loss of the season. Air Force (3-2, 2-0) is at Colorado State (2-4, 0-2) on Saturday.

The Broncos served up four fumbles and three interceptions in the first half, including Evans’ score at the end of the half.

The Aggies defense ruled the day with a historic effort. The seven turnovers were the most since they forced that many against Arkansas State in 2003 — and that was just the first half.

Boise State receiver Thomas Sperbeck fumbled the ball away on the second snap of the second half.

Boise State coach Bryan Harsin called Utah State’s Kyler Fackrell one of the best in the country this week and the senior linebacker didn’t disappoint. He finished with 11 tackles, 2-1/2 for loss. He also forced a fumble and recovered two. Fellow linebacker Nick Vigil had a game-high 14 tackles, nine in the first half, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Jalen Davis, Torrey Green and Evans picked off Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien in the first half.

The Broncos had 10 first downs and the seven turnovers in the first half and allowed 35 points off those turnovers. The Boise State offensive line was simply overwhelmed in the first 30 minutes and Rypien was under consistent pressure.

Utah State’s Kent Meyers threw for 157 yards and a career-high three touchdowns and added 63 yards rushing and a touchdown. Hunter Sharp caught two touchdown passes.

Rypien threw for 299 yards with three interceptions. He entered the game with one interception in four games.

No. 24 Houston 42, (at) Tulane 7: Greg Ward Jr. ran for three touchdowns and threw a scoring pass. Playing as a ranked team for the first time since 2011, the Cougars (6-0, 3-0 American Athletic) won by at least 21 points for the fourth time this season.

Despite three starting offensive linemen sitting out with injuries, Houston piled up 461 total yards, including 239 on the ground, and went 7 of 15 on third down. Ward passed for 222 yards and ran for 77.

Houston held Tulane (2-4, 1-2) to 262 total yards and forced 11 punts. Devin Powell started for the Green Wave with Tanner Lee out after sustaining a concussion a week ago against Temple, and completed just 11 passes for 88 yards.