San Diego, Ca – The San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl saw many records being broken this year as Boise State handily defeated the University of Northern Illinois 55-7 Wednesday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium.
With more than 30 student-athletes from Southern California returning home, the Broncos left their family members and the rest of the spectators with no doubt on who was the superior team.
“As a team, we didn’t use being in Southern California as motivation but I’m sure it was in the back of their (players) minds as individuals,” said head coach Bryan Harsin. “ When you play that’s exciting, when you go out and have the performance they did tonight its even more fun.”
The Broncos rumbled out to a 21-point lead in the first quarter, as their three touchdowns were the most scored in a first quarter in Poinsettia bowl history.
RB Jeremy McNichols stole the show early with all three visits to the end zone coming from the 5 foot 9 sophomore.
Boise State wasted no time putting points on the board. After receiving the ball first, in less than a minute the Broncos went up 7-0 on a 29-yard burst up the middle from McNichols.
The three-play 75-yard drive was the fastest a team has ever scored in the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
On NIU’s first possession of the game, what seemed to be a promising drive for the Huskies ended in a Ryan Graham fumble that was recovered by Boise State’s Tyler Gray on their own 33-yard line.
The Broncos quickly took advantage of the Huskies giveaway and capped a 67-yard drive with a 4-yard pass from Brett Rypian to McNichols for his second score.
The Boise State defense dominated the matchup up front constantly causing havoc having no issues getting to Graham.
The Huskies only managed to squeeze out 36-yards of offense in the first half as their only score of the contest was a 96-yard kick return by Agrego Turner also setting a record for the longest kick return for a touchdown in Poinsettia Bowl history.
Boise State took a 31-7 lead into the locker room with a 317-yard advantage over NIU and another record for most points scored in the first half by one team.
The script in the second half for both teams was not much different.
Boise State didn’t come out red hot like in the first half but by the end of the third quarter they tacked on 10 more points for a 41-7 score.
The 55 points scored by the Broncos set a new Poinsettia Bowl record and finished their night of wrecking the records books.
Rypian showed his poise, strong arm and the bright future he has ahead, he threw for 377 yards 3 touchdowns 1 interception on 29 of 39 passing and was awarded the offensive MVP of the match. McNichols ended the night with 3 total touchdowns (2 on the ground) 93 yards rushing on 19 carries.
The Broncos held NIU to 33 yards offensively while forcing 3 turnovers. They took down the opposing quarterback 5 times for a loss led by senior Kamelei Correa who contributed 2 of his own.
Boise State improves to an 11-5 record in College Bowl games and 8-5 in Bowl games not played on Saturday.
“It wasn’t a good performance by us. Boise is a great team and you have to give them a ton of credit,” said head coach Rod Carey. “We live one week lives in college football and this one is done with.”