HONOLULU--#23 Boise State played its most complete game of the season in defeating Hawai'i 52-16 last night. The Broncos scored on six of their first possessions.
''Overall, just the way that the coaches and the players prepared themselves for Hawaii, I was very excited about that, and I think that's got to carry over into these next two games that we play because it's all about the process for us,'' Bronco coach Bryan Harsin said.
Boise State, still stinging from a heartbreaking loss to Wyoming two weeks ago, took control from the outset, opening up a 14-0 lead as quarterback Brett Rypien connected with Thomas Sperbeck on a 35-yard scoring strike and Jeremy McNichols burst to the outside on a 36-yard TD run. Sperbeck, who had five catches for 114 yards, broke the school record with his 14th career game of 100 or more receiving yards.
McNichols has scored in 22 straight games, tying Montee Ball of Wisconsin for the longest streak in FBS over the last 10 years.
Boise State (9-1 and 5-1 in Mountain West Conference play) extended that lead to 28-0 as Rypien spotted tight end Alec Dhaenens in the end zone from six yards out and McNichols scored again on a five-yard run.
Rypien also ran in for a four-yard touchdown to give the Broncos a 35-3 lead at the break and added touchdown passes of 35 yards to Cedric Wilson and 44 yards to Sperbeck in the second half.
Jeremy McNichols, the nation's leading scorer, ran for 153 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. McNichols posted his seventh career game over 150 rushing yards, just shy of the all-time school record held by Cedric Minter (1977-80), Brock Forsey (1999-2002) and current NFL standout Jay Ajayi (2012-14).
McNichols passed D.J. Harper (2006-12) for ninth in career rushing at Boise State (see charts at the conclusion of this article) and is 67 yards behind Jeremy Avery (2007-10). McNichols moved from 11th to 6th on the single-season rushing list at Boise State, eclipsing the 1,369 yards he totaled last year. McNichols is 56 yards behind Ajayi for fifth. McNichols has now rushed for 39 career touchdowns to pass Minter for fifth and tied Ajayi's 2013 season with his 18th rushing TD this year for fifth place.McNichols has already exceeded last year's 240 carries and is ninth for the most carries in a season with 242. McNichols, who also had three catches for 29 yards, is just seven shy of the school record for most receiving yards by a Bronco running back held by Brock Forsey (1999-2002). McNichols moved into ninth for the most all-purpose yards (rushing, receiving and return yardage) in a season. Rypien threw for 338 yards and four touchdowns as the Broncos piled up a season-high 603 yards of total offense, 403 before the half. Rypien, who completed 16-of-21 passes last week in a win over San Jose State, was accurate on 18-of-22 passes tonight.
Rypien passed Grant Hedrick (2011-14) for seventh on Boise State's career touchdown passes list and he passed former Bronco legend Jim McMillan (1971-74) for seventh in career total offense with 6,175 yards.
''I think we're clicking a lot better than we have all year and you want to be playing your best football coming into the end of the year and I think we're doing that,'' said Rypien, who completed 18 of his 22 pass attempts before taking a seat for the final quarter.
Rypien, with 2,916 passing yards this season, is 127 yards shy of Ryan Dinwiddie (3,043 yards in 2001) for the 10th-best total in Bronco history. Rypien threw for 3,353 yards last season after giving up his redshirt to fill in for injured starter Ryan Finley in the third game against Idaho State.
Wilson had game highs of seven receptions and 141 yards and Sperbeck, the school's all-time leader in receiving yardage, added five grabs for 114 yards. Sperbeck is now ninth in career receiving touchdowns with 20.
The Boise State defense, which came into the game managing only four takeaways all season, were buoyed by an interception by Chanceller James and a fumble recovery by Durrant Miles. Boise State allowed just three Hawai'i first downs in the opening half.
Paul Harris ran for 145 yards and Rigoberto Sanchez made field goals of 24, 32 and 35 yards for the Rainbow Warriors (4-7, 3-4).
Boise State faces another tough game in their final home game next Friday against UNLV. The Rebels prevailed in a wild 69-66 three-overtime win over Mountain Division leader Wyoming.