No. 25 Boise St. 27, Nevada 21

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 01, 2012
Joe Southwick threw two touchdown passes to lead No. 25 Boise State to a 27-21 victory over Nevada on Saturday, earning the Broncos a share of the Mountain West Conference title and ensuring their nation's best seventh consecutive 10-win season. Boise State gave itself a slim chance to reach the BCS, but the Broncos will have to move up at least four spots in the last standings to the top 16 and be ahead of Mid-American Conference champ Northern Illinois to grab a bid to the marquee games. They'll probably have to settle for something smaller, again. D.J. Harper ran for 130 yards for Boise State (10-2, 7-1) and the Broncos' defense put the clamps on a Nevada offense that was averaging 38 points per game. Stefphon Jefferson ran for 139 yards and a touchdown and Cody Fajardo passed for 203 yards and ran for 81 for the Wolf Pack (7-5, 4-4), who lost four of their last five games after starting the season 6-1. Matt Miller caught seven passes for 127 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown from Southwick that put Boise ahead late 24-7. Southwick completed 19 of 26 for 199 yards. Michael Frisina made the second of two field goals from 30 yards with 3:30 left in the game to make it 27-14. Fajardo capped a 74-yard scoring drive with a 6-yard TD run to pull within 27-21 with 2:27 left. Nevada tried an onside kick but Harper recovered on the Wolf Pack 44 with 2:25 remaining to put the brakes on a comeback. Boise State's defense allowed only 90 yards total offense in the first half and Ricky Tjona-A-Tjoe, Darren Koontz and Jamar Taylor all sacked Fajardo before intermission. Broncos linebacker J.C. Percy had 13 tackles and recovered a fumble in the end zone. The Broncos will share the league title with Fresno State and San Diego State. Nevada accepted an invitation earlier in the week to play a Pac-12 opponent in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15. Southwick completed his first six passes, including a 17-yard toss to a wide open Chris Potter in the corner of the end zone that put Boise State ahead 7-0 midway through the first quarter. Harper had 75 yards on nine carries by the end of the first quarter and scored on a 2-yard run a minute into the second quarter to make it 14-0. On the next series, on third-and-10 from his own 14, Southwick scrambled 15 yards to keep the drive alive, then threw a 26-yard pass to Miller to set up Frisina's 20-yard field goal for a 17-0 lead 3:37 before the half. Fajardo led Nevada on an 86-yard touchdown drive to open the second half, throwing 32 yards to tight end Kolby Arendse then running 20 yards on a keeper to set up Jefferson's 1-yard score to pull to 17-7. But Shane Williams-Rhodes returned the ensuing kickoff 41 yards and on the next play Southwick found Miller alone along the left sideline for a 52-yard touchdown to make it 24-7 at 1:52 in the third quarter. Fajardo came storming back with an 18-yard pass to Rickey Turner and a 28-yard run to Boise's 14-yard line. But after tight end Zach Sudfeld grabbed a pass in the right flat, he fumbled the ball near the goal line and Percy recovered it in the end zone for a touch back. Jefferson followed a 28-yard run around left end with a 9-yard stroll through a big hole on the left side of the line for a touchdown to pull the Wolf Pack to within 24-14 with 8:26 left.
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