Loss really hurts Boise St.
RENO — For two years, Boise State won every time it took the field. The Broncos had to, if they wanted to be considered a serious team that could one day possibly compete for the BCS title.
When the inevitable loss came, it hurt in more ways than the Broncos could count.
No national title game. No BCS bowl. No grudging respect from the big boys in the big conferences.
“I’m at a loss for words,’’ said quarterback Kellen Moore, who suffered only his second loss in 38 games as Boise State’s quarterback. “Hopefully, we’ll learn something from this.’’
Nevada roared back from a 17-point halftime deficit Friday night, beating No. 3 Boise State, 34-31, in overtime in a wild game for the school’s biggest win ever.
A game that the Broncos seemingly had in hand slipped away when normally efficient kicker Kyle Brotzman missed a 26-yard field goal with two seconds left in regulation and another from 29 yards in overtime. Nevada’s redshirt freshman kicker, Anthony Martinez, didn’t miss his chance in overtime, hitting a 34-yarder that touched off a jubilant celebration from a sellout crowd on the Nevada campus.
“It is the greatest victory this university has ever had,’’ Nevada coach Chris Ault said.
Nevada (11-1, 6-1) rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit to tie the game with 13 seconds left on a 7-yard pass to Rishard Matthews, who had two second-half touchdowns for the 19th-ranked Wolf Pack. But Boise State (10-1, 6-1) appeared poised to pull the game out after Moore hit Titus Young with a 53-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage after the score.
Brotzman pushed the short kick right, sending the game into overtime. Nevada won the coin toss and deferred, and Brotzman came out to try another field goal, but pulled it left.
Martinez came on after Nevada’s drive stalled, then calmly stroked the ball down the middle and the celebration began.
“We’re a team of destiny,’’ Ault said. “When he missed that field goal I said, ‘Here we go guys, we got it now.’ ’’