Final score: Oklahoma State 21, Boise State 20
Records: Boise State 1-2. Oklahoma State 3-0.
Why the Broncos lost: Boise State couldn’t stop the run or get their running game going once again. The Broncos managed just 61 yards on the ground, which marks the second time this season that they failed to rush for 100 yards in a game. They managed just 20 yards on the ground in the season opener at UCF. On the flip side, Oklahoma State racked up 246 rushing yards, while quarterback Spencer Sanders attempted just 13 passes, completing six of them for 87 yards. Boise State gave up 255 rushing yards against UCF.
Main takeaway: Boise State was in this game the whole way, and the Broncos were in control for most of the first half, but offensive struggles in the second half came back to bite them again. Boise State put up just 3 yards of offense in the third quarter on Saturday. The Broncos posted minus-20 yards of offense in the third quarter at UCF. Despite those struggles, Boise State had chances to win. Quarterback Hank Bachmeier was intercepted with 4:51 to play, ending one late drive, and kicker Jonah Dalmas missed a 36-yard field goal with 2:05 to play after linebacker Riley Whimpey got the Broncos the ball back with a forced fumble.
Player of the game: Oklahoma State running back Jaylen Warren racked up 218 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries. He averaged 6.8 yards a carry, and he got the Cowboys on the scoreboard in the first half with a 75-yard touchdown run.
Stat of the game: After putting up 239 yards of offense in the first half, Boise State managed just 3 in the third quarter. The Broncos’ last full drive of the first half ended with a fumble, and they went three-and-out on both of their possessions in the third quarter.
Play of the game: Oklahoma State faced third-and-18 from Boise State’s 21-yard line late in the second quarter, and Sanders’ pass flew well over the head of wide receiver Brennan Presley. But there was contact between Presley and Boise State defensive back Rodney Robinson and defensive pass interference was called, which gave the Cowboys the ball on the Broncos’ 6. Boise State’s next possession ended with a fumble by running back George Holani, and the Broncos never recovered.
What’s next: Boise State opens Mountain West play on the road at Utah State on Sept. 25 (10 a.m., CBS). The Broncos are 20-5 all-time against the Aggies, and they’ve won the last five in a row. Last season, Boise State opened the season at home against Utah State and rolled to a 42-13 win. That was the last time running back George Holani was healthy for a full game, and he finished with 14 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown and added a receiving touchdown. Quarterback Hank Bachmeier threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns.