The scenario for each of these match-ups is a simple process, I take the current roster and set up multiple dynasties and simulate the seasons, to collect my data. To make sure I had a large enough sample size I simulated 7 seasons to gather the right information. To make it easier to follow I edited the roster to include actual names of the players and aside from that we are all EA sports. With each opponent I will try to give you a best case scenario, worst case scenario, and a possible outcome. Boise State is running out of a pistol offense to keep it as close to reality as possible.
With Nevada set to receive the opening kickoff, tension in the air was palpable as these two foes prepared to square off once more. The defense carried over some of their tenacity from the previous week, stopping the Nevada drive before it began. Unfortunately the Broncos’ offense stumbled again early in the first quarter and was forced to punt. Neither team was able to capitalize on a drive until Boise State broke out the scoring with Jack Fields running in from 12 yards out just before the end of the first quarter.
Nevada’s offense couldn’t seem to get anything going and was forced to punt the ball. The Broncos took over possession and on the very first play threw a 32 yard strike to Shane Williams-Rhodes, the newly utilized dynamic play-maker. Boise State capped off the drive with a 3 yard pass to Williams-Rhodes, opening up the Bronco lead. Nevada wasted no time in returning the favor when Fajardo found Wimberly open for a 7 yard score to bring the game closer, midway through the second quarter. Just before halftime Matt Miller returned to his usual self and found himself on the receiving end of a 1 yard touchdown pass from Southwick.
Early in the third quarter Nevada capitalized on their drive, with McLaurin scoring on a 1 yard touchdown run, bringing the deficit to seven. The Broncos continued their offense prowess as they drove the ball down the field with steady running, capped off with Ajayi walking into the end zone from 1 yard out for the score. After a Nevada interception, Southwick led the offense into the end zone again, this time a 3 yard pass to Connor Peters.
Before the end of the third quarter Boise State found their way back into the end zone with Ajayi scoring from 8 yards out. Reserves made their way into the game, and neither team put many more points on the board until the end of the quarter. Nevada was able to orchestrate a drive, but was forced into attempting a 30 yard field which was right down the middle. After a failed onside kick attempt, Boise State’s Derrick Thomas ripped off a 30 yard run to set the Broncos up for a first and goal from the 3 yard line. Derrick Thomas was able to put one final score on the board with a 2 yard run with 0:26 left in the game.
Final Score: Boise State 49 – Nevada 17
After Boise State won the coin toss and elected to defer, Nevada lined up ready to get the upset underway. Nevada finished off their first drive when Solomon found his way across the goal line after a short 6 yard run. Southwick and company answered right back when Matt Miller caught a 44 yard touchdown pass with a defender in his face. Towards the end of the first quarter the Wolfpack found themselves drawing closing to the Boise State red zone.
Nevada opened up the second quarter by putting more points on the board when Fajardo found Wimberly open from 28 yard away, which increased their lead. The Broncos were in need of a momentum shift and that’s just what they got when Dallas Burroughs returned the following kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. The two teams found themselves in a stalemate the remaining part of the second quarter, but right before halftime Nevada kicked a 35 yard field goal to take a 17-14 advantage into the locker rooms.
Midway through the third quarter catastrophe stuck when Southwick injured his throwing shoulder after a big sack. Hedrick came on to the field in an unfamiliar position of not only his team behind, but the game’s outcome resting on his shoulders. Throughout the third quarter he played steady, but never could help finish off a drive. Heading into the fourth quarter the score remained a three point advantage for the Wolfpack.
Opening up the final fifteen minutes of the game, Nevada added to their lead when Fajardo found Arendse open for a 3 yard touchdown and a ten point lead. The Hedrick led Broncos offense, responded with a drive of their own which was completed when Kirby Moore caught a 52 yard pass for the touchdown. Nevada then did the unimaginable and used a long methodical drive to get into the Broncos’ red zone with under two minutes left in the game. They put the final nail in the coffin when Wimberly caught a 4 yard pass for the touchdown with 1:17 left in the game.
Final Score: Nevada 31 – Boise State 21
As Nevada was set to receive the ball it appeared as though the Broncos were a different team, a team full of confidence, team that coaches knew would eventually manifest itself as the pieces were coming together. With the opening kickoff the game was underway and after the defense forced a punt the Broncos offense stepped on to the field prepared to start the game with a successful drive. After mixing in some runs and the success of the Shane Williams-Rhodes screen play, the Broncos found themselves 4 yards from the end zone. Jay Ajayi finished off the drive when he marched his way into the end zone for the first points of the game.
The Wolfpack returned to the field and found success moving the ball and finished off their drive with a Fajardo touchdown pass to Wimberly. Demarcus Lawrence found a way to block the extra point and kept the Broncos holding on to their lead. Boise State moved the ball down the field by continuing to put the ball in their playmaker, Williams-Rhodes’, hands down inside Nevada territory. Williams-Rhodes helped end the drive when he caught a screen, juked to his left and after a missed tackle danced into the end zone.
Opening the second quarter Nevada was able to keep their offense moving, but only until they were inside field goal range, and after a 29 yard kick, they shrunk the lead to five points. Boise State increased their lead when Matt Miller slipped inside his defender for a 7 yard touchdown reception. Boise State got the ball back and put together a two-minute drill that put them inside field goal range. Dan Goodale did the rest when he made a 34 yard field goal with time expiring, giving the Broncos a 24-9 advantage heading into halftime.
Boise State’s offense faltered to start the second half after three failed pass attempts. Nevada jumped on the opportunity to put more points on the board when Fajardo ran for the score from 2 yards away. Nevada attempted the two point conversion, but Bryan Douglas batted down the pass that would have brought the game within one touchdown. Southwick returned to the field and helped the offense move the ball into Nevada territory, before the end of the third quarter.
Opening the final quarter Ajayi broke through the defense and after back to back first down runs, the offense appeared to be on their way for another score. Southwick extended the Broncos’ lead when he found an open Holden Huff for his first score of the season. Boise State tried for the two point conversion to extend their lead, but were stopped when Fields stopped for no gain on the attempt. Fajardo and the Nevada offense moved the chains down into the Broncos’ territory just before the end of the third quarter.
Nevada’s momentum was stopped, and they were forced to kick another field goal, this time from 32 yards away which slid just inside the left upright. Boise State’s offense marched slowly down the field with a long drive that took nearly half the fourth quarter, finished off when Jack Fields scampered into the end zone from 9 yards out, ending all hope the Wolfpack had of knocking off the Broncos.
Final Score: Boise State 37 – Nevada 18
Stats from game:
Joe Southwick: 15-21, 3 td – 0 int, 249 yards
Jay Ajayi: 15 carries, 67 yds, 1 td
Jack Fields: 11 carries, 54 yds, 1 td
Matt Miller: 7 rec, 129 yds, 1 td
Shane Williams-Rhodes: 5 rec, 89 yds, 1 td
Demarcus Lawrence: 7 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack
Bryan Douglas: 3 tackles, ½ TFL, 1 int, 1 def
Head to Head:
Boise State 6 – Nevada 1