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Great (and not so great) moments in WSU vs. Boise State History

Washington State v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

Hello. This weekly feature will take a look back at previous match-ups with WSU’s opponent. This week: the Boise State Broncos.

Your Washington State Cougars are scheduled to host the Boise State Broncos on Saturday night.

Surprisingly, the two teams have only played five times, with WSU winning four of them. You'll remember the lone loss coming last year (more on that below).

So let's take a look at the great and not-so-great moments in WSU vs. Boise State history.


Sept. 27, 1997: WSU 58 Boise State 0

This was the first ever meeting between these teams. WSU handed the Broncos their worst loss ever back in 1997 during the run to the Rose Bowl. This was the day that fifth grade me learned what "Pasadena" was, because it was around this time that people started talking about a trip to the Rose Bowl.

This game got the full flashback last year from Scott, and you should refresh your memory there.

I think the best part about this game was the Boise State kicker being salty that WSU didn't recruit him out of Mead High School in Spokane, and saying that he was going to wear a UW hat on the sideline after the Broncos won.


(By the way, Boise State's head coach in this game? Houston Nutt.)

Sept. 12, 1998: WSU 33 Boise State 21

One year after WSU's run to the Rose Bowl, the Cougs made their first appearance on the Smurf Turf.

They needed 27 points in the second half to secure the win, which gave them a 2-0 record.

They would win the next week at home against Idaho....but would lose the remaining eight games of the season to finish 3-8 one year after their Rose Bowl appearance.

Oct. 7, 2000: WSU 42 Boise State 35

The Cougs had a weird schedule in 2000. They opened at home for a conference game against Stanford, then played two non-conference games before playing at Cal. They then came home to host Boise State for another non-conference game.

Sophomore Jason Gesser threw two touchdowns and ran in for another in this high-scoring affair. An Adam Hawkins touchdown with 1:15 to go gave WSU the lead and soon the victory.

Boise State's quarterback for this game was the same one in the previous two losses to WSU: Bart Hendricks.

But the most interesting nugget for nerds like me is that Hendricks now works in fundraising for the Boise State Athletic Department. That means the quarterbacks for both schools in this game have the same job for their respective schools.

The more you know.

Sept. 8, 2001: WSU 41 Boise State 20

This was Week 2 in the Sun Bowl Season.

WSU pretty much had its way with the Broncos, then coached by Dan Hawkins and quarterbacked by Ryan Dinwiddie.

Nakoa McElrath had two touchdowns, including one that came on one of those Collin Henderson specials.

Thus ended the WSU vs. Boise State games for a while. That was a good thing, because Boise State soon went on to become mid-major giant killers.

Not So Great :(

Sept. 10, 2016: Boise State 31 WSU 28


The first drive of the game seemed to be going well until.....

The Cougs never really recovered from that. The offense played flat, Luke Falk didn't seem to want to challenge the Boise State secondary over the top, and Mike Leach compared his team to a junior college softball team a few days later.

Of course, this was the first game against WSU for Brett Rypien, the nephew of former Coug Mark Rypien. The younger Rypien wasn't all that impressive and threw three interceptions.

The good news? Jeremy McNichols ran for 116 and two touchdowns last year, and is now in the NFL. Glass half full, people.