Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 67° Partly Cloudy

Boise Stuns UI In Ot, 30-23 Vandals Can’t Hang On After Opening 23-6 Lead Over Broncos

Bart Hendricks’ first taste of the Boise State-Idaho football matchup came last year as he watched from the sidelines while his Broncos teammates absorbed a 64-19 thrashing at home.

It was a mere bitter sip he was forced to swallow.

Saturday night, in front of a hostile Kibbie Dome crowd of 14,501, the young redshirt freshman quarterback took his first deep gulp of all the pageantry, emotion and intensity that surrounds the intrastate rivalry.

And he spit it back in Idaho’s face, throwing for 378 yards and three touchdowns in the Broncos’ thrilling 30-23 overtime victory.

“It’s strange, but I don’t even know how to describe what I’m feeling right now,” Hendricks gushed just moments after his 5-yard touchdown pass to Eron Hurley on the first possession of overtime capped a remarkable Broncos comeback and handed Idaho (5-6 overall, 2-3 in the Big West Conference) its first losing season since 1981.

“Not when you come from how ever many points we were down (23-6), to win in overtime. I just know this is going to make the bus ride home a lot funner.”

First-year Broncos coach Houston Nutt was a bit more direct with his comments following the regular-season finale for both schools.

“Oh, baby, it’s the biggest,” he said of the rivalry, which has been dominated by Idaho of late. “For a whole year people have been trying to educate me on Idaho and this rivalry. But this thing is more than I anticipated.”

The hitting was incredible and so was the heart Boise State (4-7, 3-2) showed in bouncing back after Vandals cornerback Dennis Gibbs returned a fumble 99 yards for a touchdown to give Idaho a 23-6 lead early in the second half.

The Broncos were on UI’s 2-yard line at the time and looked to have scored when running back Gavin Reed leaped over a pile of Vandals defenders. But the ball was jarred loose and landed in the arms of Gibbs, who made immediate tracks for the far end of the field.

He stepped away from a quarterback-like tackle attempt by Hendricks as he started up the right sideline, picked up some blocking near mid-field and broke one final tackle near the BSU 20-yard line before staggering into the end zone.

During Gibbs’ return, two Vandals linemen started wrestling with a couple of Broncos defenders well behind the play and were flagged for personal foul and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. The infractions were stepped off on the extra-point try and Troy Scott pulled his 50-yard PAT kick - which might have prevented the need for an overtime - wide left.

The strange series of events seemed to inspire Boise State, which scored on its next three possessions to tie the game at 23.

Todd Belcastro ignited the comeback with a 46-yard field goal, his third of the game, and Hendricks took it from there, lofting touchdown passes of 13 and 19 yards to Rodney Smith to cap two lightning scoring drives.

In overtime, Boise scored first and then stopped the Vandals as Brian Brennan’s fourth-down pass from the 10 sailed over the outstretched hands of Antonio Wilson.

“At 23-6, it looked like things were going our way,” admitted dejected Vandals coach Chris Tormey. “It was just that in the whole second half, offensively, we weren’t able to get anything going.”

Boise State limited the Vandals to just 64 yards after intermission and finished with a commanding 594-278 edge in total offense.

Still, Idaho’s Ryan Skinner was not conceding anything but the final score as he answered postgame questions in the interview room.

“The only reason I’m here is because I’ve got another year,” the junior linebacker said. “And this ain’t going to happen again. They aren’t a better team. They’re a good team, but we shouldn’t have lost, that’s for sure.”

Boise St. 30, Idaho 23 (OT)

Boise St. 0 6 17 0 7 - 30

Idaho 7 10 6 0 0 - 23

UI-Tenner 2 run (Scott kick) BSU-Belcastro 28 FG BSU-Belcastro 28 FG UI-Scott 27 FG UI-Wilson 18 pass from Brennan (Scott kick) UI-Gibbs 99 fumble recovery (Scott kick failed) BSU-Belcastro 41 FG BSU-Smith 13 pass from Hendricks (Belcastro kick) BSU-Smith 19 pass from Hendricks (Belcastro kick) BSU-Hurley 5 pass from Hendricks BSU UI First downs 28 13 Rushes-yards 44-216 24-84 Passing 378 194 Comp-Att-Int 26-48-0 17-39-0 Return Yards 18 11 Punts-Avg. 6-39.2 9-43.9 Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1 Penalties-Yards 6-50 8-90 Time of Possession 37:22 22:38 RUSHING-BSU 22-87, Chan 3-22, Hendricks 14-22, Hurley 14-21, Etheridge 3-2. UI, Thomas 5-20, Tenner 12-20, Alderson 1-16, Ah Hi 1-11, Brennan 5-minus 9.

PASSING-BSU, Hendricks 48-26-0 378. UI, Brennan 38-17-0 194, Price 1-0-0 0.

RECEIVING-BSU, Smith 13-165, Davisson 3-88, Mamaril 3-52, Sparks 2-19, Arbon 1-17, Etheridge 1-12, Nelson 1-11, Pound 1-9, Hurley 1-5. UI, Prestimonico 5-60, Wilson 5-58, Thomas 4-39, Price 2-32, Alderson 1-5.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: BIG WEST STANDINGS League Overall W L PF PA W L Utah St. 4 1 201 114 6 5 Nevada 4 1 227 137 5 6 Boise St. 3 2 161 127 4 7 Idaho 2 3 128 170 5 6 N. Texas 2 3 118 175 4 7 NMex St. 0 5 74 196 2 9

Saturday’s results Boise State 30, Idaho 23, OT North Texas 51, Utah St. 48

This sidebar appeared with the story: BIG WEST STANDINGS League Overall W L PF PA W L Utah St. 4 1 201 114 6 5 Nevada 4 1 227 137 5 6 Boise St. 3 2 161 127 4 7 Idaho 2 3 128 170 5 6 N. Texas 2 3 118 175 4 7 NMex St. 0 5 74 196 2 9

Saturday’s results Boise State 30, Idaho 23, OT North Texas 51, Utah St. 48

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.