BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Brett Rypien threw for 246 yards and led a fourth-quarter comeback to help Boise State beat No. 25 Fresno State 17-14 on Saturday night in the Mountain West championship game.
Boise State (10-3), which lost 28-17 to the Bulldogs a week ago in Fresno in the regular-season finale, won its second conference title in four years.
Fresno State (9-4), which hasn't won in Boise since 1984, still completed one of the best turnarounds in college history under first-year coach Jeff Tedford after going 1-11 a year ago.
It was the fourth time in the past five years that the title game was decided by seven points or less.
Boise State had only mustered 103 yards of offense on its first four possessions of the second half until the Broncos broke out.
Rypien hit Cedrick Wilson on a 59-yard pass play to the Fresno State 36. After a pass interference call in the end zone put the ball at the 2, Ryan Wolpin, filling in for injured starting running back Alexander Mattison, powered his way into the end zone to give Boise State the decisive score.
Fresno State had two more possessions, but failed to get a first down. Marcus McMaryion's final pass was intercepted by Leighton Vander Esch
After two tough losses in September, Boise State strung together seven victories, including a 25-point comeback win on the road against Colorado State in overtime that kept its conference title hopes alive.
Fresno State: Playing consecutive games against Boise State proved too much for the Bulldogs after a dominant victory at home a week ago. McMaryion passed for 332 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-17 victory, but struggled to just 172 yards with no touchdowns and an interception in the title game. However, the Bulldogs will have a chance to add to their surprising turnaround in a well-deserved bowl game.
Boise State: The defense kept Boise State in the game, making significant adjustments after last week's loss. The halftime changes, however, proved to be the difference in the victory. Boise State held the Bulldogs to just 85 yards of total offense in the second half and forced a game-clinching turnover.
Boise State: Likely be extended an invitation to the Las Vegas Bowl to take on a Pac-12 opponent. If Washington qualifies for a New Year's Six Bowl, all indications are that the opponent will be Oregon. Should Washington find itself out of the New Year's Six mix, Arizona will likely face Boise State.
Fresno State: Likely headed to the Sheraton Aloha Bowl on Christmas Eve to face Houston.
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