Boise State vs. Northern Illinois: Poinsettia Bowl Recap, Score, What’s Next

    Boise State vs. Northern Illinois Poinsettia Bowl recap, score and what's next for the Broncos and Huskies.

    December 21, 2015

    Boise State vs. Northern Illinois San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl recap, score and what’s next for the Broncos and Huskies.

    San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Recap

    Score: Boise State 55, Northern Illinois 7

    Prediction:Boise State 34, Northern Illinois 17, Line: Boise State -8.5, o/u: 56

    And You Care Because … In a game of total dominance, Boise State held Northern Illinois to just 33 yards of total offense – with the Bronco attack coming up with 654 yards – starting out with three Jeremy McNichols touchdowns in the first quarter on the way to a 24-0 lead. NIU finally got on the board with a Aregero Turner 96-yard kickoff return for a score after a Boise State field goal from Tyler Rausa, but it was all Broncos the rest of the way on both sides of the ball. Brett Rypien threw two touchdown passes on the way to 31 unanswered points, and Kelsey Young and Thomas Stuart ran for scores. In all, NIU turned it over three times, converted one of 12 third down chances, and had the ball for just 16:47.

    What Else?

    – Rushing Yards: Boise State 277 – Northern Illinois -5

    – Boise State RB Jeremy McNichols ran 19 times for 93 yards and two scores and a touchdown catch.

    – Boise State QB Brett Rypien completed 29-of-39 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns with a pick.

    – Northern Illinois QB Ryan Graham completed 7-of-21 passes for 38 yards.

    – Boise State DE Kamalei Correa made four tackles with two sacks with a forced fumble.

    – Boise State LB Tyler Gray led the team with seven tackles with a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

    Game Rating: D- … Boise State’s dominance was impressive, but the game itself was a dud from the start. The Broncos came out looking to make a statement, and they did in a very, very big way.

    What’s next for Boise State?

    The offense that had so many positive moments should be a killer if QB Brett Rypien keeps the starting job from Ryan Finley – and if can improve a bit on his great true freshman season. The receiving tandem of Thomas Sperbeck and Chaz Anderson should be among the best in the Group of Five conferences – the loss of veteran Shan Williams-Rhodes won’t be noticed – while RB Jeremy McNichols should be in the hunt for 1,500 yards behind a line with four starters returning. However, losing C Marcus Henry is big.

    The Broncos have plenty of work to do on defense, getting back hybrid Kamalei Correa on the outside but losing the other three starters. There’s no instant replacement for a talent like Darian Thompson at one safety spot, and CB Donte Deayon not being around will be a problem. However, Ben Weaver and Tanner Vallejo lead a good linebacking corps that’ll be the strength early on. PK Tyler Rausa is excellent. He’s back, along with P Sean Wale and his 42.3-yard average.

    What’s next for Northern Illinois?

    It should be a terrific quarterback battle this offseason with Drew Hare trying to come back healthy and with Ryan Graham a veteran with the upside to be the main man for the program over the next few years. Having WR Kenny Golladay to throw to is a great place to start, and Aregreos Turner is a reliable midrange threat to serve as a safety valve. RB Joel Bouagnon is back after a huge year, along with explosive running mate Jordan Huff behind a line that gets three starters back, but loses star C Andrew Ness.

    All-America pickoff artist Shawun Lurry is back at one corner, but Paris Logan will be a void left on the other side. The tandem of LB Boomer Mays and S Marlon Moore being gone is a big issue, but most of the other top starters return with a good-looking linbacking corps to get excited about. The pass rush, though, will be an area of need with Perez Ford, Ben Compton and Cameron Clinton-Earl done. P Jacob Ambrose has to be far better, while PK Christian Hagan is among the best in the MAC.

    MORE: BOWLNANZA: Bowl game highlights and biggest plays


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