NCAA FB

No. 15 Boise State, Rypien look to stay hot

Brett Rypien doesn't receive much national attention since he doesn't play for a power-conference school.

That doesn't mean the Boise State sophomore quarterback can't throw the football around the field a little bit.

Rypien looks to build on his best performance of the season when the No. 15 Broncos host Colorado State in a Mountain West game Saturday (10:15 p.m ET, ESPN2).

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Rypien threw a career-best five touchdown passes in last week's victory over New Mexico despite playing only 2 1/2 quarters. The early hook during the 49-21 conquest prevented him from matching Jim McMillan's school record of six against Montana on Nov. 16, 1974.

Rypien has thrown 11 scoring passes against three interceptions as Boise State (5-0, 2-0) looks to remain unbeaten when it entertains the Rams (3-3, 1-1).

"Brett had a heck of a night and he prepared all week just like he does every week," senior receiver Thomas Sperbeck said. "I think he did a great job staying in the pocket making those throws. Great player."

Rypien completed 21 of 28 passes for 391 yards against the Lobos. His performance -- which earned him Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week honors -- came in the wake of family tragedy for the second time this season.

One of Rypien's grandmothers died early last week. Ironically, his other grandmother died the week of the season opener.

But he played like a guy without a worry on his mind.

"It's huge. It helps get your mind off things," Rypien said of being able to play a game. "I really learned a lot about life the past couple weeks. Not football.

"Always thankful to my family members, telling them that I love them every day because you kind of take that stuff for granted."

Boise State certainly doesn't take Rypien's prowess lightly as he is providing the program with its best quarterbacking since the school's all-time best player, Kellen Moore, completed his career in 2011.

The Broncos are the lone FBS team in the nation not to trail in a game this season. They are also attempting to improve to 6-0 all-time versus the Rams.

Colorado State defeated Utah State 31-24 last week but the victory was costly as standout true freshman quarterback Collin Hill suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and is done for the season.

Hill was hurt on a 19-yard scramble and coach Mike Bobo said the injury occurred before he was even hit. He passed for 1,096 yards and eight touchdowns against two interceptions despite not becoming the starter until the third game of the season.

"That's football. You're going to have injuries, you're going to have setbacks, you're going to have some adversity," Bobo said at a press conference. "And he is a well-grounded young man that is going to handle it, I think, extremely well, because he'll go back to work and he'll be a better player for it."

Junior Nick Stevens regains the starting position he lost after a poor Week 1 performance. Stevens had a solid season a year ago when he passed for 2,679 yards and 21 touchdowns against 12 interceptions.

By all accounts, Stevens didn't sulk after losing the starting job and he proved it by helping the Rams rally past the Aggies.

"I think it was definitely tough," Stevens said. "I think it's easy to get discouraged after something like that happens. It happens all the time around every position so I think it can just be a lesson for football and life to just keep grinding and keep pushing no matter what happens because you never know what's going to happen."

Stevens has a solid target to throw to in junior receiver Michael Gallup, who had seven receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown against Utah State. Gallup has 25 catches for 388 yards and three scores on the season.

The Colorado State defense is led by senior weak-side linebacker Kevin Davis, who has a team-leading 58 tackles. Davis was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week after recovering a fumble and recording the game-clinching interception against Utah State.

Boise State's defense is receiving solid play from senior defensive end Sam McCaskill, who leads the squad with 9 1/2 tackles for losses and stands second with five sacks.

The Broncos have a trio of solid offensive playmakers to support Rypien. Junior running back Jeremy McNichols has scored 12 touchdowns (nine rushing, three receiving) while rushing for a team-leading 558 yards while Sperbeck and junior wideout Cedrick Wilson each caught nine passes against New Mexico.

Sperbeck has 33 receptions for 629 yards this season to raise his career-yardage total to 2,958. He ranks third in Boise State history behind Titus Young (3,063 from 2007-10) and Matt Miller (3,049 from 2011-14).