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Boise has it won after 3 plays

Boise State's Jeremy McNichols (13) fends off Northern Illinois' Austin Smaha (50) as he runs the ball during the second quarter in the Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015. (Hayne Palmour IV/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS) 1178486

Boise State's Jeremy McNichols (13) fends off Northern Illinois' Austin Smaha (50) as he runs the ball during the second quarter in the Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015. (Hayne Palmour IV/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS) 1178486

SAN DIEGO — Jeremy McNichols scored three touchdowns, the first one 58 seconds into the game, and finished with 189 total yards as Boise State routed Northern Illinois 55-7 in the Poinsettia Bowl on Wednesday.

The Broncos (9-4) needed just three plays to score the first touchdown, the fastest in school bowl history. After completions of 7 and 39 yards by Brett Rypien, McNichols ran in from 29 yards.

McNichols scored on each of the next two possessions, on a 4-yard pass from Rypien and on a 1-yard run.

The Broncos outgained the Huskies (8-6) 654-33.

"It was huge. We always start fast," said McNichols, a sophomore from Long Beach, Calif., who came in tied with Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry of Alabama for the national lead with 23 touchdowns. "Even in practice, we come out fast and run a paced offense. That first touchdown, we practiced it all week and hit it exactly like we were supposed to.

"It's fun for all of us. When we score points, we get to throw deep, we run different formations, different shifts. It's hard for defenses to prepare for our offense. It's a great job by the coaches."

McNichols ran 19 times for 93 yards and caught five passes for 96.

Rypien, a freshman and nephew of former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien, was 29-of-40 for 377 yards and three touchdowns.

"He did an amazing job," McNichols said. "He took control of the offense for us. He prepared in the film room and gave us everything he had. He did great."

The announced crowd of 21,501 was swallowed up by 70,000-seat Qualcomm Stadium.

The Huskies fell to 0-3 in the Poinsettia Bowl.

"Give credit to Boise State," coach Rod Carey said. "That's a good football team, and they made all the plays. They were certainly the more physical team. When you can control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, it makes for a good day for them. It wasn't a good performance for us."

Said center Andrew Ness: "They were a great team, and defensively they were rock-solid. But we played our worst game when we wanted to play our best."

The Huskies avoided a shutout when Aregeros Turner returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown to make it 24-7 midway through the second quarter.

LOBOS PLAYER DIES: New Mexico safety Markel Byrd, 20, was killed in a single-car accident Tuesday when a tire blew out on a car he was driving in Gallup, N.M. The sophomore was driving home to San Diego with his girlfriend when the tire blew on Interstate 40. Both were ejected. His girlfriend, whom the university did not identify, is in critical condition.

ALABAMA: Coach Nick Saban said he doesn't see himself coaching anywhere else before retiring. "I know every year somebody has me going somewhere else," Saban, 64, told ESPN. "What people don't understand is they forget you're a person. They forget you have a wife and two kids and a grandbaby, and they all live in Birmingham. They all work here. My wife goes to Birmingham five times a week. My mom lives in Birmingham now. It's not just the job. My life is here."

MISSOURI: New coach Barry Odom reinstated Maty Mauk, the quarterback who was twice suspended last season. Mauk has one year of eligibility remaining and could contend with freshman Drew Lock to start next season.

Notre Dame: C.J. Prosise practiced without taking hits. Coach Brian Kelly expects the team's leading rusher to be ready for the Fiesta Bowl. Prosise missed the regular-season finale with an ankle sprain.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Bryan McClendon will join the team as co-offensive coordinator after he serves as Georgia's interim coach in the TaxSlayer Bowl. He has been a Bulldogs assistant since 2009.

UCLA: Guard Alex Redmond will not play in the Foster Farms Bowl after signing with an agent and making himself available for the NFL draft.

Boise has it won after 3 plays 12/23/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 23, 2015 11:08pm]
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