THIS DAY IN SPORTS: Helgeson & the defense stifle No. 1 Nevada

Presented by ZAMZOWS.

This Day In Sports…November 10, 1990:

Nevada brings the top-ranked team in Division I-AA to Bronco Stadium to face Boise State. The Wolf Pack was no match for the Broncos this time, as the high-powered Nevada offense was held to just 216 yards in a 30-14 Broncos win. Bart Hull, the son of former NHL great Bobby Hull, had one of the most interesting stat lines ever:  three carries, 10 yards…three touchdowns. The hockey guy had a TD hat trick. But the defense was the story of this game. The Pack did not score an offensive touchdown and averaged only 2.8 yards per play. Anthony Brown picked off two of Boise State’s three interceptions, one of them at the Pack 21-yard line to set up a TD.

Erik Helgeson, a senior out of Bishop Kelly, had one of the best games of his heavily-decorated career, logging nine tackles with three sacks covering 26 yards. Helgeson also contributed four pass deflections. The sacks helped limit Nevada to minus-14 yards rushing, still the sixth-fewest allowed in Boise State history. Helgeson remains the Broncos’ career leader in sacks, and not by just a little bit. He had 54.5 in his four seasons—second-place Curtis Weaver (2017-19) had 34.0.

Boise State also shined on special teams. Placekicker Mike Black, who for the past two decades has helped in the ESPN booth during some of the network’s biggest events, doubled as a punter that day and averaged 47.6 yards per boot (Nevada averaged 32.7). With the victory, the Broncos avenged a loss at Mackay Stadium in Reno the year before by the same 30-14 score.

But the Wolf Pack would have the last laugh that season. Boise State and Nevada would meet again four weeks later in the Division I-AA semi-finals in Reno in a classic. Neither offense bore any resemblance to the November meeting. Boise State recovered from a horrible first half when Duane Halliday came off the bench to throw for a career-high 382 yards. The Broncos caught the Wolf Pack in the third quarter—and again in the final minute to send the game into overtime.  It took three extra periods before Nevada finally won 59-52.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)


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