Green, Jeanty lead Boise State win over UNLV for Mountain West title

Green, Jeanty lead Boise State to 44-20 win over UNLV for 2023 Mountain West title

— A locker room can go either way when a coaching change is made, and in Boise State’s case, players lined up behind Spencer Danielson when he was handed the job on an interim basis with two games left in the regular season.

That buy-in has been on full display since.

Taylen Green threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more, and the Broncos improved to 3-0 under Danielson, beating UNLV 44-20 on Saturday to capture their fifth Mountain West championship.

The Broncos (8-5) are expected to head to the LA Bowl, which has the first choice from the Mountain West.

UNLV (9-4), which was appearing in its first Mountain West title game, will get an invitation from one of the other league-affiliated bowls. It will be the Rebels’ first bowl trip in a decade.

As for Boise State, its players lobbied for Danielson to get the job on a full-time basis, and they made their best statement on the field.

Green was named offensive player of the game after completing 12 of 15 passes for 226 yards with the two TDs and an interception and rushing for 90 yards and two scores. Ashton Jeanty rushed for 153 yards and a TD.

Boise State outgained the Rebels 527-298, racking up 301 yards on the ground.

UNLV’s Jayden Maiava, the conference Freshman of the Year, went 15 of 29 for 166 yards with two interceptions and a lost fumble.

Propelled by big plays, the Broncos took a 31-14 lead midway through the second quarter. Green passed for a 57-yard touchdown and ran for a 70-yard score in the second period, and 32- and 43-yard completions set up a pair of first-quarter TDs.

UNLV got as close as 31-20 early in the third quarter but never seriously threatened after that.

Boise State continued its run as the conference standard bearer, and the Broncos clinched their 26th consecutive winning season, the nation’s longest active streak.

The players will soon learn if what they accomplished will also get Danielson’s interim tag removed.

This postseason experience is new for UNLV, playing under Barry Odom, who was named conference coach of the year after leading the Rebels to their best season since 1984.