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WEBER STATE WILTS IN SECOND HALF, LOSES TO BOISE STATE, 41-24

SHARE WEBER STATE WILTS IN SECOND HALF, LOSES TO BOISE STATE, 41-24

Boise State Coach Skip Hall says he doesn't know if he'll live long enough to be able to savor these second-half comeback wins.

So how does Weber State's Dave Arslanian feel about all those third-quarter breakdowns that result in losses?"Did we lead at halftime?" Arslanian asked. "It's a credit to the coaches and players that we can lead at the half. Obviously, we're not good enough to beat anybody yet. We've got to at least be happy we can do that."

Boise, down 17-13 at the half at Wildcat Stadium Saturday night, put together a 238-yard passing attack in the second half for a 41-24 win in its first Big Sky Conference game of the season.

Weber fell to 0-4, 0-2 in the Big Sky.

Both Boise's Mike Virden, who started for the first time as a Bronco, and Weber's Ryan Schmidt, in his fourth start, had career-high passing nights, Virden throwing for 326 yards and four touchdowns and Schmidt throwing for 323 yards and one TD while running for two himself.

"Wow, I didn't know that," said Virden, who had an unhappy first half with three interceptions and a fumble. "I just was trying to force it. I was trying to do more than Mike Virden can do." At halftime, he said, the Broncos composed themselves, knowing how they can come back and that Weber has had trouble in the third period.

"I challenged 'em pretty good at the half," added Hall. "We created our own monster, but we destroyed him in the second half."

Boise's defense was as impressive as it had been billed, mounting eight sacks against Weber QBs to hold the Wildcats to their fourth-worst rushing yardage ever, minus-7 yards. It was minus-28 yards at the half.

Receivers Ricky Hill and Winky White for Boise and Peter Macon and Dave Hall for Weber had good nights. Hill caught three touchdown passes, and White had a 63-yard TD reception and totaled 185 yards on nine catches.

Macon had the third-best night ever for a Weber receiver with 12 catches, and he scored his first touchdown and of the season added 130 yards to his season total. Teammate Hall had 11 catches worth 191 yards.

Weber's 17-13 lead lasted all of 1:47 minutes into the second half.

That third quarter again.

Weber had been outscored 39-14 in third quarters going into the game and kept its string intact, giving up 14 points and scoring none.

Virden, who had 87 yards passing the first half, threw for 194 (10 for 16) the third quarter, putting up two TDs with no interceptions.

Virden directed a five-play drive to open the third period, culmintating in a 16-yard TD pass to Hill and a 20-17 Bronco advantage, and after a blocked Weber field goal attempt, White finished off a 63-yard pass from Virden with a touchdown, catching the ball on about the 20 over Jody Marshall and Mo Jackson and running in untouched for a 27-17 margin.

Hill caught his second touchdown pass at 12:49 of the fourth period for a 34-17 lead.

Schmidt's second touchdown run of the night came on the same play as his first, a quarterback draw that the Wildcats had put into their game plan especially for this game. This one went for 13 yards and resulted in not only cutting Boise's lead to 10 at 34-24, but it also briefly put Weber's rushing stats into the black - plus-3 yards for the night.

"Ryan played really well," said Arslanian of his battered QB. "The reason he's our starter is he's a tough, tough kid; he took some hellacious hits." Arslanian figured the eight sacks came because "they outquicked us a few times outside."