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Boise State claims MWC championship with win over UNLV

Ian Maule / Getty Images Sport / Getty

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Taylen Green threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more, Ashton Jeanty rushed for 153 yards and a TD, and Boise State won its fifth Mountain West championship, beating UNLV 44-20 on Saturday.

The Broncos (8-5), who have won three consecutive games under interim coach Spencer Danielson, 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.

Green completed 12 of 15 passes for 226 yards with an interception, and he rushed for 90 yards. Boise State outgained the Rebels 527-298, including 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.

Boise State was 5-5 when Andy Avalos was fired, putting Danielson in charge. Broncos players have been vocal in their desire that Danielson get the job full-time, and they’ve shown that support through their recent play, especially in the title game.

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.

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.

The announced crowd was 31,473, the largest for a Mountain West title game. The previous high was 31,316 when Fresno State hosted Utah State in the conference’s first championship game.

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