FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Curtis Weaver just wanted to celebrate. Turns out he needed the ball first.
Boise State’s defensive star and future NFL Draft pick didn’t have a sack Friday afternoon in a 31-24 win at Colorado State. He did even better.
Weaver tipped a ball at the line of scrimmage, started to celebrate and then caught the ball for a crazy interception late in the second quarter.
“I batted it down and usually they just fall down, so I turned to the sideline about to cheer, and then the ball was still in the air so I grabbed it,” Weaver said. “I was like ‘oh my gosh.’ I wish I had caught my foot so I (didn’t fall) and could score.”
Weaver’s interception gave the ball to the Broncos with great field position and less than a minute remaining before the half. The Broncos turned the play into points when kicker Eric Sachse connected on a 39-yard field goal with 18 seconds left to give the Broncos a 24-14 lead at the half.
The redshirt junior finished with three tackles. The interception was the second of his career.
WEATHER CONTRIBUTES TO SMALLEST BOISE STATE CROWD IN 15 YEARS
Maybe it was the holiday, maybe it was the 15 inches of snow Fort Collins got earlier in the week, or maybe it was just a 4-7 home team.
Perhaps it was a combination of all three, but the crowd was light at Canvas Stadium.
The official attendance was announced at 12,234 — the smallest crowd to watch Boise State in 15 years.
“It reminds me of sitting in the stands in those Big Sky days, or being out there as a player when we had snow on the field,” said Boise State coach Bryan Harsin, who is a Boise native and a former Bronco quarterback. “We had more people in the stands, but it kind of felt like that.”
Fort Collins was hit with a winter storm late Monday, which lasted into Tuesday. The storm dropped 15 inches of snow, an uncharacteristic amount for the area in November.
Crews worked all around the clock to clear the stadium, with the university saying it removed roughly 2 million pounds from Sony Lubick Field alone.
Snow was piled up around the sides of the stadium, though, and several seating sections were not open to the public, with only five sections in the lower deck open behind Boise State.
It resulted in the smallest crowd in the three-year history of the stadium, according to the Denver Post, and was the smallest crowd the Broncos had played in front since a 2004 game at San Jose State attracted 5,028 fans. That game began at 9 a.m. PST.
GROUND GAME STRUGGLES AGAINST RAMS
With the possibility of extending its streak of 1,000-yard rushers to 11 years, Boise State was not able to move the ball on the ground.
George Holani was limited to 42 yards on 18 carries, keeping him 88 yards short of the 1,000-yard mark with two games left on the schedule.
As a whole, Boise State had 91 yards rushing, matching its season low. The Broncos also had 91 yards on the ground against Wyoming.
“I think (Colorado State) Coach (Mike) Bobo does a tremendous job,” Harsin said. “I think he’s one of the best, he prepares and he’s very difficult to go against. I really believe that his teams are ready every time we play, so to me he’s able to have his team ready to go.”
Boise State did have two rushing touchdowns from Garrett Collingham and Jaylon Henderson, both of whom scored on the ground for the first time this season. That upped the number of Broncos to score a rushing touchdown this season to 11, the most since 2004.
MORE LATE-HALF MAGIC
Sachse’s field goal with 18 seconds left in the second quarter extended a crazy late-half streak for the Broncos.
With the field goal, Boise State has now scored points in the final minute of the first half in 10 straight road games dating back to last season. The Broncos scored in the final 30 seconds in each of the six road games this season.
The Broncos got the ball late in the second quarter thanks to Weaver’s interception.
JONES GETS FIRST CAREER INTERCEPTION
Redshirt sophomore Tyreque Jones recorded his first career interception in the first quarter. Jones picked off Colorado State quarterback Patrick O’Brien and returned it 15 yards to the Rams’ 20-yard line. The Broncos cashed in on the turnover, scoring on a 5-yard pass from Jaylon Henderson to CT Thomas on the first play of the second quarter.
TRIO OUT INJURED
Corner Markel Reed, safety Jordan Happle and starting right guard Eric Quevedo all missed Saturday’s game due to injury. It was the second straight game missed by Quevedo, who has started 31 games the past three seasons.
Jake Stetz made his second start at right guard in place of Quevedo.
Kekaula Kaniho led the Broncos onto the field with The Hammer. … It was Boise State’s seventh come-from-behind win this season. ... Boise State won five games in the month of November for the first time since 2008. ... The Broncos closed the regular season with two consecutive road wins for the first time since 1968. ... The Broncos are now 9-0 all-time against Colorado State.