BOISE, Idaho (AP) Boise State coach Bryan Harsin hasn't hesitated to call for featured running back Jeremy McNichols to get the ball 40 times in a game.
On Friday night, Harsin found he's got another talented running back in Alex Mattison. And he's only a freshman.
McNichols ran for 158 yards and two touchdowns, Mattison had a career-high 100 yards rushing on 18 carries and one touchdown, and No. 24 Boise State beat San Jose State 45-31.
The Broncos (8-1, 4-1) had two players over 100 yards on the ground in one game for the first time since Nov. 8, 2014, against New Mexico.
''(Giving Mattison more carries) was predetermined on our part,'' Harsin said. ''We knew he was ready for his opportunity. But it's not just about running the ball. It's also about being able to protect the quarterback in different looks.
''McNichols can't carry the ball like he has every single game. We're trying to spread the wealth a little big among those guys.''
San Jose State (3-7, 2-4), looking to get consecutive wins for the first time this season, finished with 495 yards of offense behind Kenny Potter's 23-of-36 passing for 278 yards.
After suffering a gut-wrenching loss last week to Wyoming on a safety in the waning minutes of the game, Boise State looked sluggish in the first quarter as it held a 7-6 lead.
However, the Broncos got the spark they needed with a little razzle dazzle. On fourth-and-12 from their 37, Broncos punter Sean Wale took the snap and raced 29 yards for a first down.
''Finally after four years, I had a chance to do something so I had to make the most of it,'' Wale said. ''It was my one chance to shine, and I certainly wasn't sliding. But I didn't really know what to do once I got into the open field.''
Three plays later, Mattison scored on a 19-yard run to extend Boise State's lead to 14-6.
''It could've been a stop on downs for us if we'd been able to make the play,'' Spartans coach Ron Caragher said. ''But we didn't and it changed the momentum of the game.''
''I was very proud of this team's response after last week's loss,'' Harsin said. ''We have to stay focused on what we can control and try to go out and play our best each and every week.''
San Jose State kept the pressure on Boise State, edging within 14-13 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. But that was as close as the Spartans would get as the Broncos took control of the game.
''Boise State learned a powerful lesson last week, and they got back to running the football and controlling the line of scrimmage behind their big offensive line,'' Caragher said.
Boise State, which finished with 517 total yards of offense, had a season-high 298 yards rushing. McNichols' performance was his seventh 100-plus yard game this season and fourth in a row.
Malik Roberson led the Spartans on the ground with 109 yards and a touchdown, his second 100-yard game of the season.
San Jose State: The loss squelched the Spartans' chances of becoming bowl eligible, but they still have a chance to finish strong after a 1-5 start. Their final two opponents, Air Force and Fresno State, have combined for only two conference wins.
Boise State: The Broncos no longer control their own fate in the Mountain division, but the victory keeps their hopes alive. They still need either Wyoming to lose two games or New Mexico to win out to win the division.
San Jose State: The Spartans take a week off before returning home to host Air Force on Nov. 19.
Boise State: The Broncos will take travel to Hawaii next Saturday in a conference tilt.
Boise State lost 11 spots in the poll last week after losing to Wyoming but shouldn't fall any farther this week. However, San Jose State isn't an opponent that's likely to greatly improve the Broncos' standing among voters either.
WALE OF A QUOTE
Wale was proudly showing off a big bruise on his right arm in the post-game press conference that he received when he was tackled on the fake punt play that resulted in a first down. However, he admitted he wouldn't want to get tackled every week like that. ''I respect those guys who get hit like that. I couldn't do it. I got a little bruise. I'll probably be at treatment tomorrow and get right.''
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