Ducks have no answers for Wilson
LAS VEGAS — Boise State started out with short routes for Cedrick Wilson.
The senior receiver was targeted regularly in the first quarter of the Las Vegas Bowl with receptions of eight, 10 and eight yards, then caught a 26-yard touchdown pass that gave the Broncos a 14-0 lead en route to a 38-28 win over Oregon on Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium.
He went deep for a 65-yard catch late in the first half that looked likely to lead to another touchdown for Boise State, but Tyree Robinson intercepted a pass on the next play and returned it for an Oregon touchdown. Wilson had a 30-yard completion that led to a touchdown in the third quarter before finishing up with a 41-yard catch on BSU’s final scoring drive.
“He’s an explosive player,” Oregon safety Tyree Robinson said. “I was trying the best I could to let my teammates know where he was on the field, but he’s one of those players that you can move anywhere and they feed him the ball. They did a good job attacking our weaknesses.”
Wilson was named most valuable player after finishing with 10 catches for 221 yards, the second most in Las Vegas Bowl history and Boise State postseason history.
“He’s very dangerous,” Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said. “He made some big plays today in crucial situations that changed the game when we had opportunities to get off the field.”
Wilson accounted for nearly half of Boise State’s 481 yards of offense, which included 362 through the air.
“I know he’s going to get back up and do it again every single time,” junior linebacker Leighton Vander Esch said. “You know he’s going to make plays in games by the way he works in practice.”
Wilson injured his ankle and missed three drives in the first half, then injured his other ankle just before halftime.
“It was hard on my body,” Wilson said. “I just remembered what (coach Bryan) Harsin said, play for the guy to the left and right of you. The pain started to ease and obviously when your team starts to go up and you don’t have to worry about any negativity, that helps ease the pain as well.”
Wilson broke the school single-season record with 1,511 receiving yards while becoming the first player in school history with two 200-yard games in one season.
“It just feels good that all the hard work I’ve done has worked out and that I’ve been blessed to play with good quarterbacks,” he said.
Boise State averaged less than 2.4 yards per carry while gaining 112 yards on the ground.
“We did have times where we could have played better, but we fought for our seniors and our offensive guys to give them a chance,” Duck sophomore linebacker La’Mar Winston said. “You can’t argue with that.”
Oregon got half of its scores from the defense, on a fumble return by Troy Dye and the interception return from Robinson.
Dye sat out the second half because of dehydration and starting linebacker Justin Hollins also left for a short time due to injury. Freshman Sampson Niu was also hurt.
Winston and Jimmie Swain spent much of the second half lined up alongside senior Jonah Moi and sophomore Fotu Leiato II. Swain led Oregon with 10 tackles.
“Troy not being out there was a shock at first,” Hollins said. “But guys stepped up and got a lot of stops for us.”
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