Brett Rypien threw for five touchdowns — three of them to John Hightower — and Boise State pulled away late to beat Air Force 48-38 on Saturday night.

Air Force defensive tackle Jordan Jackson, left, comes in to tackle Boise State running back Alexander Mattison after a short gain in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. Boise State won 48-38. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Air Force defensive tackle Jordan Jackson, left, comes in to tackle Boise State running back Alexander Mattison after a short gain in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. Boise State won 48-38. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Rypien completed 20 of 34 passes for 399 yards with touchdowns of 61, 44 and 18 yards to Hightower, 21 yards to A.J. Richardson and 35 yards to C.T. Thomas. It was his fifth 300-yard passing game of the season and 20th of his career, most in school history.

Boise State running back Alexander Mattison heads to the bench after scoring a touchdown against Air Force in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Boise State running back Alexander Mattison heads to the bench after scoring a touchdown against Air Force in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Hightower finished with eight catches for 182 yards and Sean Modster had 6 receptions for 101 yards for Boise State (6-2, 4-1 Mountain West), which won for the first time in three trips to Air Force (3-5, 1-4). Boise State’s Alexander Mattison ran 22 times for 136 yards and a touchdown.

Boise State wide receiver John Hightower, left, is tackled by Air Force defensive back Ross Connors after pulling in a pass in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Boise State wide receiver John Hightower, left, is tackled by Air Force defensive back Ross Connors after pulling in a pass in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Isaiah Sanders was 10 of 15 for 210 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 97 yards and another score for the Falcons.

Air Force defensive back Ross Connors, left, pulls down Boise State wide receiver Sean Modster in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Air Force defensive back Ross Connors, left, pulls down Boise State wide receiver Sean Modster in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Haden Hoggarth’s second field goal, a 47-yarder with 12:14 remaining, restored a 10-point lead for the Broncos. But Air Force again came back, driving nearly the length of the field before Sanders shoveled a 5-yard pass to Kadin Remsberg for a touchdown, pulling the Falcons to within three points with 5:24 remaining.

Boise State offensive lineman Ezra Cleveland carries out a United States flag as the team takes the field to face Air Force in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Boise State offensive lineman Ezra Cleveland carries out a United States flag as the team takes the field to face Air Force in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

It didn’t take long for Boise State to answer. Hightower shot past cornerback Zane Lewis’ press coverage near the line of scrimmage and sprinted into the clear along the right sideline. Rypien spotted him, threw downfield and Hightower caught it on the run to complete the 61-yard score with 3:21 to go.

Boise State wide receiver A.J. Richardson, right, runs into a photographer after scoring a touchdown against Air Force in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Boise State wide receiver A.J. Richardson, right, runs into a photographer after scoring a touchdown against Air Force in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Air Force failed to convert a fourth down near midfield and Boise State ran out the clock to secure the victory.

Air Force defensive back Milton Bugg III, left, drags down Boise State wide receiver John Hightower after he pulled in a pass in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Air Force defensive back Milton Bugg III, left, drags down Boise State wide receiver John Hightower after he pulled in a pass in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Broncos took a 38-31 lead into the fourth quarter, getting a 30-yard field goal from Hoggarth and a 1-yard touchdown run by Mattison that was set up by Avery Williams’ 67-yard punt return to the Falcons’ 5-yard line. Air Force squeezed in a 30-yard field goal by Jake Koehnke.

Boise State cornerback Tyler Horton, right, tackles Air Force fullback Cole Fagan after a short gain in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Boise State cornerback Tyler Horton, right, tackles Air Force fullback Cole Fagan after a short gain in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Rypien threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game to Thomas with five seconds left in the second quarter, allowing the Broncos to pull into a 28-all tie in a wild first half that saw the teams taking turns zipping down the field.

Boise State wide receiver John Hightower (16) rolls in for a touchdown after pulling in a pass in front of Air Force linebacker Grant Donaldson in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Boise State wide receiver John Hightower (16) rolls in for a touchdown after pulling in a pass in front of Air Force linebacker Grant Donaldson in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Broncos broke on top with two quick first quarter scoring strikes from Rypien to Hightower around Air Force’s first touchdown, a 17-yard burst up the middle by fullback Cole Fagan.

Air Force linebacker Blake Dailey, left, knocks Boise State running back Robert Mahone out of play after Mahone pulled in a pass in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Air Force linebacker Blake Dailey, left, knocks Boise State running back Robert Mahone out of play after Mahone pulled in a pass in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The teams traded scores to start the second quarter with Sanders and Marcus Bennett teaming up for a 20-yard touchdown pass and Rypien connecting with Richardson.

Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun looks on in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Boise State, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun looks on in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Boise State, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Falcons finished off a 21-point second quarter with Sanders’ 5-yard touchdown run and halfback Joseph Saucier’s 32-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andrew Smith that pushed Air Force briefly in front 28-21.

Air Force quarterback Isaiah Sanders (4) is tackled after a short gain by Boise State safety Tyreque Jones, left, and linebacker Tyson Maeva in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Air Force quarterback Isaiah Sanders (4) is tackled after a short gain by Boise State safety Tyreque Jones, left, and linebacker Tyson Maeva in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

THE TAKEAWAY

Boise State wide receiver John Hightower pulls in a pass for a touchdown against Air Force in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Boise State wide receiver John Hightower pulls in a pass for a touchdown against Air Force in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Boise State: With the victory, Boise State became bowl eligible. Rypien matched his career high with five touchdown passes and the Broncos’ fleet wide receivers were able beat the Falcons’ secondary at key moments to come out on top in a shootout for a third consecutive win.

Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien, right, congratulates wide receiver John Hightower after Hightower's pass catch for a touchdown against Air Force in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien, right, congratulates wide receiver John Hightower after Hightower’s pass catch for a touchdown against Air Force in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Air Force: The Falcons were denied in a bid for their first back-to-back wins of the season. They managed to trade blows offensively with the high-powered Broncos but ultimately couldn’t contain Boise State’s passing game.

Boise State wide receiver Sean Modster warms up before an NCAA college football game against Air Force, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Boise State wide receiver Sean Modster warms up before an NCAA college football game against Air Force, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

UP NEXT

Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin throws passes to receivers along with quarterback Brett Rypien, back, before the first half of an NCAA college football game against Air Force Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin throws passes to receivers along with quarterback Brett Rypien, back, before the first half of an NCAA college football game against Air Force Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Boise State: Returns home to host Brigham Young on Saturday night.

Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien warms up before an NCAA college football game against Air Force, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien warms up before an NCAA college football game against Air Force, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Air Force: Plays at Army on Saturday with the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy on the line.

Source: The Associated Press

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