BOISE — Hundreds of students in the upper deck at Albertsons Stadium elected to leave at halftime Saturday afternoon despite the weather being perfect and Boise State clinging to a 21-20 lead over rival Nevada.

They must have been on to something.

Boise State committed three turnovers in the second half, fell behind by as many as 17 points and never really threatened in a disappointing 41-31 home loss to the Wolf Pack.

The Broncos were booed multiple times by the crowd for bad snaps and poor clock management as they suffered a second consecutive home loss on The Blue for the first time since 2015 and just the second time since 1997.

The loss dropped Boise State to 2-3 on the season — the first time since 2001 the Broncos are under .500 after five games.

“We all know what the standard here is and that is not it,” first-year Boise State coach Andy Avalos said.

A good chunk of the stadium record crowd of 37,426 joined the students by departing midway through the fourth quarter. Those still in the stands let out the biggest cheer of the second half when a fan ran on the field and alluded several security offers before being tackled near midfield.

It was that kind of day for the Broncos.

Boise State, which had been 16-1 against Nevada in its past 17 games, tried using a new center and a fourth starting offensive line combination in five games to help fix problems up front. It didn’t work.

Quarterback Hank Bachmeier was sacked six times and two poor snaps led to another loss of 40 yards. In all the Broncos had negative 97 yards on those eight plays — a pattern that doesn’t seem conducive to winning.

“We’re hurting,” Bachmeier said. “At Boise State there’s a lot of proud tradition and history here and we honor it every single day and obviously losing back-to-back home games sucks.”

The defense had its problems too. The 41 points allowed by Boise State are the most in a home conference loss by the Broncos since Nevada beat Boise State 56-42 on Nov. 8, 1997.

The loss ends a streak of 20 consecutive regular season Mountain West wins for Boise State dating back to a 2018 win against Nevada. The Broncos also dropped to 37-2 at home in the month of October since 2001.

It was just the third win for Nevada over the Broncos in Boise in 21 chances.

“Sometimes you have to go through some things to reestablish the foundation and reestablish what it means to be part of a place like this,” Avalos said. “Obviously we all feel a certain way right now and we’re not going to feel this way for no reason. We’re going to evaluate, we’re going to come together with the leadership group and we’re going to reestablish the things that are important together, and we’re going to build on them.”

Bachmeier actually had his best game at Boise State, completing 34 for 48 passes for 388 yards and four touchdowns. He outdueled potential first round NFL Draft pick Carson Strong, who completed 25 of 38 passes for 263 yards and one touchdown.

But three second-half turnovers and too many negative plays doomed the Broncos, who now have a 2-4 start staring them right in the face with a road trip at No. 13 BYU up next.

The second half has been a season-long issue for the Broncos, and it reared its ugly head again at a bad time.

With the Broncos leading 21-20 and starting the second half with the ball, Bachmeier was hit and lost a fumble on the first play of the third quarter. That led to an easy Nevada touchdown and two-point conversion which put the Wolf Pack up 28-21.

Boise State got a field goal from Jonah Dalmas to cut the deficit to 28-24, but it never got any closer. Nevada added a touchdown and pair of field goals to go up 41-24 before the Broncos got a late touchdown on a pass from Bachmeier to Octavius Evans to make the score a little bit closer.

The Broncos have scored just 47 points in the second half of all five games compared to 116 points in the first half. They have been outscored 43-17 in the second half of their three losses.

“It’s obviously something we have to figure out because it’s happened pretty much every game,” Bachmeier said. “It’s really frustrating and something we have to figure out here or it’s going to keep happening and we can’t let that happen obviously.

“We just have to do a better job coming out hot. We can’t turn the ball over right there on the first play of the second half. That’s not good.”

The three turnovers were a season high for the Boise State offense. The Broncos had committed just five turnovers in the four previous games coming in.

“We did a lot of things really well in the first half and there’s no reason for us not to be able to build off of those in the second half,” Avalos said. “We can’t start the second half that way.”

Boise State had just 22 yards rushing the ball — the third time in five games this season the Broncos had 61 yards rushing or less. The 22 yards ties for the 10th-fewest in single-game history for the Broncos, although that includes the 97 yards lost on the sacks and poor snaps.

One bright spot? Cobbs finished with 10 catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns in his first full game since being injured against UTEP.

There wasn’t much else positive to take away Saturday for the Broncos, who must find a way to regroup in a hurry with several tough games remaining.

A trip to BYU is up next week, where the Broncos are 2-5 all-time. The Broncos have lost two straight to BYU, including last year’s home blowout loss on The Blue.

Seven games still remain and the Broncos have time to win the Mountain Division and play in the conference title game. The Broncos would love a rematch with Nevada in early December — but have a ton of work to do before they can think about that.

“Football is a humbling game,” linebacker Riley Whimpey said. “This is an extremely tough loss. Losing on The Blue is never acceptable. ... We all need to uphold the standard that has been upheld here at Boise State. It was a tough one, but we need to respond and be able to focus on the simple things and be ready to respond this week against BYU.

“It’s extremely disappointing to be in the position that we are. We talk about responding and we’re going to have to do just that.”

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