Boise State’s Spencer Danielson becomes first interim coach in FBS history to lead team to division title

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Boise State defeated UNLV 44-20 on Saturday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada to capture its fifth Mountain West Conference championship in program history. In the process, Boise State’s Spencer Danielson became the first interim coach in FBS history to lead a team to a division title.

Clay Helton led USC to an interim berth in the 2015 Pac-12 Conference Championship, but the Trojans ultimately lost to Stanford. USC ultimately lifted the interim tag and named Helton full-time coach. Danielson certainly gave Boise State plenty of reason to follow suit.

The Broncos dominated on both lines of scrimmage. Boise State rushed for 301 yards compared to UNLV’s 83 yards, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Star running back Ashton Jeanty led all rushers with 157 yards and one touchdown, surpassing the 100-yard mark for the sixth time this season. Defensively, Boise State had seven tackles for loss and did not allow a run of more than 14 yards.

Danielson was named interim coach on Nov. 12 after Andy Avalos was fired after a 5-5 start to the season. In his first game as coach, Danielson’s Broncos defeated Utah State 45-10 for their largest scoring victory of the season.

Boise State then went 8-3 in the regular-season finale, beating Air Force, once a top 25 player in the AP, by eight points to earn a berth in the Mountain West championship game. Danielson was in his third year as Boise State’s defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach before being promoted to his current position. This is his seventh season with the program and he has served in various roles on the defensive side of the ball since joining the Boise State staff in 2017.

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