With 18 seconds remaining, the refs stopped the clock for an official measurement. The Broncos were short:
Boise State would — unless Bryan Harsin was feeling irresponsibly aggressive — punt and give Fresno State the ball deep in their own territory. Unlikely the Bulldogs would tie the game from their own, let's say, 15-yard line with zero timeouts? Extremely. Impossible? No.
First down Broncos!
Seriously. The refs ruled that a first down. This isn't a live-action call. They measured, saw the space between the ball and the marker and still called it a first down.
Boise State took a knee on the next play and game over. The Broncos stayed within one game of Utah State in the Mountain Division and Fresno State is now tied with San Diego State in the West Division — assuming San Diego State beats UNLV on Saturday.
The Mountain West has some explaining to do.