An unsuccessful fake punt by Boise State at their own 22-yard line handed the ball to the Cougars with great field position as the first quarter drew to a close. While BYU had little trouble driving it to within the five, an illegal block penalty sent them to 3rd and 16. A clear passing down led nicely to Jamar Taylor picking off Riley Nelson at the two-yard line and kept the game scoreless.
Neither team's offense was capable of much in the early going, with the Cougars mustering nine net yards of offense on three drives before a botched fake punt by the Broncos set them up just outside the red zone with two minutes left in the quarter. Boise State fared no better, failing to pick up a first down on two of the team's first three drives, with the other ending with a missed field goal. The fourth drive was the fake punt.