The Bronco defense, ranked #2 in the nation, forced five Rocket turnovers to keep their opponent at bay and the game out of reach. "Watching them on film, I knew they were a physical football team, Toledo Head Coach Tim Beckman said. But they are a real physical football team. They play this game for 60 minutes, the way it's supposed to be played, and (Boise State Head Coach Chris Petersen) does a great job with that."
Bronco defensive end Shea McClellin, who is having an all-conference year, picked off an attempted pass early in the third quarter and found paydirt with a 36-yard score and also was credited with a sack. McClellin also recovered a fumble in the end zone against Wyoming. McClellin is the first Bronco to score on a fumble recovery and an interception since Kareem Williams in 1999. Tackle Billy Winn also had two sacks and a forced fumble for the Broncos to lead the defense. Boise State held Toledo to 278 total yards as their opponent lost for the first time on the road this season. The Rockets' 31-20 win at Purdue is looking better given Purdue's win over previously unbeaten Northwestern. Beckman said "When you're playing a Boise (State), a team that's built this legacy that they've got now, you cannot beat yourself that way, and we did."
Meanwhile, the Boise State offense scored touchdowns on five of their first seven possessions. The Broncos opened the game by going 73 yards on five plays in 2-minutes, 13 seconds en route to its quickest opening-drive touchdown of the season. "I think guys are just anxious to get a good start to the game, said Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore. "We really emphasize having fast starts and finishing strong. They are two key points that we really emphasize." Coach Chris Petersen's team has scored on all five opening drives this year, converting field goals against both Virginia Tech and Wyoming and touchdowns against Oregon State, New Mexico State and Toledo.
Moore was sharp in the Homecoming game, hitting 16 of 22 passes for three scores (including a 51-yard TD to Titus Young) in limited duty once again. Most of the passes were medium-range, as Moore averaged 16.7 yards per completion (267 passing yards). Moore's effort fell one completion short of breaking the school record of 650 career completions set by Bart Hendricks.
Young's phenomenal catch at the one and roll into the end zone was a highlight of the game. Moore was like a magician in fooling nearly everyone on the field and in the stands who thought he had handed the ball off. Out of nowhere, he pulled the ball up and threw a perfect strike to Young, who went up and snared the ball at the one-yard line. Young fell on top of the defender, and then rolled into the end zone for the score. Young finished with six receptions for 97 yards while Austin Pettis had four catches for 81 yards and tight end Kyle Efaw grabbed four for 47.
An opportunistic Jeremy Avery, getting more playing time with the unfortunate injury to D.J. Harper, ran for three scores for the Broncos. Avery gained 42 yards on seven carries with two five-yard touchdowns and a 12-yard reverse for another. He now has 22 career rushing touchdowns and passed Hendricks (20), Rodney Webster (20 from 1980-1983) and Terry Zahner (21 from 1977-1980) for seventh place all-time at Boise State. "You never know when something is going to get thrown at you--you have to just keep on playing," Avery said. "This is a good organization, a good team, and I believe in it. I believe in what [the coaches] say. I just have to make my opportunities count."
Doug Martin led nine Boise State ball carriers last night with eight rushes for 56 yards. Matt Kaiserman picked up 42 yards on 9 carries, Jarvis Hodge had 31 yards on 6 carries and Drew Wright picked up 27 yards on 6 tries.
Toledo quarterback Austin Dantin brought Toledo to within 15-7 near the end of the first quarter when he ran in from four yards. Despite the disparity in the final score, Dantin (13-18 for 167 yards) moved his team well and took what the Bronco defense gave him, converting several third downs with short passes.
Toledo picked up 18 first downs to 25 for Boise State, proof that they moved the ball and had their chances. But the tenacious Bronco defense took several opportunities away from them. One Dantin pass to Kenny Stafford deflected off Stafford's hands into a waiting Brandyn Thompson for an interception at the Bronco 18. Thompson also recovered a fumble and another Rocket drive ended when George Iloka stripped Adonis Thomas after Thomas had taken a screen pass into Bronco territory. When asked about the interception, Thompson said "It feels good…I and the coaches always joke about being in a drought, so it feels good not to be in a drought anymore."
Despite a 57-7 score, Dantin was still in the game in the fourth quarter and had to be carted off the field on a stretcher after taking a hit from a Bronco defender. Terrence Owens performed well in relief of Dantin, hitting 8 of 11 passes for 55 yards and Toledo's second TD, a 7-yard pass from Owens to Danny Noble late in the game.
Moore moved into fourth place on the all-time Boise State career passing yards list with 8,358, passing Jared Zabransky (2003-2006) who finished with 8,256. Moore trails #3 Bart Hendricks (9,020 yards from 1997-2000) by 662 yards. Moore passed Hendricks for career touchdowns with 78 and trails all-time leader Ryan Dinwiddie (2000-03) by four.
Young is now in sixth place with 2,324 career receiving yards after passing Mike Wilson (2,300 from 1990-1993). Young trails Terry Hutt and Mike Holton (2,354 each) for fourth place all-time at Boise State. Titus also moved into a tie for fifth with 159 career receptions to match Wilson's total. Young's TD last night gave him 19 for his career, tying him for seventh with Jay Swillie (1999-2002), Jeb Putzier (1998-2001) and Eric Andrade (1983-1984 and 1986-1987).
Pettis is now in eighth on that career receiving yardage list with 2,221, passing Swillie, who had 2,161. Defensive end Ryan Winterswyk was credited with .5 tackles for loss last night, tying him with Lance Sellers (1984-86) for #4 all-time with 41. Kicker Kyle Brotzman was not able to attempt a field goal and finished with seven extra points. Brotzman now has 384 career points at Boise State and needs 24 to tie Ian Johnson's school scoring record of 408 and 84 points in 8 remaining reams to tie the all-time NCAA scoring record of 468 set by Travis Prentice of Miami (OH).