Boise State Passes Alabama With 59th Straight

Boise State turned back a determined Louisiana Tech team 49-20 last night, as the #3 Broncos kept the pressure on #1 Auburn and #2 Oregon to keep winning.

Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore proved to be an all-around athlete in leading Boise State to a 49-20 win over Louisiana Tech last night in Bronco Stadium. The win moved Boise State all alone at #3 all-time with its 59th consecutive regular season home victory.

Moore did a little bit of everything in leading the Broncos to victory. He was 20-28 passing for 298 yards and 2 touchdown passes, a TD reception and even booted the longest Bronco punt of the season, 54 yards, nearly pinning it inside the goal line. Moore became the only quarterback in the nation to throw for a touchdown, catch a touchdown and punt a ball over 50 yards in the same game. Moore threw scoring strikes to Austin Pettis and Tyler Shoemaker to tie Ryan Dinwiddie (2000-2003) for the all-time Bronco mark for career touchdowns with 82. Moore also went over the 200-yard passing mark for the 28th time in his three-year career to tie Bart Hendricks (1997-2000) for another school record. Pettis also took an end around pitch in the third quarter and fired a pass to Moore for a score.

Boise State stretched its winning streak to 21 games, its consecutive home winning streak to 29 and ran past Alabama in its consecutive regular season home win total. Only Miami of Florida and Princeton are now ahead of the Broncos. Princeton holds the NCAA record with 75 in a row from 1887-1900. Miami of Florida (1985-1996) is the modern leader with 69 straight. The Hurricanes won 58 in a row at home until an Orange Bowl loss to Nebraska in 1994 (which was in the postseason). They won 14 straight home games following that defeat but three were in Orange Bowl wins. Boise State is 73-2 in its last 75 home games, but will have to keep winning until 2018 to improve their 75-game home record to 74-1. The Broncos last lost on the Blue in 2005 in the postseason.

Tyler Shoemaker finally emerged as the playmaker Bronco fans were hoping he would become. Shoemaker enjoyed a career night with six receptions for 124 yards. "I think everybody's success is based upon each other. [Austin and Titus] are deep threats…they've got to double those guys all the time which leaves one-on-one for me." Doug Martin also set a career high with 21 carries for 150 yards and two scores on the ground.

Boise State built a 28-7 halftime lead and put the game away in the second half. Tech was able to generate 394 yards, much of it at the end of the game. Tech drove the ball three times to the doorstep of the Bronco goal line when they were trying to score moral points but was stopped cold on 12 plays inside the 10 by the Boise State reserves. The Bulldogs finally scored a mop-up touchdown in the game's final minutes. Louisiana Tech tied the game early in the first quarter on Lennon Creer's one-yard run. They boldly attempted an onside kick but a Tech player was offside. Bulldog coach Sonny Dyke, who hadn't seen the play clearly, angrily pleaded his case and was flagged 15 yards in the process. The outburst cost Tech dearly, as Titus Young brought the ensuing kick to the LT 17-yard line. Four plays later, Moore tossed to Pettis and the Bulldogs never were close again. "We gave them some short fields early. That played right into their hands by really making it where they didn't have to drive the length of the field. Against a good offensive football team, if you give them short fields like that they are going to take advantage of it."

Ross Jenkins hit 24-of-39 passes for 222 yards but also had to deal with a ferocious Bronco rush that sacked him four times. Senior defensive end Ryan Winterswyk moved into fourth place on the Broncos' career tackles-for-loss list with one of those four. Winterswyk now has 41.5 on his career, and passed Lance Sellers (40.5; 1984-86) on the all-time list.

Other than that, the Bronco defense that came into the game leading the nation did not live up to their reputation. "We're pleased with how hard our guys played. La Tech has got good players. They are getting better no question…We talked so much about tackling and I don't think we tackled well enough."

Jenkins hit talented Phillip Livas for 23 yards and Creer scored from 25 yards out in the game's final moments for Louisiana Tech's other scores. Creer rumbled through an arm-tackling Bronco defense that gave him 157 yards, far greater than the Bronco average of giving up just 59 yards a game, a paltry number that was established against Virginia Tech and Oregon State.

Boise State has not trailed in a game since the 1:09 mark of the fourth quarter against Virginia Tech, a span that has now reached 361:09. Boise State is 7-0 overall and 3-0 in the Western Athletic Conference with the victory. The Broncos, who won in just their third game at home this season, host likely Top 25 team Hawai'i next Saturday. Louisiana Tech dropped to 3-5 and 2-2. The Bulldogs will need to play solid down the stretch—they can only drop one more game to be bowl eligible.

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