Boise State will continue its unprecedented, relentless and unyielding pursuit of a BCS national championship with two more Friday night appearances on the ESPN family of networks. The Broncos host rival Fresno State next week and travel to play nationally-ranked Nevada the day after Thanksgiving.
Boise State exploded for 28 points in the first quarter and was able to dominate the Vandals in all three phases of the game. Idaho played its starters most of the game, kept battling until the final whistle and the Moscow crowd was slamming its "thunder sticks" together the entire time, much to their credit. Bronco punt returner Chris Potter broke three tackles and sliced through the Vandal defense for a 76-yard return to the end zone the first time Boise State touched the ball. The clock showed that 41 seconds had ticked off in the game and Boise State held a 7-0 lead.
"Certainly when you're on the road, especially, to get a fast start and settle our guys down and keep the crowd a little bit quiet is very important," Bronco Head Coach Chris Petersen said.
Following the first of two Brandyn Thompson interceptions, running back Doug Martin unleashed a punishing highlight reel bulldozing of Vandal safety Shiloh Keo to plow into the end zone from eight yards out. Martin led the Broncos with 117 yards and two touchdowns in limited duty. Martin now has 8 100-yard rushing games in his career to tie him with David Mikell (2000-2003) for 8th place all-time. Boise State has now outgained opponents 1,929 yards to 674 on the ground and sports 26 rushing touchdowns to 7 for its opponents this season.
The Bronco defense stuffed Idaho on its next possession and on the ensuing punt, Jeron Johnson blocked Bobby Cowan's punt at the Idaho 14 and Jeremy Avery scored four plays later. Bronco quarterback Kellen Moore threw a perfect spiral of 58 yards to Titus Young to propel Boise State to its 28-0 first quarter lead.
Moore also fired a 17-yard strike to Jeremy Avery who lunged into the end zone with 12 seconds left in the half to put the Broncos up 38-0. That gave Moore 195 passing yards in the first half. Moore completed his work for the night with a perfect dart to freshman Gabe Linehan in the back of the end zone after being flushed from the pocket and forced to throw on the run. The Heisman hopeful finished 19 of 26 for 216 yards, after throwing for 507 yards in three quarters last week against Hawai'i.
Young, who led Boise State with 5 catches for 75 yards, is now nine catches shy of being the second Bronco to top previous 37-year record holder Don Hutt for career catches. Young now has 180; Pettis broke the mark last week and now has 198 career receptions. Young, who now has 2,672 receiving yards is also 56 yards shy of tying Hutt in that category and is just 79 yards away from breaking Ryan Ikebe's (1993-1996) school record. Pettis (2,482 career receiving yards) is 18 shy of becoming the fourth Bronco ever to top 2,500. If and when he can achieve that feat, it would give Boise State the first pair of 2,500-yard receivers to play simultaneously in school history.
Moore, who already has set school records for career TD passes (88), career completions 732) and most games with 200 or more passing yards (30), is on the verge of moving up several other lists. Moore's 24 touchdown strikes this season puts him 9th all-time and gives him three entries in the Bronco top ten. Moore is 64 passing attempts from #2 Bart Hendricks' career mark. Kellen is 18 completions and 158 passing yards from earning his third entry on both the season attempts and completions season charts. He is 432 yards away from #3 Ryan Dinwiddie for career total offense.
"That's a darn good football team, ranked No. 1 or No. 4 or whatever," Idaho coach Robb Akey (who ranks Boise State #1 in his weekly vote) said. "It's for good reason. They didn't get there by accident."
Bronco kicker Kyle Brotzman became the Western Athletic Conference's all-time scoring leader with 10 points on the evening. Brotzman passed former Hawai'i and NFL standout Jason Elam (395 career points from 1989-1992).
Brotzman, who now has 403 points, had a shot at one time to break the all-time NCAA record for career points. However, the Bronco senior has had few field goal opportunities with Boise State's potent offense and also had to miss the Hawai'i game with an injury. Kyle is, however, 5 points shy of tying Brock Forsey's school record of 408. Brotzman also broke Nick Calaycay's school record of 213 PAT's; Brotzman now has 220.
Avery added a rushing touchdown—he has now scored one in six consecutive games. Avery is now in sole possession of eighth all-time at Boise State with 32 career touchdowns, slipping out of a tie with Don Hutt (1970-1973) and Jared Zabransky (2003-2006).
Six Broncos average more than 5.5 yards per carry. Martin has gained 866 yards on 128 carries for a 6.8 average, Avery is at 5.5 with 338 yards on 61 carries, senior Jarvis Hodge has 236 yards on 33 carries (7.2 avg.), the injured D.J. Harper has 160 yards on 18 carries (8.9), quarterback Mike Coughlin has 90 yards on 12 carries (7.5 avg.) and Potter has five runs for 32 yards (6.4)
Potter's punt return for six tied him for 7th place for the longest punt return in Boise State history. Ron Love also recorded a 76-yarder against Montana State in 1983 and Rolly Woolsey burned Weber State with his 76-yard return in 1974.
Thompson moved into ninth place with his two interceptions last night; the Bronco senior now has 12 in his career to tie him with Anthony Brown (1988-1991) and Clint Sigman (1972-1975). Linebacker Aaron Tevis thwarted an early Vandal threat when he stepped in front of intended receiver Maurice Shaw and picked off a Nathan Enderle pass on the Bronco 15.
Enderle finished 16 of 34 for 118 yards and was sacked three times before being pulled midway through the fourth quarter. Idaho was able to fool the Bronco special teams twice on Kama Bailey fake punt returns, the second of which went for 54 yards to set up Idaho's first touchdown in the third quarter. The first Bailey jaunt of 34 yards set Idaho up at the Bronco eight-yard line but the Boise State defense stifled Idaho and took over on downs.
"To win championships, you have to have great defense," Petersen said. "I know people are here to see offense, but we've got to get it done with our defense, too." Boise State has outscored opponents this season 47.6-12.8.
The Broncos now play the waiting game and see if their performance was enough to gain ground in the BCS Standings.