Boise State Leaves No Doubt They Should Be #1

In the battle that is perception, Boise State made a strong case for the #1 ranking with a dominating 51-0 victory over heralded rival Fresno State tonight in Bronco Stadium. No team in the nation has been able to defeat them in 24 straight games; few have been willing to play them.

Could Auburn hold Fresno State to 4 first downs and 83 total yards for 58 minutes?  Only in their dreams.  

Could Oregon stop the Bulldogs in their tracks?  Not a prayer.  

Those two teams, which are idle this week, could only sit back and watch as the nation's most exciting offense and stop-you-cold defense put on an amazing display for the entire nation in shutting out Fresno State 51-0 tonight in Bronco Stadium.  Fresno entered the game averaging 400 yards and 35 points.  

Boise State , shunned by the voters all season long, looks to gain significantly in the polls Sunday.  If not, it is unimaginable what they want to see from a team that has won 24 consecutive games and is threatening to become the second team in the history of football to have five undefeated seasons in seven years. 

"They've got all the pieces, I mean they really do. I think the truth of the matter is people are scared to play them," Fresno State  coach Pat Hill said. "They don't want to play them. It's like last year when they put Boise against TCU. They don't want to play against those types of teams. I'll say it. I have no problem saying it. I'll take Boise State against anybody in the country."

Boise State players shattered three school records in one night.  Heisman Trophy hopeful Kellen Moore broke one school mark for career passing yards (9.943).  He threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns to lead a Bronco offense that moved the ball at will.  Moore dished out two touchdown throws each to star wide receivers Austin Pettis and Titus Young.  Young caught 8 passes for 164 yards to break the school record for career receiving yards while Pettis made sensational catches look like child's play.   

Boise State 's ferocious front four made life tough for Bulldog quarterback Ryan Colburn.  When Colburn wasn't being sacked (4 times), he was being hit, hurried or harassed by a smothering defense that gave nothing to a very good Fresno State football team.  Colburn, who played the entire game, was 6-23 against Boise State 's first team, second team and third team defense.  Dangerous running back Robbie Rouse, who came into the rivalry showdown with 700 yards rushing in the last four games (including 286 vs. Louisiana Tech and 217 against #18 Nevada), was held to less than 40 until the final drive of the game. 

"They're a very good defensive football team. I don't think people give them the credit, to be perfectly honest that they deserve in that sense," Colburn said. "Their rank is every bit worth it."

Senior safety Jeron Johnson advanced to #13 on Boise State 's career tackles list with four jarring hits on the night.  Johnson has 296, passing Wes Nurse (294 from 2000-2003) and tying Dan Williams (296; 1977-1980).

A look up at the scoreboard with 2:23 to go told the skeptics all they needed to know about the Boise State defense.  Fresno State had 4 first downs, 7 yards rushing and 83 total yards.  The Bulldogs were able to drive the ball on the Bronco third unit but still weren't able to score as time ran out. 

"This Boise State team is the real deal. ... I hope they can make it to the big dance because they deserve it in my mind," Hill said. "I feel I can say that. We've played against some pretty darn good football teams in my time. Never have we been manhandled like that."

Placekicker Kyle Brotzman moved into history as well.  With his field goal shortly before halftime, Brotzman passed running back Brock Forsey for the school record for career points.  Brotzman is now #6 in NCAA history with 418 points.  In addition to Forsey, Brotzman passed #7 Taurean Henderson of Texas Tech (414 points), #8 Billy Bennett of Georgia (409) and #10 Cedric Benson of Texas (404).  With 16 more points, Brotzman can become the top kick scorer in college football history.  That spot is held by Louisville 's Art Carmody, who scored 433.  

Moore completed 27 of 38 passes on the evening and passed Bronco great Ryan Dinwiddie (9.819 passing yards from 2001-2003).  The junior signal-caller has smashed four career records this season (touchdown passes with 92, completions with 759, 200-yard games with 31 and now passing yards).  Moore's 42-yard strike to Young in the second quarter put the Bronco senior receiver (2,836 career receiving yards) over previous #1 Ryan Ikebe (2,751 yards from 1993-1996) for that record.  Pettis added 10 catches for 93 yards, many of them of the spectacular variety, and scored on catches of 15 and 6 yards in the third quarter.  Pettis went over the 2,500-yard career receiving yard mark as well, passing Lou Fanucchi (2,554 from 1999-2002) for 4th place all-time.   

Moore moved into the single-season passing yards top 10 with 2,921, 6th place all-time, passing Bart Hendricks (2,746 in 1999), Tony Hilde (2,787 in 1994) and Jim McMillan (2,900 in 1974).  Kellen also passed himself and Hilde (26 TD passes) for seventh in the race for single-season touchdown passes.  He has 28 in this magical 2010 season.

"I've been very fortunate to play with these guys," Moore said. "I feel like I say this a million times, but I feel fortunate to have a good offensive line and some good receivers who can make some plays."

Young now has 988 yards this season, moving from 16th to 9th in single-season receiving yards.

Boise State advanced their season record to 10-0 (6-0 in the Western Athletic Conference) with the victory.  The Broncos and #18 Nevada clash in Reno next Friday with the WAC title on the line.

Rouse picked up 37 of his 70 yards on Fresno State's final drive.

Fresno finished with nine first downs and 125 total yards thanks to their final drive which netted 42 yards. The Bulldogs (6-4, 4-3) finish the regular season by hosting Idaho next weekend and Illinois December 4.

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