Don't let the score fool you--the Rockets team that came within 16 yards of beating Ohio State in Columbus last Saturday (27-22) gave Boise State all they could handle. Missed tackling by the usually reliable Bronco defense consistently gave Toledo third-down conversions and confidence. It almost didn't matter the distance Toledo had to go on third down--the Rockets converted, especially in the first half.
But a team isn't measured by one or two possessions or one or two quarters but by 60 minutes of work. Overall, the Broncos passed their road test, albeit with sputters and stops. Toledo struck first with a 24-yard pass from Austin Dantin to tight end Danny Noble. The extra point failed but the home team had drawn first blood. Moore led Boise State on a nine-play 68-yard drive of their own, finishing with a 26-yard pass over the middle to Tyler Shoemaker, who had three TD receptions on the night. On Boise State's next possession, Moore dumped a pass off to running back Doug Martin, who broke tackles and with some brilliant running, raced to the end zone for a 71-yard TD. Dan Goodale's kick was wide left and the Broncos led 13-6.
Moore and Shoemaker hooked up again in the second quarter on a fade pattern. The ball bounced off the Toledo defender's helmet but Shoemaker secured it just before going out of bounds for the score. To Toledo's credit, they came back thanks to a super catch by All-American receiver Eric Page, getting his right toe down on the left sideline. That prepared the way for Ryan Casano to boot a 35-yard field goal shortly before halftime and the teams headed into the locker room with the Broncos leading 20-9.
Moore led Boise State to another score in the third as he found tight end Kyle Efaw from 12 yards out. At one point in the second half, the Bronco senior quarterback hit 15-of-17 passes, and he fired touchdown pass #5 in the fourth with a 17-yard strike to Shoemaker. Reserve running back Drew Wright rumbled in from eight yards out for Boise State's final score of the night, shortly after Adonis Thomas scored the second touchdown for Toledo on a one-yard run.
Moore finished the night with a career-high 32 completions out of 42 attempts for 455 yards and five TD's. Kellen's evening placed him in the single-game Boise State record book in four different places. His performance places him third in completions (32), #4 in passing yards (455), tied for second all-time in touchdown passes (5) and fifth in total offense yards (457). Moore broke out of a tie with former Bronco great Jim McMillan and is now #2 all-time with three games of 400 passing yards or more.
Martin kept the Toledo defense guessing with an excellent display of all-purpose running. Martin had 19 carries for 70 yards to pace the Bronco rushing attack, caught five passes for 122 yards and the touchdown and pushed his single-game all-purpose total to 252 with 60 yards on kickoff returns. Martin moved into the #6 slot in career rushing at Boise State (2,316 yards), passing Jeremy Avery, who finished his career with 2,268 yards. Martin passed K.C. Adams (490) and Jeff Carpenter (491) for sixth place all-time for receiving yards by a running back. Martin now has 632 in his career.
Shoemaker's hat trick enabled the senior receiver to tie Bronco great Kipp Bedard for 20th all-time with 13 career TD receptions. Several members of the Bronco receiving corps got into the action as Mitch Burroughs had six receptions for 76 yards, freshman Matt Miller had six catches for 65, Shoemaker had four catches for 52 yards and Kirby Moore had four receptions for 46.
Terrance Owens finished the game 17-of-31 for 207 yards for Toledo while Thomas paced the Rocket ground game with14 carries for 65 yards and the touchdown. Page led Toledo with eight receptions but the Bronco defense was able to limit his yards per catch, something Ohio State could not do, as Boise State held Page to 59 yards (7.4 yards per reception)
Boise State improved to 2-0 with the road win while Toledo is 1-2 with both losses coming against Top 15 teams. After three weeks, the Broncos finally have their home opener next Saturday against Tulsa.