Facing insurmountable odds, vile critics and a ton of pressure for 21 and 22-year olds, the Boise State Broncos all but locked up the first BCS Bowl in school history with a resounding 38-7 win over highly-regarded Nevada.

2006 has been a magical year for Boise State.  Denied a Bowl Championship berth in 2004 despite an undefeated season, the Broncos proved all season long that they were not going to fall short this year.

Behind a gutsy 147-yard three-touchdown effort by Heisman candidate Ian Johnson, Boise State (12-0) broke open what was supposed to be a close game to down powerful Nevada 38-7 to win its fifth straight Western Athletic Conference championship and a likely berth in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.  Johnson, who sat out last week with cracked ribs and a punctured lung, was sensational inside and outside for the Broncos.

So too was senior quarterback Jared Zabransky, who completed 20 of 27 passes for 299 yards and a touchdown.  In the past two weeks, Zabransky has been on fire for Coach Chris Petersen, hitting 41 of 50 passes.  Legedu Naanee was the leading receiver with seven catches for 129 yards and the touchdown.  Freshman Jeremy Childs was impressive with three receptions for 65 yards, while seniors Jerard Rabb and Drisan James also had three grabs.

The entire Boise State defense shut out a team that had averaged over 40 points per game over its five-game winning streak, as Nevada's only score came on an interception return.  Stymied by the line play of Nick Schlekeway and Andrew Browning, the bone-jarring tackles of Korey Hall and Colt Brooks and the superb coverage of the entire Boise State secondary, Nevada was held to less than 100 yards for the game.

The Bronco "D" forced four turnovers, beating the Wolf Pack at their own game.  Nevada entered the contest ranked #1 in the nation in turnover margin.

The Broncos now await their bowl fate that will depend on two weeks of polls and computer ratings.  The final BCS Standings will be released next Sunday, with announcements from the four major bowls coming shortly after.

Congratulations for an incredible magical year Boise State!

Bronco Country Top Stories