If Boise State played each week the way they did yesterday afternoon, they would be one of the most respected teams in the country.
The Broncos played hands down their best game of the year in dismantling a decent Idaho team 63-25 in Bronco Stadium, running their record to 10-0 and putting pressure on the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) to include them when they invite 10 teams to major bowls the first week of December. 33,986 raucous fans had Bronco Stadium shaking from shart to finish.
Wide receivers Austin Pettis and Titus Young have developed into a dangerous 1-2 punch and never was that more evident than yesterday's game. The two did it all yesterday, displaying speed, quickness, leaping ability, great presence of mind, sharp route-running, timely blocks for each other, incredible hands and the ability to elude tacklers. Pettis shot into the Bronco record books with four TD receptions on the day, giving him 14 this season. He eclipses the 35-year old record of 13 set by Mike "Motor Mouse" Holton. The four TD catches in a game also tied him with Don Hutt (1971), John Smith (1974) and Rodney Smith (1998) for the school record. Pettis (now with 29 TD receptions) passed Ryan Ikebe (28 from 1993-1996) and incredibly is in second place all-time. Austin is one TD catch from reaching the legendary Hutt's career mark of 30.
After the Broncos recovered a fumble on the third play of the game, Pettis leaped high for a touchdown catch in the right corner of the end zone. Pettis reached high for an 8-yard touchdown catch from Kellen Moore that made it 21-7 after one quarter. Pettis scored again when he caught a 20-yarder from Moore in the second quarter to make it 35-10. He also hauled in a Moore pass in the fourth quarter for his fourth TD of the day. He even threw a pass to tight end Kyle Efaw after the first touchdown for a two-point conversion! Pettis bothered the Vandal secondary all afternoon with eight receptions for 123 yards.
Young had what is believed to be the longest kickoff return in school history. Up 35-17, Young went eight yards into the end zone to retrieve a wind-aided kickoff. At the urging of teammate Doug Martin, he brought it out. Young sped down the right sideline past defenders and when Winston Venable threw a vicious block, he was home free for the 108-yard return. John Broadous returned a kickoff for over 100 yards against Idaho in 1981 but it is believed that it was 105 yards. Young's 531 kickoff return yards this season allows him to pass Kerry Lawyer, who had 448 in 1991. After a Bronco interception on Idaho's second drive, Young turned a short pass from Moore into a 25-yard touchdown, behind a block from Pettis. Young finished with six catches for 101 yards. He is now tied for 15th on the single-season list with 55 catches this year.
Young and Pettis quite possibly are the top Boise State tandem in school history. Bronco receivers have achieved dual 100-yard receiving games seven times in the last seven seasons and Young & Pettis are responsible for three of those. They have each gone over 100 yards against Miami of Ohio, Louisiana Tech and now Idaho.
Kyle Wilson continued his late-season surge with another interception for a touchdown--this one 71 yards that put Boise State up 49-17. The 71-yard pick six tied Wilson with Joe Larkin, who recorded his gem against UNLV in 1972. Wilson is one interception away from tying Anthony Brown (1988-1991) and Clint Sigman (1972-1975) for ninth at Boise State.
"He made a nice play on the ball," coach Chris Petersen said of Wilson's pick six. "What's nice about when Kyle catches it is he plays like a running back. Whether it's a punt return or interception, he puts those jets on and goes."
Kyle now is in fifth place with 57 career punt returns.
Brandyn Thompson had two athletic interceptions to thwart drives.
Moore elevated his Heisman Trophy and Davey O'Brien Award status in tying his career high of five touchdown passes. Moore passed former BYU and San Francisco 49'er Hall of Famer Steve Young for 19th place in Western Athletic Conference history with his 57th career touchdown pass to Pettis early in the fourth quarter. He tossed five scoring strikes to tie his career-best. The nation's #1 passer now has 32 TD passes (third in school history) against a mere three interceptions this season. Moore passed Ryan Dinwiddie's two best seasons (31 TD passes in 2003 and 29 in 2001) and Taylor Tharp's 30 touchdown passes in 2007. The Bronco sophomore is now behind only Bart Hendricks (35 in 2000) and Jim McMillan (33 in 1974). He is about to pass the four-year totals of Jared Zabransky and McMillan (58 each) for fourth place all-time. Moore was nine for 10 for 101 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter alone and 15 for 20 for 199 yards in the half, as Boise State had its most points in a half since August 30, 2007, against Weber State.
Moore gained 301 yards of total offense, making him the sixth member of the 6,000-career yards club. He joins Tony Hilde (10,138 from 1993-1996), Hendricks (10,039 from 1997-2000), Dinwiddie (9,984 from 2000-2003), Zabransky (9,119 yards from 2003-2006) and McMillan (6,115 yards from 1971-1974).
Jeremy Avery continued his hot streak with his seventh career 100-yard rushing game. Avery finished with 110 yards.
The Bronco defense played inspired for the first time in weeks. They forced seven Idaho turnovers, six by Vandal quarterback Brian Reader. The opportunistic Boise State defense intercepted five Reader passes and recovered his fumble on the third play of the game.
Kyle Brotzman booted home all seven of his extra point attempts to shoot past Tyler Jones for second place in school history. Brotzman now has 159 career PAT's moving Jones (156) to third.
Recent close wins on national television had convinced voters to rank TCU ahead of Boise State despite the fact that the Broncos could pass TCU in the six computer ratings that are factored into the BCS Standings. One of those close wins (45-35 at Louisiana Tech) was used to justify their slip. When LSU recovered an onside kick late in the game to down Louisiana Tech 24-16 at home, the voters moved the Tigers up, apparently disregarding their reasoning in treatment of Boise State just a week earlier.
The Vandals came into Boise with high hopes of challenging the Broncos but quickly realized how far they are behind. Idaho had been rated in the Top 25 by most of the computers this season, but were no match yesterday afternoon.
Idaho appeared to claim some momentum prior to half when DeMaundray Woolridge, who rushed 24 times for 143 yards, scored his 15th touchdown of the season from one yard to make it 35-17 with 22 seconds remaining in the half. Trey Farquhar's kickoff soared eight yards deep into the end zone. When Young ran it out, he received aid from Doug Martin in the form of a crushing block and when Venable leveled Farquhar at the Idaho 40, he was all alone.
Reader finished 17 for 27 for 305 yards and a touchdown for Idaho, which slipped to 4-3 in the WAC and 7-4 overall. Idaho must now win out and hope that Boise State gets a better bowl offer in order to play in a bowl game for the first time in 11 years.
Moore is rapidly moving up Boise State's record books. Although he isn't much of a threat to run (he has -7 yards rushing this season), his passing alone has allowed him to reach 2,551 yards of total offense. He needs just 303 yards to tie Jared Zabransky (2,854 yards in 2005) and Tony Hilde (1996) for 9th place. Moore already holds down #3 with 3,456 yards gained last season. Moore's 299 passing yards yesterday gave him 2,558 so far this season, which places him 10th. He is second in that category with 3,486 yards last season. Kellen became the fifth member of the 6,000 passing yard club at Boise State as he now has 6,044. Dinwiddie holds the record with 9.819 yards to 9,107 for Hilde, 9.020 for #3 Hendricks and 8,256 for Zabransky.
The sophomore QB has 203 completions this season and 484 for his career. He is tied with Hendricks' 1999 total for sixth and just seven behind Hendricks' career high of 210 set in 2000 that ranks fourth. Moore's miniscule interception percentage (three interceptions in 300 attempts for 1% currently ranks second only to Jeff Mladenich for the lowest single season interception ratio in school history. Mladenich threw just two picks in 239 attempts in 1991 (.83%).
Pettis has now caught a pass in 34 straight games, has caught multiple passes in 18 straight games and has found the end zone in each of Boise State's 10 games this season. He has tied Don Hutt (1972) for 13th place all-time in single-season receptions with 58. It is a closely-bunched group in the top 10--10 more catches will move Pettis all the way to fourth. He passed Drisan James for 15th with 1,813 career receiving yards. He has moved into a tie with T.J. Acree (2001-2004), Rodney Smith (1997-98), Kim Metcalf (1980-1984) and Al Marshall (1969-1971) for seventh place with seven career games over 100 yards. Pettis is also tied for ninth all-time with 14 total touchdowns in a season. He joins Jon Helmandollar (2004), David Mikell (2003) and K.C. Adams (1994) with that achievement. He is ninth with 29 career touchdowns, passing Ryan Ikebe (1993-1996) who had 28.
Boise State is 61-2 at home this decade, sporting the nation's top home
winning percentage (96.8%). They have won 24 straight since a
heartbreaking loss to Boston College in the 2005 MPC Computers Bowl and are 55-1
since a 2001 loss to Washington State and 69-2 dating back to 1999. Boise State has won 54 consecutive
regular season home games and is just four shy of Alabama for third in the
Boise State has broken their school record for victories in an eight-year
period with 90 and are just one shy of the modern record of 91 that is held by
Coach Petersen's team is now tied or #1 for the best record over the last two seasons (22-1), three seasons (32-4), four seasons (45-4), seven seasons (78-10), eight seasons (90-11), nine seasons (98-15), 10 seasons (108-17), 11 seasons (118-20), 12 seasons (124-25) and 13 seasons (128-32). In fact, the only periods in which Boise State doesn't own the best record in the nation in its history is the five years from 2005-2009 (they are one victory shy of Texas) the six-year period from 2004-2009 (again they are just one win shy of Texas) and from 1996-present. The latter period includes Boise State's first year in Division I-A when they were 2-10. Despite that slow start, Boise State (130-42) has now moved into fourth place behind Ohio State (138-36), Florida (138-38) and Texas (137-38).
Boise State travels to Logan, Utah for a key match up with the improved Aggies of Utah State. The game will be nationally televised Friday night at 7:30.