Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fireworks in Fort Collins

Boise State seized the opportunity of its historic debut in the Mountain West Conference with a 63-13 victory over Colorado State yesterday afternoon in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Boise State running back Doug Martin (22) is congratulated by teammates Mitch Burroughs (20) and Matt Miller (2) after scoring a touchdown against Colorado State during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Fort Collins, Colo., Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011.

The trio of quarterback Kellen Moore, tailback Doug Martin and wide receiver Tyler Shoemaker produced video game-like numbers in two-and-a-half quarters and a stiff Boise State defense propelled the Broncos to the win, showing there was no letdown after the near-perfect game last week against Fresno State. Boise State set a school record of 742 yards of total offense despite the fact that they let off the pedal midway through the third quarter.

Quarterback Kellen Moore of the Boise State Broncos delivers a touchdown pass to tight end Gabe Linehan of the Boise State Broncos for a touchdown to give the Broncos a 55-13 lead over the Colorado State Rams at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium on October 15, 2011 in Fort Collins, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Moore was 26-30 for 86.67%, the fourth-most accurate performance in school history, throwing for 338 yards and four touchdowns. Moore is now fifth in NCAA history with 120 career TD passes, one shy of BYU great Ty Detmer. Case Keenum of Houston, another active player, has 124 and is third. Moore has now thrown for 12,596 yards in his four-year career at Boise State and has moved into #7 all-time by that yardstick, passing Chris Redman of Louisville (12,541 yards from 1996-1999) and Kliff Klingsbury of Texas Tech, who tossed for 12,429 yards from 1999-2002.  Moore also has thrown 21 TD's this season, which is already 12th on the Boise State single-season list after half a season.  More importantly, Moore is now 44-2 as a starter, one shy of the NCAA record held by Colt McCoy of Texas for career victories as a starting QB.

Martin had a career-best 200 yards rushing on just 20 carries and ran for three touchdowns as the Bronco running game enjoyed its best day of the season. Martin, who didn’t switch from defense to offense until his sophomore season, is now #4 all-time for rushing touchdowns at Boise State. Martin passed David Mikell and Chris Thomas and now has 34, three shy of all-time Bronco great Cedric Minter (1977-1980). Ian Johnson holds the career record with 58. Martin recorded his 12th 100-yard game, tied for fifth with Jon Francis (1984-1985) and Rodney Webster (1980-1983).

D.J. Harper ran eight times for 63 yards and two scores and Drew Wright picked up 79 yards on 16 carries in the fourth quarter even though Colorado State knew he would get the ball every time.  Harper tied Bronco greats Bart Hendricks (1997-2000) and Webster for 10th all-time at Boise State with his 20th career rushing touchdown.

Boise State wide receiver Tyler Shoemaker (89) runs for a touchdown against Colorado State during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Fort Collins, Colo., Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Shoemaker notched career highs of nine catches for 180 yards and he also found the end zone twice and picked up 36 yards on a fake punt that led to another score. The play happened at an important point in the game—Shoemaker’s run enabled Boise State to score a touchdown in the second half after the Rams had put up the last 13 points and were expecting to get the ball back with a chance to cut the lead to two scores. Instead, as mentioned, the Broncos scored and were able to coast the rest of the way.

"Tonight we were just really clicking," Shoemaker said. "I think it sets the standard for us in the Mountain West. We talked about that a lot in practice this week: as a new conference member, let them know we're here to compete."

"We took momentum into halftime," Rams safety Ivory Herd said. "We went out there and got off the field. And then, they run the fake punt. It hurt."

The Boise State defense stuffed and stifled the CSU offense except for two trick plays in the second quarter that enabled them to close the Bronco lead to 35-13 at the break. The Broncos limited sophomore quarterback Pete Thomas to 10-24 for 100 yards. Chris Nwoke led the Rams with 74 yards rushing on 15 carries.

"Colorado State did a great job of taking the momentum from us and it irritated the guys and they came out and answered."

"We knew they were going to score points and make plays. That is one of the best offenses in the country, if not the best," Rams quarterback Pete Thomas said. "We didn't make enough plays when we got the ball back to balance out their fast start."

After giving up touchdown runs of 26 and 65 yards to Martin, a 36-yard TD run by D.J. Harper and Moore's TD tosses of 52 yards to Shoemaker and 9 yards to Kirby Moore, the Rams got going.

Tight end Crockett Gilmore got a lateral and threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to wide open fullback Joe Brown. After Momo Thomas forced a fumble, wide receiver Charles Lovett took a hand-off, stopped and found Matt Yemm in stride for the Rams’ other score. 

Martin’s 14-yard score was followed by Shoemaker’s 62-yard touchdown catch. On the next possession, Shane McClellin intercepted a Thomas pass at the CSU 17 and Moore hit tight end Gabe Linehan with a three-yard scoring strike before donning a Bronco cap on the sidelines.

Boise State wide receiver Mitch Burroughs (20) runs against Colorado State cornerback Momo Thomas (5) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Fort Collins, Colo., Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Mitch Burroughs' 64-yard punt return set up Harper's second touchdown, from a yard out, to cap the scoring. It was the most scored against Colorado State since the fabled Nebraska team of 1991 dealt them a 71-14 loss.

Boise State now flies home to prepare for a MWC struggle next Saturday afternoon against Air Force, the #3 rushing team in the nation.

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