Friday, October 24, 2014

Broncos Have Breakout Game Against BYU

Boise State dismantled a BYU team that the experts had ranked in the Top 25 for most of the season in a 55-30 victory in Bronco Stadium tonight.

Grant Hedrick had a career day throwing the football, completing 24 of 31 passes for 410 yards and four touchdowns.  Hedrick also ran it in for another score.  Grant's 400+ passing is just the 11th time in school history that a Boise State quarterback has done that.  Hedrick tied Bart Hendricks, each with one career 400-yard passing game.  Ryan Dinwiddie (4 400-yard games), Kellen Moore (3) and Jim McMillan (2) are the only other Bronco quarterbacks to accomplish the feat.  Hedrick is now 406 yards shy of Mike Virden for 10th place on the Boise State career passing yards list, and with five more TD passes, can tie Joe Southwick and Eric Guthrie for 9th place. 

The 55 points Boise State scored were the highest against a stout Cougar defense in seven years.  During that time, BYU has faced TCU five times, Utah eight times, San Diego State five times, Washington three times, Florida State twice, Georgia Tech twice, Oregon State twice, Texas twice, UCLA twice, Oklahoma,  Mississippi,  Notre Dame twice, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington State, just to name a few.

Jay Ajayi picked up 118 yards on the ground and scored twice against a BYU defense that came into the game allowing opponents 97 yards per game.  The Broncos finished the game with 227 yards rushing. 

Hedrick put the Broncos on top 10-0 on a 12-yard scamper with 5:33 remaining in the first quarter to finish off a 10-play, 76-yard drive.  After Dan Goodale booted home his second field goal, Hedrick hooked up with Thomas Sperlock for a 78-yard pass and catch, and the Broncos were off to the races.

Hedrick also hit Shane Williams-Rhodes on a 49-yard touchdown pass to make it 27-7, but BYU bounced back with an 81-yard TD pass from Christian Stewart to Colby Pearson.  Ajayi capped a 77-yard Bronco drive with a 3-yard run up the middle with 3:39 remaining in the half.   

The Cougars gained momentum when Logan Taele tackled Ajayi for a safety, but the Broncos got it right back on Darian Thompson's interception.  Hedrick promptly hit Troy Ware for a 19-yard score to give Boise State a commanding 41-16 lead at halftime.  Reserves played sparingly on the Bronco defense in the second half.

Boise State had 28 first downs to 17 and the Broncos nearly doubled their opponent in total offense, churning out 637 yards to 322 for BYU.

Sperbeck led the Bronco receiving corps with six catches for 148 yards and a touchdown.  Shane Williams-Rhodes had six grabs for 89 yards and a TD, while Chaz Anderson caught three passes for 78 yards.  

Colby Pearson had five receptions for 109 yards to lead BYU, which fell to 4-4 on the season.

Ajayi passed Jeremy Avery (2007-10) with 2,958 career rushing yards, good for seven place.  Ajayi is now in sole possession of sixth place with 32 career rushing touchdowns, and he is ninth place all-time at Boise State with 37 career touchdowns, passing Titus Young and Chris Thomas.  Ajayi also is now tied with Rodney Webster (1980-83) and Jon Francis (1984-85) for sixth place in 100-yard games with 12.  Williams-Rhodes tied Jeb Putzier (1998-2001) for 13th place in career receptions with 128 each.

The Broncos move to 6-2 overall, and get another bye week before setting up for a stretch run in the Mountain West Conference. 

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