Boise State Rides Big Plays To Big Win Over ASU
Broncos send Kellen Moore out in style with 56-24 victory.
LAS VEGAS - Sixth-ranked Boise State scored touchdowns in five different ways as part of a 56-24 blowout win over Arizona State to cap a year-long celebration of the 20th year of the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas on Dec. 22.
The Broncos, the highest-ranked team in the event's history at No. 6 by the coaches, were perhaps one made field goal away from playing for a BCS title but instead got to be part of a party in Las Vegas before the 35,720 fans at Sam Boyd Stadium.
In what was the final game of one of college football's most successful, Kellen Moore became the first quarterback in NCAA FBS history to reach 50 career victories as a starter as Boise State cruised to its first win over ASU to close the season at 12-1 overall for the second consecutive year.
The Broncos started out with a bang thanks to Doug Martin's 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on the opening play. It marked the longest return in MBLV history and was the first time any bowl game started with a return for a score since Ohio State did it in the 2007 BCS Championship against Florida.
Martin was not nearly done with is heroics, however, as he went on to earn the Rossi T. Ralenkotter MVP Trophy after rolling up a staggering 301 all-purpose yards and two TDs. That total included 151 yards rushing on 31 carries and 26 more through the air on three receptions.
Boise State jumped out to a 21-0 lead with a 14-yard TD catch by Tyler Shoemaker and then a two-yard TD grab by Matt Miller ? both coming from the arm of Moore. Miller brought in another one just before halftime to make it 28-3 at the break. The Sun Devils showed life, however, coming out of the locker room as Rashad Ross took the third-quarter kickoff back for his own highlight play ? a 98-yard touchdown. Later in the game, ASU was heading in from the one-yard line looking to close the gap even more but Brock Osweiler's pass was intercepted by Jamar Taylor, who returned it 100 yards the other way for a stunning touchdown that sealed the outcome.
When Travis Stanaway scooped up an ASU fumble and took it 26 yards for six points in the fourth quarter, it meant Boise State had scored via pass, rush, return, interception and fumble.
''There were two things we really wanted to do,'' said Boise State head coach Chris Petersen. ''We wanted to start fast, and we really did that. And we wanted to finish strong, and we really did that.''
Despite his key pick, Osweiler was the quarterback who came away with historic numbers as he broke former BYU QB John Beck's MBLV record with 395 yards through the air to go with two scores. A majority of those yards went to Gerell Robinson, who shattered the record for receiving yards in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas by finishing with 241 on 13 grabs, including a 21-yard score in the final quarter.
Moore's final collegiate outing saw him complete 24 of 36 attempts for 293 yards a pair of scores.
''Vegas is kind of a popular spot for me apparently,'' said Moore, who won three of his 50 at Sam Boyd Stadium in a 12-month span. ''You couldn't ask for a better situation. We were very fortunate to come to this bowl game the last two years. It's a neat experience, you enjoy yourself and there's just a lot of great memories here.''
While there was not much defense on display, Boise State did get to Osweiler for four sacks, two by Las Vegas High School graduate Billy Winn, who got to play his final college game in his hometown.
Boise State improved to 2-0 in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas to help the Mountain West up its record to 5-4 vs. the Pac-12 in the annual event. ASU was appearing in Las Vegas for the first time ever and in the Silver State for the first time since playing at the University of Nevada in 1947.
The bowl also marked the final game for Sun Devil head coach Dennis Erickson.
''When you put so much of your life into something as I have for over 40 years, it's difficult ? it's emotional'' said Erickson. ''Football is the greatest game in the world. I am glad I got to spend a lot of time in it.''
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