BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- So much for Boise State being rusty.
Ryan Dinwiddie and the Broncos (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP) returned from a
16-day layoff and increased their winning streak to seven games
with a 51-21 victory over Texas-El Paso on Saturday.
Boise State (9-1, 5-0 WAC) gained 474 yards on offense and
remained alone atop the conference standings heading into next
week's game at Fresno State.
"It's the mark of a champion," Boise State coach Dan Hawkins
said. "We've got to get ready every day, and that's what we did
today. People talk about UTEP not winning many games, but we went
into this game scared to death of those guys."
The Broncos hadn't played since a 50-12 victory over Brigham
Young on Oct. 30.
Hawkins said he was concerned that his team would struggle
against the Miners, but it never happened.
"They never cease to amaze me," he said. "On Friday night I
start to worry if they will have that edge, and on Saturday they
come out and light it up. It's awesome."
Dinwiddie completed 13 of 22 passes for 198 yards and two
touchdowns and ran for another score to lead the Broncos.
"Our goal is to start fast. We can't come out sloppy and stop
playing hard when we're up," Dinwiddie said.
UTEP coach Gary Nord said this year's Broncos are better than
last season's WAC championship team.
"They have an awesome football team," Nord said. "When you
score 50 or more points, you're a good football team."
Six Broncos scored touchdowns and Tyler Jones kicked three field
goals as BSU extended its WAC winning streak to 15 games.
BSU scored on five of its first six possessions to take a 38-7
lead at halftime. Dinwiddie guided BSU to a quick 21-0 lead in the
first quarter, when Lee Marks, David Mikell and Donny Heck scored
on the ground. Marks' touchdown, a 14-yard run four minutes into
the game, was the first of his career.
UTEP's Howard Jackson reached the 1,000-yard mark with an
18-yard run in the fourth quarter, but the Broncos defense limited
him to 47 yards rushing, halting his streak of four straight
Jordan Palmer completed 14 of 28 passes for 172 yards and one
touchdown for the Miners (2-9, 1-5). He also had a 1-yard TD run.
Jackson scored on a 2-yard run with 11:26 to go in the third
quarter to cut BSU's lead to 38-14, but the Miners got no closer.
Dinwiddie hit Derek Schouman with an 11-yard TD pass, increasing
the lead to 45-14.
Dinwiddie's other touchdown pass was a 7-yarder to T.J. Acree in
the second quarter.