RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Boise State coach Dan Hawkins figures his
10th-ranked and undefeated Broncos have done everything they can to
make a case for a spot in the Bowl Championship Series.
"Unfortunately, there is a lot of politics. I'm not a great
politician but our play speaks for itself," Hawkins said after his
team beat Nevada 58-21 Saturday night for their 22nd straight
Jared Zabransky passed for 244 yards and three touchdowns for
Boise State (11-0, 8-0 in the Western Athletic Conference), which
has won 35 of its last 36 games.
The Broncos have a chance to play in the BCS if California loses
Dec. 4 to Southern Mississippi but otherwise are headed to the
Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31 to face No. 7 Louisville in Memphis, Tenn.
"We've always wanted to play the best team we can and play in
the best bowl we can. We'll see how things shake out," Hawkins
"We controlled the things we can control. There are not a lot
of undefeated teams still out there," he said.
Safety Cam Hall returned one interception 52 yards for a
touchdown and another 64 yards to set up a late score for Boise
State, which claimed its third consecutive WAC title with its
record 26th straight league win, dating to 2001.
"That is huge because you know everyone's bringing their 'A'
game when they play Boise State," Hawkins said.
Jeff Rowe passed for 245 yards and a touchdown for Nevada (5-7,
3-5), which suffered its first loss at home this year and hasn't
had a winning season since 1998.
T.J. Acree caught six passes for 105 yards, including an 11-yard
touchdown. Zabransky completed 17-of-25 passes. Jon Hellmandollar
scored on runs of 5 and 4 yards and Lee Marks rushed for 93 yards
on 15 carries for the Broncos, whose winning streak is the best in
"That is one fine football time," Nevada Coach Chris Ault
said. "They are certainly deserving of all the accolades. Any time
you go undefeated, this is a very special team."
Ault was most impressed with the Broncos' run defense, which
held Nevada to 70 yards rushing.
"In my opinion, that is where their strength is," he said.
Broncos backup quarterback Legedu Naanee took the snap on a fake
punt at midfield and ran 34 yards to set up Zabransky's 15-yard TD
pass to Jason Murray 33 seconds before the half for a 28-7 halftime
Rowe threw a 10-yard TD pass to Adam Bishop to pull to within
28-14 early in the third quarter. But Zabransky passed 43 yards to
Acree to set up Helmandollar's first score and put the Broncos up
35-14 in the third quarter. Ninety seconds later, Hall scored on
the interception return.
Boise State fans made up more than half of the crowd of 10,151
at Mackay Stadium, where snowplows were still on the field an hour
before the game clearing nearly a foot of snow that temporarily
closed Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
Austin Smith returned four punts for 75 yards, including one for
31 yards to set up Boise State's first touchdown on Zabransky's
25-yard pass to Lawrence Bady.
Rashaun Scott recovered Zach Walker's fumble on the ensuing
kickoff and three plays later Zabransky hit Acree for an 11-yard
score to take a 14-0 lead. Jeff Carpenter scored on a 5-yard run to
make it 21-0 for the highest scoring team in the country.
Nevada cut the lead to 21-7 when Nick Hawthorne returned an
interception 40 yards for a touchdown 4:58 before the half.
Boise State's WAC winning streak broke the old record of 25 in a
row by BYU from 1982-85.
"It's like getting over that hump," Zabransky said.
"We've worked so hard in the summers and offseason. This is for
the guys that played with us in previous seasons and had those
one-loss seasons," he said.
"Whatever bowl we are in, we will be happy with it. If it winds
up in Memphis against Louisville, they are a very good team and