BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Boise State has not often trailed this
season, and going down 7-0 early at home irked the Broncos.
So on fourth-and-goal from the 1 in the first quarter, the
Broncos kept their offense on the field and tied the game with
quarterback Jared Zabransky's dash around the right side.
"That was a huge momentum swing for us," said Zabransky after
No. 20 Boise State went to overwhelm Louisiana Tech 55-14 on
The Broncos (6-0, 2-0 Western Athletic Conference) fumbled away
the opening kickoff to trail early, but roared back with 31
straight points before halftime.
It was Louisiana Tech's third road game against a ranked team,
and it went about the same as the first two. They opened the season
with a 49-10 loss to No. 22 Nebraska, and a week ago lost 51-0 to
No. 15 Clemson.
"(Boise State) is very similar, right up there," said
Louisiana Tech coach Jack Bicknell. "I'm like an expert on Top-25
"I feel bad for Louisiana Tech in terms of the schedule they
had to play," Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. "You can
only take so many shots before it starts to wear you down."
But Saturday's game was the opening of conference play for the
Bulldogs (1-4, 0-1 WAC), and they considered it the real start of
It could hardly have started better.
The Broncos' Quinton Jones fumbled the opening kickoff and
Louisiana Tech's Justin Johnson recovered at the Boise State 14.
Patrick Jackson then carried the ball four times in a row, the
last for a touchdown from a yard out for Louisiana Tech's first
lead against a ranked team this season.
But it didn't last long.
"You've got to take advantage when they give you gifts," said
Bulldogs quarterback Zac Champion, who completed 14 of 29 pass
attempts for 135 yards and an interception Marty Tadman returned 98
yards for a score late in the third quarter.
The second longest interception return in school history gave
Boise State a 48-7 lead.
"That's longer than I've run in a long time," Tadman said. "I
got tired about 60 yards into it."
Zabransky completed 11 of 18 passes for 184 yards and two
touchdowns, and ran nine times for 54 yards and two touchdowns. Ian
Johnson rushed 14 times for 92 yards and a touchdown.
The Broncos got their last touchdown of the first half from the
Bulldogs' 1 on a lob pass from Zabransky to Jerard Rabb in the
right corner of the end zone.
But Rabb was ejected after receiving two unsportsmanlike conduct
penalties in the ensuing celebration, a ruling that had Petersen
fuming on the sideline.
Louisiana Tech got the ball first in the second half but turned
it over on downs.
The Broncos scored four plays later on Zabransky's screen pass
to Brett Denton, who got behind a wall of blockers and raced down
the right side untouched for a 24-yard touchdown, putting the
Broncos ahead 38-7.
After a Broncos field goal, the Bulldogs had a good drive going.
But with less than a minute left in the third quarter, Tadman came
up with his big play.
With the win Boise State kept alive its hopes of a perfect
season and a berth in a Bowl Championship Series game.
"Our thoughts right now are to get to 7-0," Petersen said. "I
don't even kind of think to get to whatever, 12-0. That's a recipe
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Jared Zabransky scored the first of his four touchdowns for the day -- just 6 minutes into the game. They could have called the game at the half, when Boise State led 31-7.
Gameball goes to... Zabransky, Zabransky, Zabransky. The one-man show completed 11-of-18 passes for 186 yards and two TDs. He ran for two more TDs and 54 yards on nine carries.
Stat of the game... 12: Louisiana Tech controlled the ball, but notched just 12 first-downs in the entire game. Boise State nearly doubled that effort with 21.