6:00 PM ET, November 28, 2008
Bronco Stadium, Boise, ID
No. 9 Boise State scores 48 second-half points to blow away Fresno State
BOISE, Idaho -- Undefeated Boise State has a message for the BCS: Compute this.
The No. 9 Broncos put together a dazzling audition for college football's big-money bowls in a 61-10 blowout of Fresno State on Friday night.
Watson: Making A CaseBoise State showed its offensive firepower Friday night against Fresno State, and Ian Johnson said the Broncos just want a bowl they deserve. But this game makes some wonder if it was enough to claim a BCS spot, writes Graham Watson. Blog
Kyle Wilson returned a punt 90 yards, wide receiver Tanyon Bissell threw for another touchdown on a smooth reverse pass, and now all the Broncos can do is hope it's enough to impress the computers and pollsters who produce the Bowl Championship Series pairings.
"I think it's an obvious statement what we'd like to do," normally evasive coach Chris Petersen said with a wry smile after accepting the trophy for Boise State's sixth WAC championship that the Broncos (12-0) had clinched a week earlier.
Petersen knows the odds of his team becoming a second undefeated champion of a non-BCS conference to make the BCS is remote. Utah (12-0) is ranked three spots higher than the Broncos in the BCS. The series is required to only select one non-BCS team ranked in its top 12 -- the higher-rated one.
• Ian Johnson had two rushing touchdowns, giving him 57 for his career. That ties him with Marshall Faulk for most in WAC history.
• Johnson rushed for 128 yards, his first 100-plus yard game since Nov. 17, 2007. From 2006-07, Johnson had 14 100-yard games.
• Boise State won by 51 points despite having the ball for just 25:25.
• The Broncos gained 247 yards on the ground and 247 through the air.
-- ESPN research
"I'd probably say our record speaks for itself," Petersen said. "And people have to make a decision."
Most of the orange sea that was a thrilled, chilled record crowd of 32,412 spilled onto the funky blue home turf to celebrate a third undefeated regular season since 2004. The fans stayed on the field for almost an hour, beneath signs of "Obama: Bring Change Soon" and "Boycott the BCS" at the bottom of the second deck.
Ian Johnson ran for 128 yards and scored two touchdowns as scouts from three BCS bowls watched. The senior tied the WAC record of 57 rushing touchdowns set by Marshall Faulk at San Diego State from 1991-93.
The Broncos trailed for only the third time all season early and were up just 13-10 after halftime before Jeremy Avery ran for a 43-yard touchdown three minutes into the third quarter. Then came a stampede: three more touchdowns in a 3 1/2-minute span.
"Just goes to show you how stacked this team is," Johnson said, peering from beneath his new white "WAC Champions" cap.
The deluge left Fresno State coach Pat Hill grumpy, but awed.
"I've never been in a game where it got that out of control," said Hill, who has been coaching in college and the pros since 1977.
"I think they should [be in a BCS bowl]. I think they are a heck of a football team. They are definitely deserving of a bid."
Representatives of the Rose, Orange and Fiesta Bowls perhaps were pondering whether to choose Boise State, ranked ninth in the BCS standings, over one-loss Southern California or two-loss Ohio State for a final at-large spot to be announced Dec. 7.
The bowl scouts were greeted by chants of "BCS" from Broncos fans two years removed from their team's fairy-tale upset of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl at the end of the 2006 season.
"The system is what the system is. It's taken care of us before," Johnson said. "We have no complaints about it.
"We just want to play in a game we deserve."
Tom Brandstater was 23-for-36 with 212 yards passing before re-injuring his left ankle late for Fresno State (7-5), which was outscored 61-3 after taking the lead on Damion Owens' 68-yard interception return. The Bulldogs cemented their ninth bowl berth in 10 years last week by beating San Jose State.
Good thing, because the Broncos trampled them.
After Avery's sprint up the middle put Boise State back comfortably ahead at 20-10 three minutes into the third quarter, Wilson took a long punt at his own 10, immediately sidestepped Fresno State's Desia Dunn and took off untouched.
It was Wilson's third punt return for a score this month, and the fourth-longest in Boise State history.
"I feel like I can take a bunch of them back," he said. "I feel like I ran out of my sleep last night."
Then Bissell took a handoff on a reverse out of the shotgun and threw on the run to Julian Hawkins, who was alone at the 10 and cruised in to make it 34-10.
Johnson ended the third quarter by running 69 yards -- pulling Owens the final 18 yards -- to the 4. He scored on a 4-yard touchdown run on the first play of the final quarter and then on a 1-yard run.
Bush Hamden started at quarterback instead of Moore, who entered 13th in the nation in passing, because Petersen wanted to give the senior the start. Hamden's first pass was thrown way behind Jeremy Childs. Owens intercepted it and easily ran the other way for a touchdown 3 1/2 minutes into the game.
The record crowd of 32,412 sat stunned as the jubilant Bulldogs defense formed a dog pile in the end zone.
But then Moore entered. And normalcy eventually returned. He was 17 of 23 for 213 yards and two touchdowns.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... the Broncos took the field to start the second half. Boise State outscored Fresno State 48-0 after the break.
Gameball goes to... Ian Johnson. The senior running back rushed for 128 yards and scored two touchdowns for the Broncos.
Stat of the game... 0. Boise State finished the regular season with no losses for the third time in the last five seasons.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-15||6-10|
|4th Down Conversions||1-3||0-1|
|TD||10:37||Damion Owens 68 Yd Interception Return (Kevin Goessling Kick)||7||0|
|TD||07:44||Jeremy Childs 9 Yd Pass From Kellen Moore (Brock Jaramillo Kick)||7||7|
|FG||08:22||Kyle Brotzman 28 Yd||7||10|
|FG||02:13||Kevin Goessling 21 Yd||10||10|
|FG||01:17||Kyle Brotzman 46 Yd||10||13|
|TD||11:50||Jeremy Avery 43 Yd Run (Brock Jaramillo Kick)||10||20|
|TD||08:45||Kyle Wilson 90 Yd Punt Return (Brock Jaramillo Kick)||10||27|
|TD||06:14||Julian Hawkins 35 Yd Pass From Tanyon Bissell (Brock Jaramillo Kick)||10||34|
|TD||05:10||Tommy Gallarda 16 Yd Pass From Kellen Moore (Brock Jaramillo Kick)||10||41|
|TD||14:55||Ian Johnson 4 Yd Run (Brock Jaramillo Kick)||10||48|
|TD||06:40||Ian Johnson 1 Yd Run (Pat Blocked)||10||54|
|TD||04:35||D.J. Harper 10 Yd Run (Brock Jaramillo Kick)||10||61|