Ajayi runs Boise State past New Mexico, 45-17
BOISE, Idaho (AP)
Tailback Crusoe Gongbay had 77 yards rushing and a touchdown in the season finale for New Mexico (3-9, 1-7).
Boise State was denied a berth in the MWC Championship game when Utah State defeated Wyoming 35-7 earlier Saturday to clinch the Mountain Division title.
Senior quarterback Joe Southwick jump-started a dominant effort by the Broncos in his first action since breaking his right ankle Oct. 19. Southwick completed a 64-yard pass to Ajayi and then fired a 1-yard scoring pass to Miller just 58 seconds into the game.
Grant Hedrick took over thereafter and threw for 175 yards and three TDs.
No matter who was under center, Ajayi showcased breakaway speed, tackle-breaking power and soft hands, becoming the first Boise State player to eclipse 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game since K.C. Adams in 1995.
After the Broncos' opening-drive touchdown, New Mexico briefly tied the game on Gongbay's 18-yard, first-quarter TD run. But a 33-yard punt return by Dante Deayon set up a one-play Boise State scoring drive - a 15-yard run by freshman Devan Demas - that restored a 14-7 lead.
Boise State seized momentum for good with a second-quarter goal-line stand. The Broncos stopped New Mexico on four consecutive plays from inside the 2 and then marched 99 yards in 14 plays, capped by Hedrick's 29-yard TD pass to Ajayi to make it 21-7 at the half.
New Mexico got a 42-yard field goal from Justus Adams on the opening drive of the second half to cut the Boise State lead to 21-10, but that was as close as the Lobos would get. Ajayi scored on an 18-yard, third-quarter run and Hedrick threw fourth-quarter TD passes of 24 and 13 yards to Miller as the Broncos pulled away.
Freshman tailback Teriyon Gipson had 76 yards rushing and a fourth-quarter TD for New Mexico. The Lobos amassed 300 yards on the ground but only managed 62 yards passing and committed three turnovers. Boise State had no turnovers.
Both teams unveiled trick plays in the first quarter. New Mexico gained 13 yards on a lateral to left tackle Darryl Johnson, while Boise State punter Trevor Harman completed a 12-yard pass to Miller to convert a first down on a fake punt.