Aztecs doomed by 3 quick turnovers vs Boise State
SAN DIEGO (AP)
There wasn't much for San Diego State to do but accept the blame for a miserable start that doomed the Aztecs against No. 10 Boise State.
Kellen Moore completed 28 of 40 passes for 366 yards and four touchdowns, three to Tyler Shoemaker, and Boise State benefited from three San Diego State turnovers to race to a 52-35 victory Saturday night.
The Broncos (9-1, 4-1 Mountain West) bounced back from a 36-35 loss to TCU a week earlier in Boise.
San Diego State (6-4, 3-3) remained winless in 19 games against Associated Press top 10 teams since 1969. Overall, the Aztecs are 6-59 against Top 25 teams.
As if the powerful Broncos needed any help, the Aztecs gave it to them and the game quickly became a laugher. San Diego State had three turnovers in the first 9:42 that helped Boise State take a 21-0 lead.
''There's no excuse for what we did in the first half,'' linebacker Miles Burris said. ''We don't have a reason for it. We have to play better. What happened was unacceptable.''
SDSU's Brandon Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 17 yards before he fumbled when hit by Blake Renaud, with Corey Bell recovering at the 23. Moore's 14-yard scoring pass to Shoemaker was BSU's second touchdown in a span of six plays.
''Obviously that cost us the game,'' SDSU coach Rocky Long said. ''Boise State's a great football team and you don't know how it's going to come out. But when your first three drives are inside the 25-yard line, sure that cost you the game. You didn't even give yourself a chance to compete and make it a game.''
SDSU redshirt freshman Adam Muema scored on an 81-yard run on the next possession.
The Aztecs had another slow - and ugly - start.
''I don't know what it is but we have to figure it out,'' said Lindley, who was 30 of 51 for a season-high 350 yards and three touchdowns. ''We have to do some soul-searching and figure out why we aren't starting as fast as we want to.''
Shoemaker had 10 catches for 130 yards. Doug Martin carried 36 times for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
It was Moore's 23rd straight game with multiple touchdown passes, the longest current streak in Division I. He was intercepted once, just his sixth of the season.
With 13,782 yards, Moore moved past Philip Rivers, formerly of North Carolina State and currently of the San Diego Chargers, for sixth place in Division I career passing yards. His four TD passes gave him 134 for his career, moving him into a second-place tie in Division I with Graham Harrell of Texas Tech (2005-08).
The Broncos, whose only other appearance in San Diego was a loss to TCU in the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl, continued to pile it on in the second quarter and led 42-14 at halftime.
''It was good to start fast. I really thought we would start fast,'' Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. ''I knew we would play hard early on. I think there were people who were concerned about the hangover effect from the last game, and I wasn't. We're going to give it all. Those turnovers really helped us.''
Martin added a 22-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Escobar had another 30-yard TD catch, in the fourth quarter. Muema scored on a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter to finish with 119 yards on 13 carries. He also caught a 1-yard scoring pass from Lindley with 5 seconds to play.
SDSU's Ronnie Hillman, who sprained an ankle a week earlier, had just three carries for eight yards.