Ajayi runs Boise State past New Mexico, 45-17

Tailback Jay Ajayi scored two touchdowns while amassing 147

yards rushing and a career-high 105 yards receiving, leading Boise

State to a 45-17 victory over New Mexico on Saturday.

Matt Miller added nine catches for 111 yards and three

touchdowns for Boise State (8-4, 6-2 Mountain West), which will

play in a bowl game for the 12th consecutive year.

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.