Boise State pushes record to 13-0
Boise State coach Chris Petersen simply refuses to get into the campaign business.
After his sixth-ranked Broncos rolled over New Mexico State 42-7 Saturday to finish 13-0 and go undefeated for the second straight season, Petersen resisted any urge he might have had to argue that the Broncos deserve an invitation to the Bowl Championship Series.
“I think our record speaks for itself,” said Petersen, whose team went 12-0 last year only to be left out of college football’s big-money bowl games. “We have faith in this system and think that it should work out it. I don’t know why I think it will work. I just have a feeling it should work out like it should this year.”
Broncos safety Jeron Johnson wasn’t nearly as subtle, showing up at the postgame press conference sporting a sombrero. Some analysts have pegged the Broncos for a trip to the Fiesta Bowl. But that hinges on several factors, including Texas beating Nebraska in the Big 12 title game Saturday night.
“It’s something I would like to happen, but we have to wait and see what happens,” said Johnson, who with the rest of Broncos will have to wait until Sunday night to find out their postseason destination.
The victory over the lowly Aggies (3-10, 1-7) gave Boise State the outright WAC title for the second straight year. The Broncos have dominated the WAC this decade, winning seven of the last eight titles, including the 2005 title it shared with Nevada. The Boise State has now won 26 straight regular-season games and 55 straight regular-season home games.
Doug Martin led the way with four touchdowns, and the defense held New Mexico State to 49 yards passing and 191 total yards.
Kellen Moore, the nation’s most efficient passer, was 19 of 30 for 272 yards before leaving in the third quarter with a 35-0 lead. Moore’s lone touchdown pass, a 47-yarder to Titus Young in the first quarter, gave him 39 on the year, a school record.
Fans, who chanted “BCS, BCS, BCS” in the fourth quarter, stormed the field after time ran out, turning Boise State’s iconic blue turf into a sea of orange and blue as they celebrated with players and coaches.
After finishing 12-0 last season and being left out of the BCS mix, Boise State settled for a matchup with TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl.
But the Broncos have some big wins this year to help their case, including a 19-8 victory over No. 7 Oregon in the season opener, and a 44-33 victory last week over Nevada, which had won eight straight. The Broncos came into the game with the nation’s second-highest scoring offense, averaging 44.3 points per game, and ninth in total offense, averaging 453 yards per game.
“I think we deserve a chance at the BCS this year,” safety George Iloka said. “We can’t do anything about it. I’m not going to lie – it would hurt if we don’t make it this year.”
The Aggies were on the verge of getting shutout by the Broncos for the third straight time, but scored late in the fourth quarter after Broncos backup quarterback Mike Coughlin fumbled a snap deep in Boise State territory. Backup Aggies quarterback Trevor Walls, who replaced injured starter Jeff Fleming, scored several plays later on a 1-yard touchdown to avoid the shutout.
Aggies running back Seth Smith was the lone bright spot, rushing for 114 yards on 35 carries. Smith, a junior, finished the season with 1,016 yards rushing, becoming the first Aggies running back to surpass the 1,000-yard mark since 2000 and fourth in school history.
“I think it’s big for him and big for our program to be able to do that with the offense,” said first-year coach DeWayne Walker, whose team has lost 10 straight to the Broncos. “We struggled this season offensively and for him to be able to get to that milestone, it says a lot about him and has a lot to say where we are headed.”
Martin had two 4-yard TD runs and Jeremy Avery ran 9 yards for another score as Boise State reached the end zone three times in the second quarter to take a 28-0 lead. Martin tacked on a 2-yard touchdown run and a 56-yard score in the third.
Avery had 16 carries for 86 yards and Martin finished with eight for 83 as Boise State finished with 288 yards on the ground. Young led Boise State receivers with seven catches for 92 yards.