No. 24 Boise St. 32, UNLV 7
Boise State’s dominant defense set the tone again, leading the
Broncos to another easy victory.
Senior cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Jerrell Gavins shut down the
Rebels’ corps of fast, young receivers, accounted for two turnovers
and teamed up on a second quarter touchdown that helped put the
game out of reach before halftime in a 32-7 rout of UNLV on
With Boise State leading 18-0 minutes before the half, Taylor
chased down receiver Marcus Sullivan in the middle of the field and
stripped the ball. Gavins, trailing behind, scooped up the loose
ball and ran untouched 16 yards into the end zone.
Minutes before, Gavins squelched the Rebels’ best scoring chance
with an over-the-shoulder interception in the end zone, and Taylor
had a sack to go with his career-high nine tackles to help lead the
Broncos to their sixth straight win since losing the opener at
”They’re very important to this team. They have that senior
leadership, and they have that senior mentality,” said Boise State
coach Chris Petersen. ”When those two guys are playing at a high
level, I think the rest of the guys feed off them. They’re really
important out there.”
They sure were Saturday.
The ability of Taylor and Gavins to lock down on Rebel receivers
enabled the front four – minus sack leader Demarcus Lawrence – to
put relentless pressure on UNLV’s redshirt freshman quarterback
Lawrence, who has 5.5 sacks on the season, was suspended before
the game for violating team rules. Petersen declined to provide
details for the discipline after the game, but said Lawrence would
likely play next week at Wyoming.
The Broncos (6-1, 3-0 Mountain West) held the Rebels to just 210
total yards and forced three turnovers, giving the Broncos 22
takeaways this season. The Broncos, who came into the game allowing
a meager 14.6 points per game, have also gone five straight games
without allowing opponents to score in the first half.
”We’re playing great as a unit, and everyone’s doing their
job,” said Taylor, who helped hold UNLV to 71 yards pass, the
third time an opponent has been held to fewer than 100 yards
through the air.
The defense also sacked Sherry twice and knocked him around so
often that at the end of the game he needed help from a couple of
teammates to get to the locker room.
UNLV (1-7, 1-2) coach Bobby Hauck said he expects Sherry will be
fine, though plenty sore for the next several days.
”He got roughed up, that’s about all I know about it,” said
Hauck, whose team has now lost four straight. ”Give Boise credit,
they whipped our tail today.”
But the Boise State offense also did its job.
D.J. Harper rushed for 59 yards on 12 carries and had TD runs of
10 and 1 yards, and Jay Ajayi scored on a 4-yard run that gave the
Broncos an 18-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Joe Southwick turned in one of his best games of the season
thanks in part to an offensive line that gave him plenty of time to
pick apart the Rebel secondary. Southwick was 22 of 30 for 243
yards, and he could have had more had his receivers held on to a
couple of deep throws. Southwick exited the game late in the third
quarter after Harper’s second TD put the Broncos up 32-0.
The Broncos, locked in a tie for first with Nevada, offense
rolled up 394 total yards, but also played a big role in spoiling a
shutout for the defense.
UNLV’s only score came midway through the fourth quarter when
backup Boise State quarterback Grant Hedrick took off downfield but
had the ball jarred loose by Rebel linebacker John Lotulelei. The
ball bounced into the hands of cornerback Kenneth Penny, who dashed
down the sidelines untouched for the touchdown.
Sherry was 14 of 31 for 71 yards and had six carries for
minus-12 yards. Bradley Randle led UNLV with 64 yards rushing on 16
carries and Tim Corbett added 61 yards on 16 carries.
For UNLV, it’s the second disappointing loss in two weeks. Last
week, UNLV gave up a 17-point lead at the half in losing at home to
rival Nevada. Early in the week, Hauck wondered about his team’s
ability to rebound after such a devastating loss, but was pleased
he didn’t see any emotional or physical let down.
”I thought it was a physical game. If you are lacking
intensity, then it wouldn’t be as physical,” Hauck said. ”So, I
wouldn’t say we were lacking intensity at all, I would just say
that we didn’t play well enough to beat that team.”