Rams taken by fake punt, lose to Boise State 63-13

Even though they were still trailing by three touchdowns, the

Colorado State Rams had the momentum after stalling Boise State’s

runaway route with two trick touchdowns themselves and a


Coming out of the tunnel at halftime, they forced a punt and

Hughes Stadium was rocking.

The Broncos would have none of it.

Wide receiver Tyler Shoemaker took the snap and rumbled 36 yards

on a fake punt.

Just like that, the Broncos were rolling again, and they

finished off a 63-13 shellacking of the Rams in their Mountain West

Conference debut Saturday night.

”Stalling out on that first drive, we knew we needed

something,” Shoemaker said, ”and that was that play to get us

back on track.”

And sent the Rams (3-3, 1-1 MWC) reeling.

”We took momentum into halftime,” Rams safety Ivory Herd said.

”We went out there and got off the field. And then, they run the

fake punt. It hurt.”

Three plays, later, Doug Martin took it in from 14 yards out for

his third TD.

The Broncos (6-0) quickly followed that with Shoemaker’s 62-yard

touchdown catch and Kellen Moore’s fourth TD toss.

Mitch Burroughs’ 64-yard punt return set up D.J. Harper’s second

touchdown, from a yard out, to cap the scoring – the biggest output

against the Rams since their 71-14 loss to Nebraska in 1991.

The second-half run all started with the fake punt.

”That was the big play,” Rams quarterback Pete Thomas said.

”We stopped them and had thought we’d have the ball. We had some

momentum and they made a great call.”

The super sharp Moore threw for 338 yards and four touchdowns on

26-of-30 passing with just one bad pass, an overthrow in the end

zone. Martin ran 20 times for 200 yards and three scores and

Shoemaker caught nine passes for 180 yards and two TDs in addition

to his 36-yard run on the backbreaking fake punt.

”We gave up a couple of scores at the end of the first half and

we don’t like to let teams feel like they’re really in it,”

Shoemaker said.

The Broncos also started out fast, racing to a 35-0 lead before

settling for a 35-13 halftime cushion.

”It just felt like we were executing like it we do practice,”

said Moore, who engineered six scoring drives of under two minutes

in improving to 44-2 as a starter, one win shy of Colt McCoy’s NCAA


”Tonight we were just really clicking,” Shoemaker said. ”I

think it sets the standard for us in the Mountain West. We talked

about that a lot in practice this week: as a new conference member,

let them know we’re here to compete.”

Even before kickoff of their inaugural league game, however,

there were rumblings the Broncos, who left the Western Athletic

Conference after a decade of dominance, would be bolting again –

this time to the reconfigured Big East. That conference could issue

them a football-only invitation as soon as next week.

Boise State president Robert Kustra told The Associated Press

before kickoff that the school’s best option might be staying in

the Mountain West, which is joining forces with Conference USA to

secure a solid future in the rapidly changing college football

landscape. But Kustra stressed that his top priority is to get the

Broncos as close as possible to an automatic qualifying status in

the BCS, so he’s keeping all his options open.

The Broncos raced out to a 35-0 lead in the first 20 minutes

before the Rams gathered themselves and scored touchdowns on the

two trick plays.

Tight end Crockett Gilmore pulled in a lateral and threw a

27-yard touchdown strike to a wide open fullback Joe Brown. Then,

wide receiver Charles Lovett took a hand-off, pulled up and hit

Matt Yemm in stride for the score.

”We knew they were going to score points and make plays. That

is one of the best offenses in the country, if not the best,”

Thomas said. ”We didn’t make enough plays when we got the ball

back to balance out their fast start.”

The Broncos’ 742 total yards were a school record, and they let

off the pedal long before the fourth quarter.

”It doesn’t take a genius to know we got outcoached,

outplayed,” Rams coach Steve Fairchild said. ”They outclassed us

in every phase of the game today.”

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on

Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton