No. 3 Boise State blanks Fresno State
With the national stage left to Boise State, a mistake-filled first quarter wasn't the first impression Kellen Moore wanted to give.
The rest of the night, he was nearly flawless, perhaps only topped by a dominant performance from the Broncos' defense.
So, was the rest of college football paying attention?
"They got all the pieces, I mean they really do. I think the truth of the matter is people are scared to play them," Fresno State coach Pat Hill said. "They don't want to play them. It's like last year when they put Boise against TCU. They don't want to play against those types of teams. I'll say it. I have no problem saying it. I'll take Boise State against anybody in the country."
Moore shook off an interception and fumble in the first quarter to throw for 333 yards and four touchdowns, two each to Titus Young - who caught eight passes for a career-high 164 yards - and Austin Pettis, and the No. 3 Broncos used a smothering defense to rout Fresno State 51-0 on Friday night.
With the rest of the BCS hierarchy - Oregon, Auburn and TCU - taking the weekend off, Boise State was the main attraction.
And after stumbling early, the Broncos didn't disappoint.
Wearing all-orange uniforms for what was believed to be the first time in nearly 20 years, the Broncos (10-0, 6-0 WAC) rolled to their 24th straight win, extending the longest streak in the country.
The Broncos handed Fresno State its first shutout loss since a 10-0 loss to San Diego State on Nov. 7, 1998. The Bulldogs entered Friday night averaging nearly 400 yards and 35 points.
"Seeing what they did to us on the ground last year, we really wanted to get some redemption and we did a good job with them," Boise State safety Jeron Johnson said.
The Bulldogs (6-4, 4-3) managed just nine first downs and 125 total yards. Ryan Colburn was sacked four times and the Bulldogs gained 42 of their 125 yards on their final drive.
Robbie Rouse was the one asked to ground out this one for the Bulldogs, appearing especially dangerous after running for 286 yards against Louisiana Tech and following up with 217 last week against Nevada.
Aside from one dash for 23 yards, Rouse was a non-factor, gaining 37 of his 70 yards on the Bulldogs' final drive. Colburn caught the ire of Hill on a few occasions for his decisions and finished 6 of 23 for 76 yards.
"This Boise State team is the real deal. ... I hope they can make it to the big dance because they deserve it in my mind," Hill said. "I feel I can say that. We've played against some pretty darn good football teams in my time. Never have we been manhandled like that."
Moore, who completed 27 of 38 passes, and Young also added their names to even more pages in the Boise State record books. Moore became the school's career leader in yards passing, jumping past Ryan Dinwiddie. By the end of the regular season, Moore could crack the 10,000-yard mark.
Not surprisingly, Young has been on the receiving end of many of those yards and became Boise State's career leader in yards receiving on a 42-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter that made it 17-0.
Even kicker Kyle Brotzman got into the record book, becoming the school's career scoring leader, helped by field goals of 20, 20 and 50 yards.
"It's not how I thought the game was going to go," Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. "I was worried about this game because of the emotional games we played leading up to this week. But hats off to our guys."
Pettis added 10 catches for 93 yards and touchdown catches of 15 and 6 yards in the third quarter.
"I've been very fortunate to play with these guys," Moore said. "I feel like I say this a million times, but I feel fortunate to have a good offensive line and some good receivers who can make some plays."
Fresno State's best chance of at least making the chilly night interesting came on the lost fumble by Moore, who let the ball slip from his hands as he started his throwing motion. Defensive tackle Logan Harrell came up with the fumble and started toward the end zone, but the play was called an incompletion on the field.
It was overturned on replay, but Harrell had nothing but blue turf between himself and the end zone. Colburn was sacked on the ensuing possession, ending the Bulldogs' best chance at a score.
"They're a very good defensive football team. I don't think people give them the credit, to be perfectly honest that they deserve in that sense," Colburn said. "Their rank is every bit worth it."