Broncos Post Perfect Season With a 61-10 Victory Over Fresno State
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Kyle Wilson returned a punt 90 yards, wide receiver Tanyon Bissell threw for another touchdown on a smooth reverse pass, and No. 9 Boise State went from endangered to dazzling by scoring 48 points after halftime to beat Fresno State 61-10 on Friday night.
Ian Johnson ran for 128 yards and scored two touchdowns as scouts from three BCS bowls watched from the press box. The senior tied the WAC record of 57 rushing touchdowns set by Marshall Faulk at San Diego State from 1991-93.
The Broncos (12-0) trailed for only the third time all season early and were up just 13-10 after halftime before Jeremy Avery ran for a 43-yard touchdown three minutes into the third quarter. Then came three more touchdowns in a 3 1/2-minute span to clinch Boise State's third undefeated regular season in four years.
Representatives of the Rose, Orange and Sugar Bowls watched the rout, perhaps pondering whether to choose Boise State over one-loss Southern California or two-loss Ohio State for a final at-large spot in the BCS.
They were greeted by cries of injustice and chants of ``BCS'' from Broncos fans two years removed from their team's fairy-tale upset of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl at the end of the 2006 season.
Signs of ``Obama: Bring Change Soon'' and ``Boycott the BCS'' were at the bottom of the second deck of stands at midfield.
Tom Brandstater was 23-for-36 with 212 yards passing for Fresno State (7-5), which was outscored 61-3 after taking the lead on Damion Owens' 68-yard interception return. The Bulldogs cemented their ninth bowl berth in 10 years last week by beating San Jose State.
Good thing, because the Broncos trampled them.
Avery sprinted up the middle, splitting defenders at the 25, to finally put Boise State back comfortably ahead at 20-10 three minutes into the third quarter.
Then Wilson took a long punt at his own 10, immediately sidestepped Fresno State's Desia Dunn and took off.
It was Wilson's third punt return for a score this month, and the fourth-longest in Boise State history.
Then Bissell took a handoff on an end-around out of the shotgun and threw on the run to Julian Hawkins, who was alone at the 10 and cruised in to make it 34-10.
After Ellis Powers intercepted a tipped pass from Brandstater deep in Bulldogs territory, freshman Kellen Moore threw for another touchdown. His 16-yard pass to Tommy Gallarda made it 41-10.
Ian Johnson ended the third quarter by running 69 yards - pulling Owens 18 the final yards - to the 4. He scored on a 4-yard touchdown run on the first play of the final quarter and then on a 1-yard run midway through the fourth.
Bush Hamden started at quarterback for Boise State instead of Moore, who entered 13th in the nation in passing, because coach Chris Petersen wanted to give the senior the start. Hamden's first pass was thrown way behind Jeremy Childs and intercepted by Owens. The cornerback easily ran 68 yards the other way for a touchdown 3 1/2 minutes into the game.
As the record crowd of 32,412 sat stunned, the jubilant Bulldogs defense formed a dog pile in the end zone after the score that put Boise State behind for only the third time all season.
Moore entered. And normalcy returned.
Moore was 17 of 23 for 213 yards and two touchdowns. He completed all four of his passes on his first drive, including a 9-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone to Childs.
The remainder of the first half was a trade of field goals that left the Broncos up 13-10, the closest any team had been to them at the break since Hawaii trailed 10-7 here on Oct. 17.
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