Broncos Defeat Utah State, Earn Another WAC Title
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Kellen Moore threw three touchdown passes, ran for another and No. 9 Boise State bounced back from a loss that ended its BCS hopes, beating Utah State 50-14 Saturday in its Western Athletic Conference farewell.
The Broncos quickly erased any doubts about their ability to rebound after last week's crushing defeat at the hands of Nevada. Linebacker Derrell Acrey, one of 18 seniors playing their final game at home, returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown on Utah State's first play from scrimmage.
Minutes later, Moore capped a short drive with a 12-yard TD pass to tight end Kyle Efaw, and a 2-point conversion gave Boise State a 15-0 lead just seven minutes into the game.
The victory gave the Broncos (11-1, 7-1 WAC) a share of the conference title with Nevada and Hawaii, the Broncos' eighth league championship since joining the WAC in 2001. It also set the Broncos up for a postseason trip to either the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas for a showdown against No. 21 Utah or a trip to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco.
Utah State (4-8, 2-6) rushed for 250 yards, but had just 41 yards through the air in losing to the Broncos for the 10th straight time. The Aggies finished the season with four wins for the second consecutive year.
As he has been much of the season, Moore was efficient and mistake-free, going 24 of 34 for 237 yards and leading an offense that rolled up 453 total yards. His three TD passes gave him 33 for the season to go with just five interceptions. He ended his day with a 1-yard dive late in the third quarter to put Boise State up 43-7.
Jeremy Avery rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown and the Broncos rushed for 202 yards. Efaw led the Bronco receiving corps with five catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns. His second score came on a 2-yard toss from Moore early in the second quarter. Austin Pettis had four catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Boise State's defense, gouged last week in the second half of a 34-31 overtime loss, responded as well, notching four sacks, two interceptions. The Broncos also held Aggie quarterback Diondre Borel to a season-low for passing yards.
The victory put an exclamation point for Boise State on its 10 years of dominance as a member of the WAC. Boise State will join the Mountain West Conference next fall, but since joining the WAC in 2001, the Broncos compiled a perfect 40-0 mark against league foes on their home blue turf and an overall record of 75-5.
For the Aggies, the loss was the 10th straight against the Broncos. But they made a run early, pulling within 15-7 in the first quarter when Kyle Williams found a seam on fourth-and 1 and dashed 40 yards for a touchdown.
But Moore came right back, moving the Broncos on an eight-play, 71-yard drive capped by his second TD toss to Efaw.
The Broncos closed out the scoring in the half with Moore's third TD pass, this one a 4-yarder to Pettis in the corner of the end zone, giving the Broncos a 29-7 lead at the break.
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