Kellen Moore and the Broncos could not have envisioned a worse start than a pair of turnovers on their opening two possessions. Yet they were about the only negatives on a night that saw the Broncos re-writing the record books early and often. Moore’s early interception, on a tipped pass, and a fumble when the ball slipped out of his hand when he attempted to throw it were the only mistakes the Broncos made on a chilly night in Boise. With the whole nation focused on the game, the Broncos made the statement that they are not only worthy of their top 4 ranking but they are a team nobody wants to face in the BCS championship game.
Moore shook off the first two possessions to throw for 333 yards and 4 touchdowns with one of his highlights being a rare run on 3rd and 10 where he got a nice block from Titus Young to dive past the marker and pick up the first down. Young had another great game as he caught 8 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns, including his first touchdown reception of the year that covered less than 40 yards. Austin Pettis was outstanding as well making several brilliant catches among his 10 receptions for 93 yards and two touchdowns of his own.
Yet the biggest story of the night was on the other side of the ball for Boise State. The Bronco defense played its best game of the year by not only shutting out the Bulldogs but holding them to a measly 125 yards of offense, and only 83 yards prior to the final Fresno State drive. They also held a Fresno State ground attack that had been averaging over 250 yards per game over the past two weeks to 49 yards. The Broncos also forced three turnovers and allowed only 9 first downs by holding the Bulldogs to a pathetic 1 for 12 on 3rd down conversions.
The defense that nobody seems to talk about enough is going to give the whole country something to talk about after another amazing performance. Rising up to stop the Bulldogs after the two early turnovers set the tone for the rest of the game and allowed the stagnant BSU offense to get moving. And once they did, there was no stopping them either.
Moore’s big night included breaking the school record for career passing yardage and fittingly, it happened only moments after Titus Young broke the career receiving yardage record. Two weeks after Austin Pettis broke the career receptions mark, there are not enough superlatives to lay on this passing trio. Yet they were not the only record setters on the field Friday night. Kicker Kyle Brotzman broke the school scoring record as he added three field goals including a nice 50 yard boot in the 3rd quarter.
While the fans will bask in this unbelievable performance, the focus of the team and the coaches has undoubtedly already switched to their WAC championship showdown in Reno next Friday against Nevada. Everything that they’ve accomplished this season could be undone by a poor performance against the Wolf Pack. The WAC title, a BCS berth and a possible National Championship game appearance are all on the line. Not that the Broncos need any more motivation.
BSU has answered their critics time and time again this season. They were favored by the oddsmakers in the opener against Virginia Tech but there was still doubt in the media. Even as they seemed to be in cruise control early in the conference season, there were whispers about only beating Louisiana Tech at home by 29 points. Only 29 points, shameful. Yet as the stage continues to get bigger, the Broncos keep responding with increasingly impressive performances. With the whole country watching last night, they came through with their most dominant game of the season.