by CFP Staff
December 23, 2011
Doug Martin returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and Boise State kept on rolling to a 56-24 rout of Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Thursday night.
The Broncos (12-1) finished their third consecutive season with at least 12 wins while the Sun Devils (6-7) lost their fifth straight game.
It was Dennis Erickson's last game as head coach and the loss dropped his five-year record at ASU to 31-31. Todd Graham was named the new head coach of the Sun Devils on December 14, leaving that same position at Pittsburgh after just one season.
Boise State threw a far better going away party for QB Kellen Moore who owns the NCAA record for career wins with 50, though this wasn't one of his best games. He lost a fumble and threw two picks while he completed 26-of-34 for 292 yards and 2 TD's. Moore tossed just 7 picks during the entire regular season.
The key difference on this night was Boise State's ability to run while stopping Arizona State from doing anything on the ground. The Broncos outrushed the Sun Devils 166-17, paced by Martin's 151 yards that included a 2-yard run for their final score of the game.
Martin had 301 all-purpose yards in his final performance as a Bronco.
Lost in the destruction was a 390-yard, 2-TD passing performance from Arizona State's Brock Osweiller and a 13-catch, 241-yard, 1-TD receiving night for Gerell Robinson.
Arizona State's Rashad Ross also added some excitement for ASU fans when he returned the opening kickoff of the second-half 98 yards for a touchdown. That score cut the lead to 28-10 and the Sun Devils were a yard away from making it 28-17 later in the quarter, but Osweiller was picked-off on 4th-and-goal by Jamar Taylor who raced 100 yards to paydirt and a 35-10 BSU cushion.
Boise State extended its lead to 49-10 by adding two touchdowns within the first 3 plays of the 4th quarter. The period began with a 4-yard rushing touchdown by D.J. Harper. Cameron Marshall fumbled on the second play of Arizona State's ensuing possession and Travis Stanaway returned it 26 yards for another score.
Boise State improved to 8-4 all-time in bowl games with a third consecutive postseason victory. Arizona State dropped to 12-12-1 with a 3rd straight bowl loss.
This was only the second meeting of the two teams. Then-No. 5 Arizona State defeated Boise State 56-7 on October 5, 1996, in Tempe in Boise State's first season as an FBS member.
Boise State is 50-3 over the last 4 years and 73-6 since Petersen became head coach in 2006.
The Congrove Computer Rankings projected Boise State as a whopping 16.03-point favorite in the contest and 83.3% of fan voters at CollegeFootballPoll.com said the Broncos would win.