Boise State Dominates Utah in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas
The No. 10 Broncos overcame a sloppy first quarter and dominated Utah -- a team BSU thought it was joining a few months ago when they accepted a spot in the MWC -- with a 26-3 win in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas.
With the Utes headed to the Pac-12 next year, Boise State made sure they left the Mountain West with their first post-season loss in a decade.
Kellen Moore and Doug Martin made sure the Utes didn't leave the conference with much of a warm, fuzzy feeling. Moore threw for 318 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Martin ran for 147 yards and a touchdown.
For about 21 minutes, though, Boise State (12-1) looked like the team that might end up on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
Boise State gave Utah every opportunity in the world to build an early lead. A pair of fumbles, an interception and a botched fake punt from the Broncos were turned into only three Ute points.
And against any football team, let alone a 10th-ranked squad like Boise State, wasting opportunities to put a team down early is a recipe for disaster.
But even after holding the Broncos scoreless in the first quarter for the first time all season and giving Boise State its first regulation deficit since the season-opener against Virginia Tech, Utah (10-3) couldn't do much on offense.
Senior quarterback Terrance Cain struggled throwing the ball accurately and even when his throws were on target his receivers dropped them.
Utah went nowhere following the fourth turnover (counting the fake punt) and after punting the ball away watched Boise State's Martin set a MAACO Bowl Las Vegas record with an 84-yard run through the line and down the Utah sideline for a touchdown.
The Broncos made it 16-3 with 18 seconds left in the half when Moore found Tyler Shoemaker from 25 yards out. A trick play 2-point conversion failed but did little to stem the sway of momentum behind Boise State heading into the locker rooms.
Despite more blown chances to score -- dropped passes and a foot or hand out of bounds cost BSU another couple of touchdowns at least -- the Broncos were never seriously threatened in the second half and cruised to the win as Utah simply could not get much going offensively.
Contributed by FanHouse correspondent Jared Eborn