FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — No. 5 Boise State is already the biggest bully in the Mountain West Conference, even if the Broncos’ stay might be short and sweet.
The Broncos, an expansion target for the Big East, routed Colorado State 63-13 in their Mountain West debut Saturday behind huge games from quarterback Kellen Moore, tailback Doug Martin and wide receiver Tyler Shoemaker.
Moore threw for 338 yards and four touchdowns on 26-of-30 passing, Martin ran 20 times for 200 yards and three scores and Shoemaker caught nine passes for 180 yards and two TDs and added a 36-yard run on a fake punt that led to another score for the Broncos (6-0, 1-0).
And the trio did all of that damage in just 2 1/2 quarters before their backups finished off the Rams (3-3, 1-1).
Moore, who put on a cap and watched the rest of the blowout from the sideline after engineering six scoring drives of under two minutes, improved to 44-2 as a starter. He can tie Colt McCoy’s NCAA record for career wins when the Broncos host Air Force next weekend.
Even before kickoff of their inaugural league game, however, there were rumblings the Broncos would be bolting again, this time to the reconfigured Big East, which could issue them a football-only invitation as soon as next week.
Boise State president Robert Kustra told The Associated Press that the school’s best option might be staying in the Mountain West, which is joining forces with Conference USA to secure a future in the rapidly changing college football landscape. But Kustra stressed that his top priority is to get the Broncos as close as possible to an automatic qualifying status in the BCS, so he’s keeping all his options open.
The Broncos raced out to a 35-0 lead in the first 20 minutes before the Rams gathered themselves and scored touchdowns on two trick plays.
Martin scored from 26 yards out and then added a 65-yard sprint down the Rams sideline to make it 14-0. Moore connected on a 52-yard touchdown toss to his top target, Tyler Shoemaker, and D.J. Harper had a 36-yard TD run.
Colorado State finally managed its initial first down on a carry by Raymond Carter, but he fumbled on the next snap and Moore hit Kirby Moore from 9 yards out to make it 35-0 with 10:01 left in the first half.
That’s when the Rams finally awakened.
Pete Thomas connected with Thomas Coffman for 46 yards and then tight end Crockett Gilmore pulled in a lateral and threw a 27-yard touchdown strike to a wide open fullback Joe Brown. The extra point was blocked.
The Broncos were going in for another score when cornerback Momo Thomas punched the ball out of Martin’s hands and scooped it up at the Rams 13. That led to another trick touchdown when wide receiver Charles Lovett took the hand-off, pulled up and hit Matt Yemm in stride for the score.
The Rams kept the momentum by forcing a punt — the first in eight drives by Boise State — but when they had to give the ball back with 1:22 left, the Broncos drove from their own 26 to the Colorado State 10-yard line.
Dan Goodale’s 27-yard field goal was wide right as the first half expired.
The Broncos used some trickery of their own to re-establish themselves as Shoemaker gained 36 yards on a fake punt that sent the Rams spiraling.
Martin scored on a 14-yard TD run, which was followed by a 62-yard TD catch by Shoemaker, who hauled in a pass in broken coverage and sidestepped the safety.
On the Rams’ next snap, Shane McClellin picked off Thomas’ pass at the CSU 17, and Moore hit tight end Gabe Linehan with a 3-yard TD toss. Just like that it was 56-13 and fans were streaming out of the stadium midway through the third quarter.
Mitch Burroughs’ 64-yard punt return set up Harper’s second touchdown, from a yard out.
The Rams hadn’t allowed this many points since a 71-14 loss to Nebraska in 1991. Their worst margin of defeat was 72 points in a 79-7 shellacking by Arizona State back in 1969.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)