BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Kellen Moore threw three touchdown passes, Doug Martin scored twice and the Bronco defense and special teams did just enough to hold on and give No. 5 Boise State a 37-26 victory over Air Force Saturday.
Moore was precise as usual, going 23-of-29 for 265 yards. The victory was the 45th of his career and put him in a tie with former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy for the most wins all-time by a college quarterback. His second TD pass of the day, a 19-yarder to Matt Miller, gave him 122 for his career and pushed him past former BYU quarterback Ty Detmer for fourth best all-time.
Martin rushed for 125 yards on 21 carries, and his 15-yard score after taking a snap and dashing up the middle gave the Broncos (7-0, 2-0 Mountain West Conference) a 27-13 lead with five minutes left in the third quarter. At the time, the score gave the Broncos back the momentum and brought some relief to a sea of orange-clad fans that aren’t used to seeing close games in the second half.
But Air Force (3-4, 0-3) and its potent running game bullied back in the first meeting of these new conference foes.
The Falcons came in with the nation’s 10th best rushing attack, and they gouged the Broncos’ defense repeatedly with big runs and long drives that chewed up clock and kept Moore and the Boise State offense off the field.
After Martin’s score, the Falcons marched 80 yards in 18 plays and pulled within 27-20 when Asher Clark ran it in from the 3. The Falcons’ ground game was led by Mike DeWitt’s 108 yards on 18 carries and the Falcons rushed for a total of 265 yards on a whopping 65 attempts.
The Falcons dominated time of possession 36:18 to Boise State’s 23:42 and forced two Broncos turnovers in the red zone.
But Falcons’ defense, decimated by injuries on the line, couldn’t find a way to shut down Moore and the limited time he had to lead the Boise State offense. The Broncos managed to roll up 423 yards of total offense, and the special teams added a touchdown when Hunter White scooped up a fumble on a fake punt and rumbled 16 yards to put the Broncos up 20-7 late in the first half.
After Air Force manufactured a second long drive — this one 18 plays in 80 yards — to pull within 27-20, Moore engineered a 10-play, 69-yard scoring drive that was capped by his 2-yard TD toss to Martin. On the drive, Moore was 5 of 6 and threw a key third-down pass to Mitch Burroughs that extended the drive.
Air Force responded quickly, thanks to a 51-yard pass from Tim Jefferson to Zack Kauth that gave the Falcons a first-and-goal at the 3. Jefferson scored two plays later on a keeper, but the Bronco defensive end Tyrone Crawford blocked the extra point, making the score 34-26 with 3:30 remaining.
The Falcons tried an onside kick, but the ball was recovered by Bronco receiver Tyler Shoemaker. Moore then moved the Broncos into scoring position and Dan Goodale booted a 25-yard field goal to put the game away.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)