It's 1,085 miles from Boise, Idaho to San Diego, California. But that didn't stop a crowd estimated at more than 10,000 Boise State fans clad in their familiar orange and blue colors from showing up down at Qualcomm Stadium to swell the Mountain West crowd to 52,256.
The #10 ranked Boise State Broncos (9-1, 4-1) followed their growing traveling fan base to Southern California to hand the San Diego State Aztecs (6-4, 3-3) their third Mountain West Conference loss Saturday evening. The victory itself was a comeback for the Broncos, after their heartbreaking loss last week to TCU.
The win was almost assured from the beginning when the Aztecs turned the ball over three times in the first quarter with sloppy plays and all three led to Boise State touchdowns. That 21-point advantage all started when All-American DE Shea McClellin intercepted San Diego State QB Ryan Lindley
’s first pass of the game. The Aztecs fought back and forced the Broncos to punt, but Leon McFadden
fumbled the ball and Josh Borgman
recovered it, setting up an 11-yard run for Boise State's Mitch Burroughs
. On the ensuing kickoff, SDSU's Brandon Davis fumbled when he was hit by Blake Renaud
, allowing a recovery on the San Diego 23 by Broncos freshman CB Corey Bell.
And that all happened just in the first quarter.
The Aztecs went to the locker room a half-time down 42-14, but the Aztec defense came out firing on all cylinders in the third quarter and held Boise State to a FG. The Aztec offense sputtered, however, and didn't do much until the 4th quarter. That's when Boise State was playing to eat up the clock
. And they did that, controlling the ball for 35:04 minutes to 24:56 minutes for the Aztecs.
The Boise State offense put up 497 total yards on the evening. QB Kellen Moore
completed 28 of 40 passes for 366 yards and four touchdowns. WR Tyler Shoemaker
was the main target of those passes, catching 10 for 130 yards and 3 touchdowns. Deep threat Geraldo Boldewijn
caught one for 42 yards. The running game was handled by RB Doug Martin
, who was back in full action this week after an injury. He had 36 carries for 129 yards and a couple of TD's.
San Diego put up 470 total yards of their own. Led by QB Ryan Lindley, he finished the night with 30 passes of 51 attempts and 350 yards. TE Gavin Escobar
was the receiver of 8 of those passes for 113 yards. He also pulled in two for TD's. WR Colin Lockett
only pulled in 3, but they accounted for 81 yards and one was a 53-yarder. SDSU's ground game was limited without star RB Ronnie Hillman
, who sprained an ankle a week earlier and had only limited action with just three carries for eight yards. But the shining star of the evening for San Diego State would have to be freshman RB Adam Muema
, who had his redshirt burned at the New Mexico game. He had 13 carries for 119 yards, averaging 9.2 yards against a stingy Broncos D-line. One of those was in the first quarter when he romped for an 81-yarder and a TD. He also bullied his way past the Boise State defenders in the fourth quarter for a second, well deserved TD.
"The only thing I saw positive about tonight was that our team showed the ability to hang in there when things were going as bad as they can possibly go," SDSU coach Rocky Long said.
"To be able to hang in there and battle until the very end of the game, that shows you got a little character."
Boise State QB Kellen Moore now has 13,782 yards, and has moved past Philip Rivers
, formerly of North Carolina State into sixth place in Division I career passing yards. Has also now racked up 134 TD passes for his career, and has moved into a second-place tie in Division I with Graham Harrell
of Texas Tech.
Next up for the two teams: the Broncos take on the Wyoming Cowboys next Saturday afternoon at Bronco Stadium, while the Aztecs travel to Las Vegas to take on the UNLV Rebels in an evening game at Sam Boyd Stadium.