Posted by Bryan Fischer
LAS VEGAS -- It wasn't the time (before Christmas) nor place (Las Vegas) that many had expected Boise State to wrap up the season but, alas, there the 11-1 Broncos were in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl against 6-6 Arizona State. The game went as expected, with the men from the blue turf blowing out the boys from the desert. There were trick plays and turnovers on one side, personal fouls and a 6-foot-8 quarterback on the other. All-in-all, another ho-hum victory for Boise while the ASU fans were able to continue the losing in the casinos after the game.
BOISE STATE WON. The bowl game was all about the end of prolific quarterback Kellen Moore's career and the successful senior class for Boise State. It wasn't a sharp performance by a team making a return trip to Vegas for a game they'd trade anything for to have "BCS" in front of the title but it was another 'W.' There were three turnovers by Moore alone - two picks and a fumbled snap - but that only kept the score closer than it could have been. There was a successful trick play for a touchdown, a staple of the team's run under head coach Chris Petersen, and plenty of points as the Broncos capped another 12-win season off with a victory.
HOW BOISE STATE WON: How didn't they win is a better question. BSU had touchdowns in all three phases of the game in a game they pretty much controlled from start to finish. There was Doug Martin's opening kick return for a touchdown, Jamar Taylor's 100 yard interception return for a score and, of course, a couple of tosses to the end zone by Moore. They nearly had a Yahtzee of college football scoring with TDs coming through the air, on the ground, via kick return and two on defense.
WHEN BOISE STATE WON: When Arizona State left the hotel? When the Broncos warmed up? As soon as the bowl match up was announced? It seemed that way. The tone was set early on when Martin took the opening kick return back for a touchdown and it seemed to be all blue from there on out. ASU had a few chances after grabbing some turnovers but never could capitalize. The back-breaker came in the third quarter when Brock Osweiler tossed a pick-six on the one-yard line that pushed the Boise lead to 35-10 and signaled the Sun Devils waving white flag.
WHAT BOISE STATE WON: The seventh-ranked Broncos captured their second-straight Maaco Bowl trophy with plenty of thoughts about "what could have been" this season. The senior group wrapped up their careers with 50 wins for a new school and FBS-record and capped the program's sixth straight 10+ win season.
WHAT ARIZONA STATE LOST: Dennis Erickson's last game for one. Uninspired, undisciplined and unfit to play, the Sun Devils appropriately sent their head coach out with a 31-31 record over five years in Tempe. The loss also drops the team below .500 on the season thanks to their fifth straight loss. It was a fitting end to the season really.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Kellen Moore cemented his 50th win as the starting quarterback of the Broncos, most in NCAA FBS history. He also wraps up his career with an insane 142-28 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
FINAL GRADE: B. The only reason why it even gets that grade is because it was Moore and the senior group's last game. Boise State at least made it entertaining with a few trick plays and touchdowns just about every way possible.
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