Matt Cilley/Associated Press
Matt Cilley/Associated Press
BOISE, Idaho – Boise State running back D.J. Harper got his team off to the type of start it wanted in Saturday afternoon’s Senior Day game against Colorado State.
The sixth-year senior took a handoff on the Broncos’ first play from scrimmage and went untouched on an 80-yard touchdown run, and Boise State (9-2, 6-1 Mountain West) never looked back in a 42-14 victory.
“That’s exactly what I was hoping for,” Harper said. “I told myself, ‘All right, let’s make something happen on your last game on the blue.’ The offensive line did a great job, and I just tried to stay patient.”
Harper finished with 107 yards and two rushing touchdowns for the Broncos, who kept their conference title hopes alive. Boise State entered the day tied with Fresno State and San Diego State in the Mountain West.
Boise State scored on five of its six first-half possessions against the Rams (3-8, 2-5) to take a 35-0 halftime lead. It was the sixth time this season that the Broncos held their opponent scoreless in the first half.
Colorado State wound up with only 229 yards of offense and turned over the ball three times in losing on the road again. The Rams went 0-5 in away games this season.
“They did what they did, and they did it well,” said Colorado State quarterback M.J. McPeek, who was pulled after going 4 of 9 for 19 yards with two interceptions. “They just do what they do well, and we didn’t have an answer for it.”
Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick completed 17-of-20 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns in a little more than one half of action. He connected with Matt Miller (5 yards) and Holden Huff (18 yards) for first-half scores.
“We were operating, and you could just feel it out there,” Southwick said.
Senior receiver Chris Potter had a 12-yard touchdown run out of the Wildcat formation, and backup quarterback Grant Hedrick had a 1-yard touchdown run for the Broncos, who wound up with 503 yards on offense.
“When you can run the ball, things get a lot easier,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. “They were trying to stop the run, but we were still able to find some creases.”
Colorado State trailed 42-0 when it finally scored on a career-long 72-yard run by Chris Nwoke with 2:09 in the third quarter. Nwoke finished with a game-high 119 yards on 10 carries. The Rams managed only 229 total yards and committed three turnovers.
“I think that they had a pretty good defense,” Colorado State coach Jim McElwain said. “I think that we missed some blocks; they did some things with movement up front. At the end of the day, it’s about us, and we didn’t handle it.”
Colorado State got its final score on a 30-yard pass from Conner Smith to Marquise Law with 4:09 left. That was just the third passing touchdown yielded by Boise State this season.
“A year ago, in this same game at our place, we kind of threw our skirt up and let them run over us,” McElwain said. “I felt that our guys tried, they competed.”
Drew Nash/The Times-News