Hey, BCS - No. 8 Boise State wants the your attention.
The Broncos see Thursday night’s 56-24 victory over Arizona State in the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas as more than just a win over a middle-tier Pac-12 team.
“I think we made a statement,’’ said Doug Martin, who returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and was voted the game’s MVP. “It comes down to players who have a chip on their shoulders. It shows we’re here and we’re winners.’’
Boise State (12-1) finished seventh in the BCS standings, but wasn’t invited to one of the big-money bowl games - the fourth time the school has finished in the BCS top 10 and not been invited to one.
Coach Chris Petersen said the Broncos saw the game as another chance to showcase the program to a national audience.
“There were two things we wanted to do in this game: Start fast, and they did that, and finish strong, and they did that,’’ Petersen said. “We had a chance to be back on ESPN and have a lot of people see our game and our team.’’
The game was the last for quarterback Kellen Moore, the NCAA’s winningest quarterback who led Boise State on a remarkable four-year run.
He threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns, though he also had two interceptions and lost a fumble. The star quarterback set school records for passing yards, touchdowns, completions, and total offense, and finished fifth among NCAA quarterbacks for career passing yards while racking up 50 wins.
Along with the return, Martin ran for 151 yards and another touchdown. His 301 all-purpose yards set a MAACO Bowl record.
Arizona State (6-7) never seriously threatened the Broncos even though Boise State allowed Rashad Ross’s 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half.
“It spread the word about Boise State,’’ Moore said. “We took advantage of opportunities to elevate this program.’’
Purdue extends Hope
Purdue coach Danny Hope received a two-year contract extension that runs through 2016, director of athletics Morgan Burke announced yesterday. He was tabbed Purdue’s head coach after spending 2008 as associate head coach. The Boilermakers (6-6) play Western Michigan in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit on Tuesday, the school’s first bowl appearance since 2007 . . . Illinois leading rusher Jason Ford (600 yards, seven touchdowns) and freshman receiver Jake Kumerow are academically ineligible and will not play against UCLA in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco next Saturday, according to the school’s website . . . Orange Bowl officials have scrapped a planned sponsorship deal with Camacho Cigars, according to an e-mail from the bowl’s spokesman, Larry Wahl. Wahl said that after mutual review, it was determined that it would not be appropriate to go forward with the sponsorship . . . Texas A&M senior offensive lineman Joseph Villavisencio, who was killed Thursday in a car accident, was spoken highly of by former coach Mike Sherman. “He was one of the most respectful and high-character players I have ever coached,’’ he said in statement released by the university. Witness reports say that Villavisencio swerved to avoid a buzzard and veered head-on into the path of an 18-wheeler near the town of Normangee, about 40 miles from College Station.