Moore leads Boise St. in WAC farewell
BOISE (AP) - It took just one play for Boise State linebacker Derrell Acrey to help erase all the pain and misery from the meltdown against Nevada that dashed the Broncos' BCS dreams a week ago.
On the first play from scrimmage Saturday, Acrey stepped in front of a pass by Utah State (4-8, 2-6) quarterback Diondre Borel and returned the pick 31 yards for a touchdown.
So much for any doubts about the No. 9 Broncos' ability to pick themselves up from a crushing defeat.
Minutes later, quarterback Kellen Moore started sealing the deal, firing the first of his three touchdowns in guiding the Broncos to a 50-14 victory in their Western Athletic Conference farewell.
"That's exactly what we needed to happen for us," said coach Chris Petersen. "We were asking 'How are we going to respond?' I'd say they responded well."
The victory gave Boise State (11-1, 7-1) a share of the conference title and put an exclamation point on a decade of dominance in the WAC. This year's title is the Broncos' eighth since joining the WAC in 2001, but they are co-champs this time with Hawaii and Nevada.
It also set the Broncos up for a likely postseason trip to the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas on Dec. 22 for a showdown against No. 21 Utah.
Minor bowls aren't the postseason stages the Broncos were dreaming of two weeks ago, when they were ranked No. 3 and poised to surpass TCU in the BCS rankings. While the Nevada loss spoiled those hopes and snapped a 24-game winning streak, the Broncos showed Saturday that moping about their missed opportunity wasn't part of the equation.
"It's all about rebounding in this game and coming off a bad loss and proving that we can keep this thing rolling," Moore said. "Obviously, it was frustrating and disappointing. But we're not going to stay down forever."
The Broncos are leaving the WAC and heading to the Mountain West next fall, and for teams like Utah State it may be good riddance. The Broncos leave the conference with a perfect 40-0 mark against league foes on their home blue turf and an overall record of 75-5.
As he has been much of the season, Moore was efficient and mistake-free, going 24 of 34 for 237 yards and leading an offense that rolled up 453 total yards. His three TD passes gave him 33 for the season to go with just five interceptions. He ended his day with a 1-yard dive late in the third quarter to put Boise State up 43-7.
Jeremy Avery ran for 71 yards and a touchdown and the Broncos rushed for 202 yards. Kyle Efaw led the Bronco receiving corps with five catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns, and Austin Pettis had four catches for 51 yards and a TD. Efaw's first came on the Broncos' opening possession when Moore fired a 12-yard strike. A 2-point conversion gave the Broncos a 15-0 lead just seven minutes into the game.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Chance Demarais rushed 24 times for 119 yards and a touchdown, and Jon Camino rushed 29 times for 128 yards as second-ranked Carroll College defeated third-ranked St. Xavier of Illinois (13-1) 27-5 on Saturday in the semifinals of the NAIA football playoffs.
Carroll College (13-0) took a 13-3 lead into the break and then used its ground game to grind out a win in the second half.
The Saints will face Sioux Falls (13-0), which beat MidAmerica Nazarene 38-0, in the championship Dec. 18 at Rome, Ga.
Former Lakeland High wideout Bubba Bartlett had five catches for 35 yards for Carroll.
Eastern Washington rolls in FCS opener
CHENEY (AP) -Taiwan Jones rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns and Eastern Washington pulled away in the second half to beat Southeast Missouri 37-17 on Saturday in the second round of the FCS playoffs.
Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles (10-2), who have won eight straight and will host North Dakota State in the quarterfinals either Friday or Saturday.
Henry Harris rushed for 108 yards and a score for the Redhawks (9-3) in their first postseason appearance.
Tied at 17-all in the third quarter, Mitchell found Nicholas Edwards with a 10-yard scoring pass then hit Greg Herd with a 10-yard TD toss early in the fourth.