(Thursday, December 22nd)
Final Score: (8) Boise State 56, Arizona State 24
Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - Senior Kellen Moore closed his collegiate career with an emphatic victory, leading No. 8 Boise State past Arizona State, 56-24, in the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas on Thursday night.
Moore, already the Football Bowl Subdivision's all-time winningest quarterback, threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns to notch career win No. 50. Fellow senior Doug Martin returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and added 151 rushing yards for the Broncos (12-1), whose only loss this season came to TCU on November 12.
"We always talk about finish a season or finish games. We're talking about finishing a career, so there's no reason to settle or relax." said Moore. "Take care of business and I think we were fortunate to do that."
Arizona State, meanwhile, ended the season in disarray.
Head coach Dennis Erickson guided the Sun Devils (6-7) on Thursday night despite being told in late November that he would not be brought back for a sixth year. Brock Osweiler completed 30-of-47 passes for 395 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, as rudderless ASU finished the season with five consecutive losses.
"This is a very difficult situation for [the players]," said Erickson. "The whole scenario of what has transpired. I mean it's hard when there's a coaching change and you have a bowl game. Anybody who thinks it's easy is crazy."
Arizona State won the opening coin toss and elected to kick off. The decision immediately backfired, as Martin returned the kick 100 yards for a score and a 7-0 Boise State lead.
The Broncos rode that momentum into a 28-3 halftime advantage.
Moore threw touchdown passes to Tyler Shoemaker and Matt Miller (of 14 and two yards, respectively). Miller also tossed a five-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Efaw off a misdirection lateral shortly before the break.
Alex Garoutte's 32-yard field goal accounted for the Arizona State's lone score of the first half, but the third quarter opened with a role reversal of sorts.
This time it was the Sun Devils striking first, as Rashad Ross returned the opening kick of the second half 98 yards for a score, making it 28-10.
Momentum in hand, Arizona State followed with an onside kick. The attempt was unsuccessful, but Moore was intercepted by Colin Parker three plays later.
Facing a 4th-and-4 on their next series, the Sun Devils continued to take chances, going for and failing to convert a first down. But again Moore gave the ball back, fumbling the snap four plays later.
Arizona State took over at midfield and moved to the Boise State five behind three Osweiler completions and a 15-yard pass interference penalty. After a short and a pair of short runs, the Sun Devils faced a 4th-and-goal.
Erickson elected to go for it, but as his team broke from the huddle he motioned for a timeout. He was not acknowledged and the timeout was not granted. Instead, the ball was snapped and Osweiler threw a line-drive fade into the waiting arms of Jamar Taylor, who returned the interception 100 yards for a touchdown and an insurmountable 35-10 Boise State lead.
Martin and D.J. Harper had touchdown runs, while Travis Stanaway returned an ASU fumble for a score in the fourth quarter.
Osweiler tossed touchdown passes to Gerell Robinson and George Bell in the fourth.
The all-time series between the teams is tied, 1-1. Arizona State won the previous meeting, 56-7, in 1996...Former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy held the previous record for most wins by an FBS quarterback (45)...Pittsburgh's Todd Graham was hired as Arizona State's new head coach on December 14.
12/23 01:52:21 ET