Published November 20, 2014
Kellen Moore doesn't make the schedule. He just plays it.
Moore was 13 of 18 for 196 yards and three touchdowns, including two scoring passes to tight end Kyle Efaw, and No. 3 Boise State beat lowly New Mexico State 59-0 on Saturday night.
The Broncos (4-0, 1-0 Western Athletic Conference), guarding against a letdown after wins over Virginia Tech and Oregon State, were the highest-ranked team to visit Las Cruces and looked the part by dispatching the first of several WAC opponents who aren't expected to present too much trouble.
Moore doesn't want to hear gripes about a soft schedule.
"I don't really care," said Moore, who improved to 30-1 as a starter. "There are only eight more opportunities to play in the regular season. We should probably take advantage of it and quit complaining."
Coach Chris Petersen was asked if the Broncos needed to push the score higher to make a statement that they're still one of the nation's top teams.
"Nah. Not so important," he said. "It was just important that our guys played hard, played well. We got some of the backups in and they played well. That's much more important to us than what the score is."
Doug Martin ran for a 1-yard touchdown and caught a 28-yard TD pass from Moore as the Broncos extended their winning streak to 18 games.
The Aggies (0-4, 0-1) never had a chance, not with the Broncos scoring on their first five possessions and Moore throwing two TD passes by halftime. Boise State got 21 points off three New Mexico State turnovers and led 38-0 at the break.
"Once the bleeding started, obviously we couldn't stop it," Aggies coach DeWayne Walker said.
Moore threw a 26-yard touchdown to Efaw to cap the opening drive of the second half, then headed for the sideline and donned a headset. Freshman Joe Southwick took over and threw a 78-yard TD pass to Chris Potter late in the third.
Jarvis Hodge capped the celebration with a 54-yard TD run with 1:19 remaining.
"The guys played hard," Petersen said. "The defense set the tone early, got those turnovers. When we can get that going, our guys usually respond pretty well."
The Broncos partied on their own at the end. Many in the crowd of 19,661 went home in the third quarter.
"It's different from what we've been playing with over the first couple of weeks," Moore said. "But I think that's part of the things we've got to deal with. We'll play in a ton of different environments. You've got to bring your own energy sometimes. "
The Broncos, who enter the Mountain West next season, began their final push through the WAC schedule in style. They are 11-0 against the Aggies after another lopsided victory in a series in which Boise State has won the most recent contests 56-6, 40-20, 58-0, 49-0 and 42-7.
Mike Coughlin started the scoring with a 15-yard run on a direct-snap play, then Martin muscled his way to the goal line and stretched his arm across to score. Just like that, Boise State led 14-0 midway through the first period.
Kyle Brotzman kicked a 35-yard field goal, Jeremy Avery added an 18-yard TD run, then Moore found Efaw wide open for a 41-yard scoring pass that put the Broncos up 31-0 on the first play of the second quarter. Later in the period, Moore connected with Martin on a 28-yard TD play.
Moore would have had another easy TD but it was called back. With Boise State working from midfield, he found Austin Pettis in stride for a long scoring pass that was nullified by a face mask penalty, and the Broncos actually were forced to punt.
That was as rough as it got for Boise State.
The Broncos were too fast, too physical and too much for New Mexico State, but that was to be expected as they moved into a marshmallow-soft stretch of their schedule. They might not be tested before a Nov. 19 game against Fresno State.
"We have some tough opponents ahead and there will be challenges," Moore said. "Every team presents different things and we've got to be ready."