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September 20, 2010
No. 3 Boise State rolling along after Wyoming rout
Kellen Moore sauntered out of the locker room, still in full gear, even after watching the fourth quarter from the sideline.LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP)
The Boise State quarterback's hair hardly looked ruffled, his white jersey neat and tidy.
A no-sweat, virtually clean performance - that's what Moore and the third-ranked Broncos delivered in a 51-6 rout of Wyoming on Saturday.
After a 12-day layoff, the Broncos showed few signs of rust as they rolled up 648 total yards. Their performance also captured a few more points in the newest poll, the Broncos earning 27 more than the week before.
Winning back those first-place votes, though, may prove more tricky.
While idle last week, Boise State (2-0) dropped seven of their eight first-place votes. Virginia Tech's loss to lower-tier James Madison didn't do the Broncos any favors, tarnishing their win over the Hokies.
In this week's poll, Alabama received 53 first-place votes and 1,492 points. Ohio State had five first-place votes and 1,435 points while Boise State had one top vote and 1,333 points.
Not that the Broncos are worrying about rankings. Their focus remains on the field, not the national debate raging over whether this team is a bona fide championship contender.
However, the buzz around Boise is, in the words of the ever-affable Moore, "Awesome."
"People are excited about us," said Moore, who threw for 370 yards and two touchdowns against the Cowboys. "It means people care about us, they think we're playing good football. But we just take care of our business and let other people deal with that."
The Broncos have a pivotal showdown Saturday when they host No. 24 Oregon State on their famous blue turf. This might be the last major obstacle until facing a Nevada team on Nov. 26 that opened some eyes with a convincing win over California.
The ESPN GameDay crew will be in Boise, Idaho, for the Oregon State game, a national audience tuning in. It's a chance for Boise to make a lasting impression with those who typically don't get to see the Broncos.
"We just consider it outside noise," said tailback Doug Martin, who rushed for 105 yards and a TD against Wyoming. "We don't worry about it, we just worry about the game we're playing."
This week, the familiar questions are certain to resurface: Can the Broncos play the role of BCS buster? Are they worthy of such a chance?
Boise State coach Chris Petersen quickly dismisses such chatter, preferring to simply let the season play out before engaging in any conversations of the sort.
"We're still a work in progress," said Petersen, whose team has won 16 straight games. "We need to get through a few more games and see what we have."
Seeing is believing for the Cowboys (1-2), who were held to minus-21 yards rushing and 135 total yards. Wyoming also struggled to slow Boise State's precision offense as Moore picked apart the Cowboys secondary, throwing long TD passes to Titus Young and Austin Pettis.
"We were not surprised with anything that Boise State did," Wyoming safety Shamiel Gary said. "What you saw on film was what they did on the field. They are a good team and get after it."
From the opening kick, too. The Broncos built a 44-6 lead late in the third quarter, before easing off the accelerator and cruising to the blowout win.
This is a team that simply can't look solid - the Broncos have to look spectacular. They have to win brilliantly to seize the attention of a nation.
"We're getting better," Moore said with a shrug. "We're just trying to take the next step and take it to the next level."