LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) -- Ian Johnson scored four first-half
touchdowns and ran for 192 yards and No. 18 Boise State toasted its
debut in the BCS standings with a 40-28 win over New Mexico State.
The Broncos (7-0, 3-0 WAC) earlier Sunday landed at No. 15 in
the first BCS standings of the season. They were solid offensively,
but shaky on defense against the Aggies, who have lost 17 straight
games against Division I-A opponents.
Johnson scored on touchdown runs of 7, 1, 3 and 17 yards and the
Broncos finally put away the pesky, pass-happy Aggies with a pair
of touchdown passes from Jared Zabransky in the second half.
New Mexico State (2-4, 0-2) kept it close behind sophomore
quarterback Chase Holbrook, the nation's total offense leader.
Holbrook completed a school-record 49 of 65 passes for 526 yards.
He came up 20 yards short of the single-game NMSU record of 546
yards set by Cody Ledbetter against UNLV in 1995.
Holbrook threw two touchdown passes, including a 65-yarder to
Derek Dubois in the first half. Holbrook scored on a 1-yard run
with 9:19 left in the third quarter that cut Boise State's lead to
27-21 and kept the Broncos' defense guessing -- usually wrong -- most
of the night.
After Holbrook's rushing TD, the Broncos drove to the NMSU 36
and faced a fourth-and-6. Zabransky threw incomplete but Tim
McManigal was called for roughing Zabransky. Four plays later,
Zabransky hit Jeremy Childs with a 22-yard TD pass. Big in that
84-yard drive were a 19-yard pass from Zabransky to Jerard Rabb on
third-and-10 from the Boise 17 and Zabransky's 24-yard pass to
Legedu Naanee to the New Mexico State 40.
The Aggies still had some fight left and Holbrook completed six
passes in a drive that reached the Boise State 13. On fourth down,
Matt Pratt's 30-yard field goal attempt was blocked. The Broncos
took over and needed just six plays to score on a 33-yard pass from
Zabransky to Vinny Perretta for a 40-21 lead with 13:13 left in the
Holbrook completed 11 straight passes in an 82-yard drive in the
second quarter that ended with Jeremiah Williams' 3-yard TD run.
Holbrook's 65-yard pass to Dubois came with 1:27 left in the first
Dubois caught the ball near the Boise State 30 as two Broncos
collided trying to break it up and Dubois scooted away untouched.
The drive began after Zabransky fumbled a pitch at the NMSU 18 and
Aggies safety Derrick Richardson recovered it.
Holbrook ran his streak of completions to 16 straight and had
the Aggies at the Boise 24 in the final minute of the first half.
The scoring threat ended when Marty Tadman intercepted Holbrook's
pass in the end zone on the final play of the half.
The Aggies, whose two wins this season were against Division
I-AA Southeastern Louisiana and Texas Southern, riddled the WAC's
best defense. Receiver Chris Williams had career highs of 13
catches for 191 yards and Dubois caught six passes for 124 yards.
Zabransky was 14-of-21 passing for 215 yards.
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