LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 22: Doug Martin #22 of the Boise State Broncos runs for yardage ahaead of Keelan Johnson #10 of the Arizona State Sun Devils during the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium December 22, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Boise State won 56-24. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Boise State won big over Arizona State last night in the Las Vegas Bowl, confirming everyone's suspicions that, yes, this senior class is really good, including but not limited to Doug Martin and Kellen Moore. The Broncos looked great. The Sun Devils looked less so. After the jump, find out who earned a star for their performance in the Vegas Bowl and who was deserving of the goat horns. Feel free to share your picks in the comments.
Star No. 1 - Doug Martin
A new three stars policy that I am instituting right now is that anyone who gains 300 all-purpose yards in a game is automatically named Star No. 1. Also, it doesn't hurt if you gain the 300 yards with an array of moves that defy human athletic ability and balance. And bonus points for my having a slight infatuation with you.
Doug Martin had all that and more on Thursday night as he ran up, over, and around the Arizona State defense and special teams. His 100-yard kickoff return touchdown set the tone for the game, and his 150 yards on the ground - including 50-plus on a touchdown drive in the first half - made sure that the Sun Devils would be throwing quite the lame going away party for Dennis Erickson. Coach Pete and staff must have known that Thursday night was going to be special for Martin. He had 31 carries and backup D.J. Harper had one. What a difference a healthy Martin makes.
Star No. 2 - Kellen Moore
Win No. 50 came in typical Moore stat fashion - completions to 10 different receivers, touchdowns to Tyler Shoemaker and Matt Miller, and every throw exactly where he wanted. Moore came out firing and, were it not for a Shoemaker deflected interception and a an INT on a QB pressure, his night could have gone from awesome to legendary.
Star No. 3 - Gerell Robinson
The Arizona State receiver picked up most of his yardage in the second half, but still, 241 receiving yards is rather incredible. He was the Arizona State offense, and on a night when there were very few other ASU players making a difference, Robinson did. If all other Sun Devils got Dennis Erickson a figurative "happy retirement" group greeting card, Robinson's performance was the epitome of the going-away omelet bar - the fancy one with the bacon and the hollandaise sauce.
The goat - Brock Osweiler
Throwing for 400 yards is nice and all, but when his team needed a play at the most crucial juncture of the game, Osweiler not only failed to deliver. He delivered for the other team.
Early in the second half, the Sun Devils had a chance to get back in teh game, following a kickoff return touchdown and turnovers on consecutive Boise State drives. The first turnover led to a Sun Devil drive into Bronco territory, and on a 4th down, Osweiler frantically waved the kicking team back to the sideline as if to say "I got this." He did not have this. He threw a wing and a prayer under pressure that fell way incomplete.
The next drive went down to the one-yard line where the Sun Devils faced a 4th down again, and this time, beneath the backdrop of Dennis Erickson time out madness, Osweiler threw a fade pattern about as poorly as you could throw a fade pattern. Instead of an 11-point game with momentum squarely on ASU's side, Jamar Taylor took the pass back 106 yards for a 35-10 Boise State lead.
Other goats considered: Dennis Erickson for general unpreparedness and lack of team discipline, Vontaze Burfict for being a nobody, Tyler Shoemaker for going all secret Santa with a drop-interception in the first half, whoever came up with the "We need some Moore" sign. Way to mail that one in.
Who did you think deserved a star in this game? Who should have been the goat? Share your thoughts in the comments.