Boise State dispatched the Wyoming Cowboys with 36 unanswered points and some suffocating defense on Saturday afternoon, claiming sole possession of second place in the Mountain West and keeping the BCS dream alive. Who were the heroes and who was the goat? Find out after the jump, and share your opinion in the comments.
(Note: Kellen Moore and Travis Stanaway are wearing the same tie. How embarrassing!)
Star No. 1: Doug Martin
With 153 yards on 26 carries, Martin was the most consistent offensive player on the field on Saturday. He took advantage of the Wyoming run defense and its myriad express lanes, plus he added his traditional Martin wiggle to rack up yards after contact. There was a noticeable difference between Martin and backup D.J. Harper, which speaks to just how good Martin was on Saturday. His biggest run of the day, in my opinion, was his first TD run on third and goal just before halftime. His biggest play of the afternoon - and one that no one will talk about - was his third down catch to start Boise State's 17-play, 87-yard touchdown drive for BSU's first score of the game. Without that catch, who knows? We might still be waiting for Boise State's first touchdown.
Star No. 2: Kellen Moore
After getting off to a slow start (pick-six, air-mailing easy passes, throwing too much to a mittened Tyler Shoemaker), Moore found his groove, and the Bronco offense took off. His scoring strikes to tight ends Kyle Efaw and Gabe Linehan were right on the money, and his touchdown to Matt Miller was ... well, that one was just plain lucky.
For that matter, Brent Pease may be deserving of a star, too, for getting the Broncos into rhythm with the no-huddle offense in the second half. Stars for everyone!
Star No. 3: Travis Stanaway
Pressed into a starting role because of Boise State's cornerback crisis, Stanaway came up huge with an interception and several big tackles late in the game. His performance led the way for a Boise State defense that stymied true freshman quarterback Brett Smith and held the Cowboys offense to only seven points in garbage time.
Runner-up to Stanaway would be George Iloka who started at cornerback and more than held his own.
The Goat: Wyoming CB Tashaun Gipson
There is a reason why the age-old axiom for cornerbacks on Hail Mary passes is "Knock it down!" No one trusts them to catch the ball, and they are often so awful in their attempts to do so that the ball often ends up in someone else's hands. Gipson proved the rule with his botched interception attempt on Moore's Hail Mary fling at the end of the first half. He knocked Matt Miller down in his haste for the interception, popped the ball into the air with two hands, and watched the tipped pass fall into Miller's lap on the goalline.
Other people considered for the goat award were Wyoming QB Brett Smith for his ill-timed fumble in the first half and Wyoming coach Dave Christensen for his lack of strategy in the fourth quarter.
Who were your three stars and goat for the Wyoming game? Should the goat have gone to someone else? Who else was deserving of a star? Share your thoughts in the comments.