Jeron Johnson’s eyes said it all.
The Boise State safety had the words “NON” and “STOP” on his eye black stickers. And that’s exactly what Johnson and the Broncos defense were against Hawaii, forcing turnover after turnover in a 54-9 victory over Hawaii on Saturday night in Honolulu to remain unbeaten and in the BCS race.
“Just nonstop. That’s the attitude you got to have all night,” said Johnson, who intercepted two passes and also recovered a fumble. “Turnovers? You get one, you want to get another one. You get two, you want to get another. That’s how it was all night. We just kept fighting, trying to get the ball.”
No. 6 Boise State (7-0, 2-0 Western Athletic Conference) forced six turnovers, leading to 30 points, which were a bit unexpected since the Broncos didn’t have a takeaway in their two previous games.
“We’ve been practicing all week on stripping the ball out and just creating turnovers, not having them handed to us,” Johnson said.
The Broncos created so many turnovers, Warriors coach Greg McMackin seemed to have lost count. McMackin kept saying his team committed nine turnovers during the post-game news conference.
“I’ve never played in a game with nine turnovers,” he said. “Nine turnovers and they score 54? It should’ve been 120-0.”
Boise State coach Chris Petersen realizes with such a steady-scoring offense, having a dominating defense would be the perfect complement as the Broncos try to sweep through their six remaining WAC games to finish 13-0 and maybe earn a BCS bid.
“If we play that way on defense, we’ll be hard to stop,” Petersen said.
All week, Petersen had preached how his players had to stay focused on the Warriors and not get distracted by their tropical surroundings or their BCS rankings. They had lost two previous trips to the islands, including to East Carolina in the 2007 Hawaii Bowl.
“This is a hard place to play,” he said. “The guys did a great job of really focusing in and being mature about it.”
Broncos slip in BCS
Boise State got bumped. TCU is in position to be this season’s BCS buster – for now.
The Horned Frogs passed the Broncos in the Bowl Championship Series standings, with TCU jumping two spots from last week and Boise State falling three.
Florida (.9726), Alabama (.9450) and Texas (.8927) held onto the top three spots. All are on course to reach the national championship game if they can remain undefeated.
Unbeaten Iowa (.8249) moved up two spots to fourth place after beating Michigan State 15-13 with a last-play touchdown pass by Ricky Stanzi.
Fifth-place USC (.7944) also moved up two spots.
TCU (.7890) is sixth, a spot ahead of Boise State (.7752).
Cincinnati was eighth, the lowest of the unbeaten teams, with LSU and Oregon rounding out the top 10.
Florida No. 1 in AP
Florida regained the top spot Sunday in the Associated Press poll from Alabama, which was ranked No. 1 for a week ahead of the Gators.
The Crimson Tide needed a blocked field goal on the last play to beat Tennessee 12-10 on Saturday, while Florida pulled away from Mississippi State in the fourth quarter for a 29-19 victory. The Gators received 30 first-place votes to Alabama’s 23.
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