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No. 21 Boise State’s offensive balance upends Wyoming Cowboys

Associated Press

LARAMIE, Wyo. – An efficient offense and stingy defense kept No. 21 Boise State on a roll, and the Broncos won their seventh straight by handily beating a team without its head coach.

D.J. Harper rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Broncos past Wyoming 45-14 Saturday.

Harper scored on runs of 12 and 3 yards, moving him into fifth on Boise State’s career rushing touchdowns list with 34. The Broncos (7-1, 4-0 Mountain West) gained 214 yards on the ground on 36 carries, averaging 5.9 yards.

Joe Southwick completed 20 of 28 passes for 198 yards and one interception and managed an efficient Boise State offense that converted 12 of 14 third downs and scored on all five of its red-zone opportunities.

“We were very balanced today,” Southwick said. “I think we’re just continuing to build, from top to bottom.”

Boise State’s defense held the Cowboys to less than their 25.6 scoring average, recorded four sacks and limited Wyoming to 106 yards less than its average.

Wyoming (1-7, 0-4) was without head coach Dave Christensen, who was fined $50,000 and suspended by the school for the week over his conduct after a 28-27 loss to Air Force on Oct. 13. Christensen confronted Falcons coach Troy Calhoun on the field, accusing the Falcons of faking an injury to their starting quarterback in the fourth quarter.

“This is a hard enough game – when you think everything’s going correctly it’s still really, really hard and so you throw a curveball in like that, I’m sure that was very difficult on them,” Broncos coach Chris Petersen said.

The Cowboys stopped one Boise State streak by becoming the first opponent in six games to score in the first half against the Broncos when quarterback Brett Smith ran for a score from 4 yards out early in the second quarter.

“That’s a pretty good streak, huh?” Petersen said. “You know, it’s going to come to an end sooner or later. We played hard and played good defense.”

Smith scored Wyoming’s other touchdown on a 23-yard run early in the fourth quarter and completed 24 of 35 passes for 216 yards.

Harper scored both of his TDs in the first half, staking Boise State to a 17-7 halftime lead.

The Broncos put the game away in the third quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points on a 28-yard run by Shane Williams-Rhodes, a 19-yard fumble return for a touchdown by defensive back Corey Bell and a 1-yard run by Grant Hedrick.

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