BOISE — Pollsters who help decide the BCS want style points. Well, Boise State sure looked beautiful in — and on — blue.
Kellen Moore threw four touchdown passes to Austin Pettis and tied a career high with five overall, and the supposedly endangered, No. 6 Broncos overwhelmed Idaho 63-25 on Saturday.
Titus Young had a 100-yard kickoff return that was actually longer and Kyle Wilson returned an interception 71 yards for another score for the big-play Broncos (10-0, 5-0 WAC), who beat their rivals for the 11th consecutive time.
Moore, the nation’s passing efficiency leader with 32 touchdowns and just three interceptions, passed Steve Young for 19th place on the Western Athletic Conference’s list for career touchdown passes. His 57th in two seasons was to Pettis early in the fourth quarter.
Recent close wins on national television had put Boise State behind TCU in the BCS rankings, and only the higher ranked non-BCS school has a chance to crash the megabucks series.
This one wasn’t close.
The go-go Broncos used a halfback pass, an interception return, a kickoff return and funky formations all for scores.
The Vandals (7-4, 4-3) were supposed to join WAC co-leader Nevada, which comes to Boise in two weeks, as the remaining threats to the Broncos’ third perfect regular season since 2004. Idaho came to Boise off to its best start in 15 years.
It left here Vandal-ized. Again.
The Broncos came in averaging 59.4 points per home game against Idaho in five games this decade. The last three times the Broncos have played the Vandals in Boise, they’ve won 58-14, 70-35, 65-7 — and now Saturday’s runaway.
Boise State has the nation’s best home winning percentage this decade at .968 (61-2).
Idaho committed seven turnovers, six by fill-in quarterback Brian Reader. He threw five interceptions while starting for the second consecutive game for Nathan Enderle, who is second only to Moore and 10th nationally in passing efficiency. Enderle has a sore rotator cuff.
Reader, who finished 17 for 27 for 305 yards and a touchdown, lost a fumble on his third play, setting up Pettis’ leaping touchdown catch over Kenneth Patten. Reader threw an interception on his second pass, which Boise State converted into a 25-yard touchdown from Moore to Young, behind a block by Pettis.
Pettis reached high for an 8-yard touchdown catch that made it 21-7 after one quarter. Moore was 9 for 10 for 101 yards and three touchdowns in the period.
Idaho appeared to claim some momentum to carry into halftime when DeMaundray Woolridge, who rushed 24 times for 143 yards, scored his 15th touchdown of the season from 1 yard to make it 35-17 with 22 seconds remaining in the half
Trey Farquhar’s kickoff soared 7 yards deep into the end zone. Young appeared ready to concede a touchback, but teammate Doug Martin urged him to run it out.
Great idea. Young sprinted untouched down the right sideline. Martin threw a crunching block, and Winston Venable leveled Farquhar at the Idaho 40 to wipe out the Vandals’ last chance at the tackle — and the upset.
Officially, Young’s return was 100 yards, tying a Boise State record set by John Broadous in 1981 also against Idaho. This one put the Broncos up 42-17 at the break.
Moore was 15 for 20 for 199 yards in the half, and Boise State had its most points in a half since Aug. 30, 2007, against Weber State.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.