The Broncos see their 56-24 victory over Arizona State on Thursday night in the MAACO Bowl as more than just a win over a middle-tier Pac-12 team.
“I think we made a statement,” said Doug Martin, who returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and was voted the game’s MVP. “It comes down to players who have a chip on their shoulders. It shows we’re here and we’re winners.”
Boise State (12-1) finished seventh in the BCS standings, but wasn’t invited to one of its big-money bowl games – the fourth time that has happened after the school finished within the BCS’ top 10. The Mountain West and Pac-12 each received $1.1 million from the bowl.
Coach Chris Petersen said the Broncos looked at the game as another chance to showcase the program to a national audience.
“There were two things we wanted to do in this game: Start fast, and they did that, and finish strong, and they did that,” Petersen said. “We had a chance to be back on ESPN and have a lot of people see our game and our team.”
It also gave the Broncos a chance to say goodbye to Kellen Moore, the NCAA’s winningest quarterback who led Boise State on a remarkable four-year run.
“You got to finish things off,” Moore said
He threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns, though he also had two interceptions and lost a fumble. The turnovers won’t matter as fans in Idaho remember the star who has set school records for passing yards, touchdowns, completions and total offense.
“We always talk about finish seasons or finish games,” Moore said. “You’re talking about finishing careers, so there’s no reason to settle or relax.”
Petersen said the program will miss Moore.
“I have no idea what we’re going to do without Kellen Moore – so don’t even ask,” Petersen said before reporters could ask a question during a news conference after the game.