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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 2:58 p.m., Saturday, November 18, 2006

Boise State whips Utah St., clinches share of WAC title

By Keith Ridler
Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho - Jared Zabransky threw for 236 yards and three touchdowns, and Brett Denton ran for 125 yards and two scores, as No. 13 Boise State beat Utah State 49-10 today.

The Broncos (11-0, 7-0 Western Athletic Conference) clinched a share of the WAC title. They played without running back Ian Johnson, who is still recovering from a partially collapsed left lung he suffered last week.

The Aggies (1-10, 1-6) offered little resistance on the Broncos' blue turf, where Boise State has won 51 of its past 53 games. The Broncos scored on their first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter and finished the first half ahead, 28-3.

Boise State looked less potent running the ball without Johnson, who averages nearly 150 yards a game and has 21 touchdowns.

Besides Denton, cornerback Quinton Jones rushed twice for 11 yards and a touchdown, and Vinny Perretta rushed nine times for 51 yards.

The Aggies' biggest play came early in the fourth quarter when Devon Hall returned a Broncos fumble 64 yards for a touchdown to make it 42-10. The Broncos fumbled three times in the game, losing two of them.

Boise State opened the second half with a nine-play scoring drive capped by Jones' 8-yard run to make it 35-3. After a Marty Tadman interception, the Broncos covered 49 yards in three plays. Zabransky drilled a pass to Ryan Putnam in the right corner of the end zone to make it 42-3.

The Broncos made it 49-10 with 7:54 remaining when Taylor Tharp lobbed a 10-yard pass into the left corner of the end zone to Bryan Anderson.

The Broncos were penalized for excessive celebrations twice in the game, the first when Legedu Naanee threw the football into the stands after catching a touchdown pass, and the second when Jones jumped into the stands after running for a touchdown.

After Anderson scored, he was mobbed by teammates and then carried back to the sidelines, but the officials didn't throw a flag.

The Broncos face a tougher test next Saturday when they travel to Nevada.

It was the seventh loss on the road for the Aggies this season, making it the second time in four years Utah State has not won a road game. They conclude their season next Saturday at home against New Mexico State.