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MAACO Bowl Las Vegas live blog: Boise State blows out Arizona State

Doug Martin sets record with 301 all-purpose yards for the Broncos

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Sam Morris

Boise State’s Doug Martin heads for the end zone after avoiding a tackle attempt by Steve Gallon during the first half of the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011.

Updated Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011 | 8:27 p.m.

2011 Maaco Bowl Las Vegas

Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore hoists the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas trophy after the Broncos defeated Arizona State 56-24 Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Launch slideshow »

The 2011 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas played out a lot like the majority of Boise State's games over the past half-decade.

Boise State asserted their dominance over Arizona State from the minute the two teams took the field at Sam Boyd Stadium. By the time it was all over, the Broncos had routed the Sun Devils.

Boise State won its second consecutive MAACO Bowl Las Vegas by dispatching Arizona State 56-24.

Plenty of performances stood out for Boise State. Senior quarterback Kellen Moore threw for two touchdowns, but also two interceptions, and unofficially 266 yards. Junior cornerback Jamar Taylor picked off an Arizona State pass in the end zone and returned it 101 yards for a touchdown. Las Vegas native and senior defensive end Billy Winn provided a couple sacks.

But they all marched behind senior running back Doug Martin, who set the tone for the game with a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown to start the evening. Martin went on to rush for 154 yards and a touchdowns on 30 carries. His 301 all-purpose yards set a new MAACO Bowl Las Vegas record.

Arizona State was a yard away from cutting the score to 28-17 in the third quarter, but quarterback Brock Osweiler — who threw for 390 yards and two touchdowns on 29-for-46 passing — lofted a pass right into Taylor's hands. Any competitiveness withered away from there.

Check back to lasvegassun.com for full coverage of the 2011 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas later.

14:00 remaining, fourth quarter, Boise State ahead by 39 points

It's time for bowl organizers to get the trophy ready for the Broncos. They can even engrave "Boise State" on the side if needed.

There's no coming back from a deficit this large in the final quarter. Boise State is punishing Arizona State, building their lead to 49-10 after a four-yard touchdown rush from D.J. Harper and a 26-yard fumble recovery touchdown from senior safety Travis Stanaway.

The Broncos latest offensive touchdown capped off an eight-play, 64-yard drive that took place mostly as the third quarter wound down. The defense grabbed its second score of the night less than 40 seconds later as the Sun Devils tried to respond.

Boise State has 391 yards of total offense in comparison to 197 yards for Arizona State.

4:30 remaining, third quarter, Boise State up by 25 points

The 2011 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas has turned into an all-out wild affair.

Nine minutes after a 98-yard kickoff return to open the second half for Arizona State, Boise State topped it with a longer touchdown. Jamar Taylor intercepted a pass from Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler in the end zone and took it 101 yards for a touchdown. Boise State has built a comfortable cushion once again with the score at 35-10.

The latest touchdown most definitely had the feel of a dagger to the side of the Sun Devils. They drove to the one-yard line before the Broncos stopped them on three consecutive plays. Arizona State opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 and the play ended with Taylor celebrating in the opposite end zone.

The Arizona State coaching staff realized something was wrong before the play and desperately tried to call a timeout to no avail. The glimmer of hope for the Sun Devils seems to have faded.

12:00 remaining, third quarter, Boise State leading 28-10

The whispers of Arizona State's demise in the 2011 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas were slightly premature.

The Sun Devils have come out of halftime raring and ready to make Boise State work for a victory. Rashad Ross took the opening kickoff of the second half 98 yards for a touchdown to make the score 28-10. Still unsatisfied, Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson called for an onside kick that his team didn't recover.

But senior linebacker Colin Parker came up with an interception a few plays later and the outnumbered contingent of Arizona State fans exploded with hope. Although the Sun Devils drive stalled around Boise State's 40-yard line, the Sun Devils have shown that they aren't ready to give up just yet.

The turnover was Boise State's second, while Arizona State hasn't committed one yet.

Halftime, 28-0 Boise State

Boise State hasn't forgotten how to run trick plays to perfection.

The program that became famous for its creativity after a 2008 Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma brought at least one unforeseen wrinkle to Sam Boyd Stadium tonight. The Broncos scored on a reverse pass right before halftime to head into the locker room with a 28-3 lead over Arizona State.

Quarterback Kellen Moore sprinted out left side before tossing the ball to freshman receiver Matt Miller. Senior tight end Kyle Efaw ran alone on the other side of the end zone before Miller tossed in a touchdown pass to him.

Boise State has out-gained Arizona State 269-111 at halftime. Moore has gone 13-for-18 for 152 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Running back Doug Martin has 14 carries for 85 yards.

5:50 remaining, second quarter, Boise State ahead 21-3

Arizona State has shown some signs of life as the 2011 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas nears halftime.

Freshman kicker Alex Garoutte put the Sun Devils on the board with a 32-yard field goal. Boise State still leads 21-3.

Garoutte's field goal came after a 66-yard drive from the Sun Devils, which was more than double their previous longest possession. Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler began targeting No. 1 receiver Gerell Robinson more than he had earlier in the game.

Robinson had a couple catches before the field goal to bring his numbers to four catches for 50 yards.

10:25 remaining, second quarter, Boise State up 21-0

It's 21-0 Boise State. And it could be a lot worse.

Kellen Moore threw his second touchdown pass of the night on a third-and-goal from the 2-yard line, finding Matt Miller in the corner of the end zone. Boise State is creeping up on 200 yards of total offense. Arizona State has 27 yards.

Tipped passes seem to be the only thing working in Arizona State's favor. The Sun Devils grabbed an interception after a pass tipped off a wide open Miller's hands. Boise State has also dropped four passes that it could have intercepted from Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler.

Osweiler has gone 6-for-12 for 37 yards. Boise State running back Doug Martin continues to stand out. Martin set up the last touchdown by rumbling over tacklers for a 21-yard touchdown. He's racked up 68 yards on 10 carries so far.

4:40 remaining, first quarter, Boise State leads 14-0

For the 25th time in their careers, Kellen Moore fired a touchdown strike to receiver Tyler Shoemaker.

Moore found a streaking Shoemaker towards the back of the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown pass. Boise State is now ahead 14-0 with more than four minutes still left to play in the first quarter.

Moore and Shoemaker are both playing in their last game for Boise State. They've developed a rapport after playing prominent roles on the Broncos offense for the last three years.

It was a 54-yard scoring drive for Boise State. A key play came on 3rd-and-13 from the 34-yard line, when Moore converted with a 15-yard pass to Mitch Burroughs.

The only three-and-out of the game so far came on the drive before, Arizona State's second possession. Stuck deep in their own territory after a pooch punt from Moore, the Sun Devils couldn't get anything going.

It wasn't all bad news, however, as a Boise State defensive back dropped what could have easily turned into an interception for a touchdown. It was the second dropped interception of the evening for the Broncos.

14:46 remaining, first quarter, Boise State leads 7-0

Boise State received the ball to start the game, but its offense will have to wait a while longer.

Senior Doug Martin returned the opening kick 100 yards for a touchdown. It took all of 14 seconds. Boise State 7, Arizona State 0.

Boise State kicker Trevor Harman booted the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, so Arizona State will have a short field to deal with for its first drive.

Pre-game

The MAACO Bowl Las Vegas has a new face.

It’s Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore. For the second straight year, Moore leads his highly-ranked, one-loss Broncos into Sam Boyd Stadium for a showdown with a seemingly inferior foe.

Arizona State (6-6) stands in the way of Boise State notching its fifth consecutive season of at least 12 victories. The victory would send Moore out with his 50th career win, which is a national record.

“It’s going to take a playoff for anyone to catch him,” said ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who will call tonight’s action alongside Chris Fowler. “He’s had an excellent career. We’re going to remember him as a great player.

Moore won the MVP of last year’s MAACO Bowl Las Vegas when he threw for 337 yards in a 26-3 victory over Utah. He’ll look to add another, and final, trophy to his mantle against the Sun Devils.

The Arizona State defense certainly looks vulnerable, as it ranks 107th out of 120 teams in the nation against the pass. The Sun Devils have defended the run much better, mostly because of a stellar linebacker corps.

If Moore gathers the most attention from Boise State, junior linebacker Vontaze Burfict is the poster boy of Arizona State. But it’s not always for the right reason.

Burfict is a future first round NFL draft pick, but he has a penchant for personal fouls. Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson has benched Burfict multiple times throughout his career because of the recurring penalty problems.

He missed most of the second half of Arizona State’s final regular season game against California. He’s expected to play tonight, but Erickson hasn’t confirmed anything.

Burfict could face more discipline. Moore and Burfict are the obvious top two choices for players to watch in Las Vegas’ annual bowl game. We’ll provide three more for each team below.

Moore’s favorite target is senior receiverTyler Shoemaker, who has scored 15 touchdowns this season. Defensively, look out for Las Vegas native and senior defensive end Billy Winn to rush the passer all night. Senior linebacker Byron Hout will also serve as a hand full for the Sun Devils.

Despite Arizona State’s up-and-down season, it hasn’t found many problems moving the ball. A lot of the success goes to junior quarterback Brock Osweiler, who has NFL size at 6-foot-6. Two of his best weapons are junior running back Cameron Marshall, who’s rushed for more than 1,000 yards this season, and senior receiver Gerrell Robinson, who enters with 1,151 yards and six touchdowns.

As for the prediction, I’ll take Boise State to beat Arizona State 45-23. The Las Vegas Sun’s other reporter on site, Ray Brewer, likes Boise State to win 29-24.

Stay tuned to lasvegassun.com for a live blog of the action and full coverage after the game.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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