For the fifth straight time, redshirt senior running back D.J. Harper, and the rest of the Boise State football team, are Milk Jug Champions.
The Broncos (5-1, 2-0 MWC) defeated Fresno State 20-10, allowing the class of 2012 to finish without losing to the Bulldogs. Harper had a rushing touchdown in each of the five games as a Bronco.
“It’s a great feeling. It’s a great rivalry and I’ve always loved playing against these guys,” said Harper, who finished with 129 yards and one touchdown on the ground. “They’re a great opponent to play against.”
Quarterback Joe Southwick completed 11 passes, while giving up an interception for the Broncos. He finished with 113 yards and one touchdown through the air.
Now, more than ever, it is evident that the Broncos have parted from their “shoot ‘em up” ways, and transformed into a team reliant on a solid two back running game and a stingy defense.
Head Coach Chris Petersen emphasized the importance of the emerging star in redshirt freshman running back Jay Ajayi.
“You have to have a one-two punch. You’re not going to have the type of running game that we want if you don’t,” Petersen said. “As good as D.J. is, we need to have a one-two punch.”
Ajayi carried the ball 15 times for 91 yards.
After exchanging punts for the first five drives of the game, the Broncos scored on a 10 yard pass from redshirt junior quarterback Joe Southwick to Geroldo Boldewijn, completing an eight play, 67-yard drive.
Southwick had difficulties overthrowing receivers on multiple occasions in the second quarter, resulting in two interceptions. On one play, Southwick expressed obvious disgust with Boldewijn who appeared to run the wrong route. Boldewijn was overthrown again in the third quarter.
“We’ve been working on [the deep pass], we really have,” said Petersen. “We need someone to go make a play and help Joe out a little bit.”
With the lead well intact, Harper led the Broncos into halftime with an elusive 28-yard run. The dash gave Boise State a 17-0 advantage.
Fresno State finally saw their first points on the board after their 12 play, 49-yard, third quarter drive resulted in a 39-yard field goal by Quentin Breshears.
Boise State’s defense allowed only one touchdown in the game, which came with 2:15 remaining in the fourth quarter. Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr completed a three-yard pass in the corner of the end zone to Davante Adams. The Broncos have not given up any points in the first half this season.
“We love to play defense first, just being on the defense, we don’t want the opposing offense to score at all,” said senior linebacker Tommy Smith.
The Broncos also unveiled the new all-black jersey scheme, provided by Nike, that will be used during the homecoming weekend game against the University of Nevada Las Vegas in Bronco Stadium. All fans are asked to wear black to the game.