By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
Boise State senior tailback D.J. Harper scored four touchdowns and a two-point conversion Saturday afternoon at Bronco Stadium as the Broncos rolled to their 11th straight home-opening win — a 39-12 defeat of Miami (Ohio).
Harper rushed 16 times for 162 yards and three touchdowns and caught a 21-yard touchdown pass in Boise State's 599-yard offensive explosion. His 26 points are the third-most in school history.
“We were clicking,” said quarterback Joe Southwick, who hit 16 of his final 17 passes and was 24-of-31 for 304 yards and two touchdowns. “We were moving the ball on first and second down. That helps a lot. Then we were hitting some third downs. We've got to be explosive. We did that tonight, which was awesome to see.”
The Broncos never punted but did commit two costly turnovers — an interception in the Miami end zone and a fumble inside their own 10-yard line that set up the RedHawks' only touchdown.
Miami finished with 227 yards against a Boise State defense that tackled much better than in the opener and allowed one play longer than 18 yards.
The Broncos trailed 9-8 late in the first half after true freshman tailback Jack Fields' fumble and Miami's touchdown, but Harper scored late in the first half for a 15-9 lead and the Broncos dominated the third quarter to make it 36-9.
“Sometimes those are frustrating games; sometimes you can lose a game you shouldn't lose,” coach Chris Petersen said. “We need to play games to go through that.”
Boise State will be back on the field Thursday night, at home against BYU (7 p.m., ESPN).
BSU — D.J. Harper 21 pass from Joe Southwick (Harper run), 4:05. Key play: Harper ran for 20 yards on the first play and made a nice catch on a post route for the touchdown. Drive: 3 plays, 55 yards, :59. Boise State 8, Miami 0
• Boise State drove 70 yards on its first possession, but quarterback Joe Southwick was intercepted in the end zone to end the drive. It is the second straight game that Southwick has thrown an interception in the end zone.
Miami — Kaleb Patterson 45 field goal, 14:00. Key play: Boise State cornerback Bryan Douglas dropped an interception on first-and-10 at the Broncos’ 30, allowing the RedHawks to kick the field goal. Drive: 12 plays, 47 yards, 5:05. Boise State 8, Miami 3
Miami — Andy Cruse 2 pass from Spencer Treadwell (Zac Dysert pass failed), 4:39. Key play: Boise State true freshman tailback Jack Fields fumbled inside his own 10-yard line. Cruse scored on a halfback pass. Drive: 3 plays, 9 yards, 1:10. Miami 9, Boise State 8
BSU — Harper 1 run (Michael Frisina kick), 1:43. Key play: Junior wide receiver Aaron Burks made a 53-yard catch on a deep ball from Southwick on second-and-24. Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards, 2:56. Boise State 15, Miami 9
BSU — Harper 11 run (Frisina kick), 10:41. Key play: Senior wide receiver Chris Potter made a 20-yard catch, then ran the option to perfection on the touchdown play. Drive: 9 plays, 75 yards, 4:19. Boise State 22, Miami 9
BSU — Harper 43 run (Frisina kick), 5:29. Key play: Harper and Drew Wright combined for 86 yards on 5 carries on the drive, including three runs of at least 15 yards. Drive: 8 plays, 92 yards, 2:14. Boise State 29, Miami 9
The run gave Harper 158 rushing yards, a new career high for the sixth-year senior.
BSU — Potter 11 pass from Southwick (Frisina kick), 2:18. Key play: Mitch Burroughs made a 19-yard catch on third-and-6. Drive: 6 plays, 54 yards, 1:46. Boise State 36, Miami 9
Miami — Patterson 42 field goal, 14:11. Key play: David Frazier turned a short throw into a 53-yard gain, but Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence stopped the drive with a sack. Drive: 7 plays, 59 yards, 3:07. Boise State 36, Miami 12
BSU — Frisina 26 field goal, 3:36. Key play: Fields’ touchdown was negated by a holding penalty, which forced the Broncos to settle for a field goal. Drive: 18 plays, 69 yards, 10:35. Boise State 39, Miami 12
• In warm-ups, senior Brenel Myers was playing right tackle with the No. 1 offense. Junior Jake Broyles started at right tackle in the season opener against Michigan State. True freshman Armand Nance was taking snaps with the No. 2 defensive line.
• Boise State junior defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe will not play in the Broncos' home opener against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday for violating team rules.
Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jeff Worthy is out for the game as well.
Junior defensive end Kharyee Marshall is not dressed out for the game.
Boise State coach Chris Petersen will address their status after the game.
• Miami (Ohio) wide receiver Nick Harwell did not travel to Boise for the game. Harwell had 11 catches for 141 yards and one touchdown in two games for the RedHawks. Harwell, who was second in the nation in receiving yards per game last year, is out with an knee injury.
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