By Chadd Cripe
No. 24 Boise State's defense didn't allow a point Saturday at Bronco Stadium — celebrating the blackout by shutting down UNLV.
The Broncos, who haven't allowed a first-half score in the past five games, rolled to a 32-7 win — their sixth straight victory.
The Rebels’ only points came off a fourth-quarter fumble by backup quarterback Grant Hedrick that was returned for a touchdown.
“It’s fun to watch — loving their effort,” Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick said of the defense. “They’re doing a good job of getting the ball for us, getting us good field position. It’s three phases — defense is holding up their end and special teams did a good job tonight and offense did a good job tonight.”
Southwick was 22-of-29 for 243 yards with several drops. His only interception was a Hail Mary on the final play of the first half.
The Broncos (6-1, 3-0 Mountain West) added 137 rushing yards and addressed previous problems at the goal line by scoring on both plays they ran inside the 5-yard line.
“It was a little more rhythm,” coach Chris Petersen said. “I think Joe did a nice job. He’s getting better and progressing. … On offense, we’re making progress. We’re certainly not there. You can feel it — it’s just some details. We’ve got to get some things cleaned up.”
The closest UNLV came to scoring was a 20-play, 66-yard drive that bridged the third and fourth quarters. The Rebels decided to try a field goal to break up the shutout and the usually reliable Nolan Kohorst yanked the 22-yarder wide left.
The Rebels (1-7, 1-2) finished with 210 yards and just 71 passing yards. They were averaging 253 passing yards per game.
“They whipped our tail today,” UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said. “They came out and they played very well. I was impressed with the way they played.”
Notes: Boise State starting defensive end Demarcus Lawrence sat out the game because of a violation of team rules. … UNLV starting safety Peni Vea didn’t make the trip because of an arm injury. Freshman Kenny Keys replaced him. … UNLV left tackle Brett Boyko did not play. … Boise State wore all-black uniforms for the first time. … Boise State
tailback Drew Wright played for the first time in four games. … Sherry was injured late in the game but Hauck said he expects him to play next week.
BSU — D.J. Harper 10 run (Harper run), 5:47. Key plays: The Broncos
defense drove UNLV back 29 yards on the preceding possession to set up
great field position. Quarterback Joe Southwick fired a 20-yard pass
to wide receiver Matt Miller to get into scoring range. Drive: 6
plays, 42 yards, 3:01. Boise State 8, UNLV 0
BSU — Michael Frisina 30 field goal, 13:25. Key plays: Harper made a nice cut at the line of scrimmage on a 35-yard run but tailback Jay Ajayi was stopped on third-and-3. Drive: 10 plays, 64 yards, 4:25. Boise State 11, UNLV 0
BSU — Ajayi 4 run (Frisina kick), 4:09. Key plays: Boise State cornerback Jerrell Gavins stopped a promising UNLV drive with an end-zone interception. The offense struck quickly with a 47-yard toss from Southwick to wide receiver Dallas Burroughs. Drive: 6 plays, 80 yards, 2:33. Boise State 18, UNLV 0
BSU — Gavins 16 fumble return (Frisina kick), 3:19. Boise State 25, UNLV 0
BSU — Harper 1 run (Frisina kick), 3:56. Key play: On third-and-14, UNLV rushed two and dropped nine guys into coverage. Still, wide receiver Chris Potter ran wide open for a 35-yard catch. Drive: 6 plays, 54 yards, 2:59. Boise State 32, UNLV 0
UNLV — Kenneth Penny 30 fumble return (Nolan Kohorst kick), 9:30. Boise State 32, UNLV 7
Boise State sophomore defensive end Demarcus Lawrence is out for Saturday's game with UNLV at Bronco Stadium for violation of team rules.
Lawrence leads the Broncos in tackles for loss (six), sacks (5.5) and forced fumbles (three) Lawrence (6-foot-3, 242 pounds) has started every game for the Broncos this season. He has 26 tackles on the year.
Sophomore Tyler Horn is listed as Lawrence's backup on the depth chart.
• UNLV starting safety Peni Vea (arm injury) did not make the trip. Freshman Kenny Keys will replace Vea in the starting lineup.