The No. 20 Boise State Broncos feel at home playing in the University of Phoenix Stadium for the Vizio Fiesta Bowl.
The Broncos are making their third trip to the Fiesta Bowl in seven years. The difference this year is the Broncos aren’t determined to keep the game close.
Bryan Harsin‘s squad built an impressive 31-17 lead against the No. 10 Arizona Wildcats in the first half.
The game quickly turned in Boise State’s favor during the Bronco’s initial drive.
Four plays into the game, Broncos running back Jay Ajayi ripped off a 56-yard touchdown romp. He went untouchded through of the middle of the line of scrimmage. It wouldn’t be Ajayi’s only big run of the first half nor his only touchdown.
The running back started hot and didn’t cool off. Ajayi carried the ball 12 times for 107 yards and three touchdowns.
With his second touchdown, Ajayi broke two school records:
Ajayi’s second touchdown romp was done with style, too. Harsin decided to dust off the Statue of Liberty again, and it worked as well against the Wildcats as it once did against the Oklahoma Sooners in 2007.
As special as Ajayi’s first half was, Boise State quarterback Grant Hedrick also played at a high level. Hedrick was nearly perfect through two quarters of play. Not a single pass the quarterback threw touched the ground.
Hedrick, the nation’s leader in completion percentage, was 17-of-18 passing for 272 yards and a touchdown. His only incomplete pass come from an interception by Arizona’s Cam Denson.
As explosive as Boise State proved to be on offense, Arizona was capable of moving the ball as well. The Wildcats gained 196 yards. They were able to close the gap to 11 points before giving up a late field goal just before half time.
Arizona needs to find a way to slow the Broncos in the second half. They’ve been unable to do so at this point. Meanwhile, the Wildcats defense can expect a big dose of Ajayi as Broncos try to control the third and fourth quarters.