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Johnson scores four TDs in first half as Boise State rolls

Oct 16, 2006 - 3:50 AM LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (Ticker) -- Ian Johnson was focused on reaching the end zone.

Johnson rushed for 195 yards and four touchdowns - all in the first half - as No. 20 Boise State jumped ahead early, paving the way for a 40-28 victory over New Mexico State in a Western Athletic Conference matchup.

Jared Zabransky completed 14-of-21 passes for 215 yards and two scores with an interception for the Broncos (7-0, 3-0 WAC), who improved to 7-0 all-time against the Aggies (2-4, 0-2).

Coming off last week's performance in which he rushed for 92 yards and a TD in a 55-14 rout of Louisiana Tech, Johnson turned it up in this one, reaching the end zone from seven, one and three yards out for a 21-0 first-quarter advantage.

"We got off to a slow start," Aggies coach Hal Mumme said. "We spotted them a couple of touchdowns."

After Jeremiah Williams got New Mexico State on the board with a three-yard TD run, Johnson extended the lead to 27-7 with a 17-yard scamper down the right sidelined 3:41 before the half.

The sixth-leading rusher in the nation, Johnson now has 14 TDs on the season, tying him for the lead in Division I.

With Boise State clinging to a 27-21 lead in the third quarter, Zabransky widened the margin by throwing a 22-yard scoring strike to Jeremy Childs and a 33-yard TD pass to Vinny Perretta 1:45 into the final period for a 40-21 cushion.

"I think that players have a tendency to let up," Broncos coach Chris Peterson said. "A guy missed a tackle or two and we just started to play at a level that we don't usually play at. Guys are going to make mistakes and people will complete passes on us, but it's how a team answers and comes back to show the strength of a team."

Chase Holbrook completed 49-of-65 attempts for 526 yards and two TDs against two interceptions for the Aggies, who have dropped three straight games.

The Aggies stuck to their pass-heavy gameplan to erase the 20-point first-half deficit.

Holbrook hooked up with Derek Dubois from 65 yards 1:27 before the half and scored from one yard out with 9:19 remaining in the third, cutting the margin to six.

"I give credit to New Mexico State and their offense," Peterson said. "Those guys really know how to throw the football. We let them right back into the game with those turnovers."






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