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Zabransky throws three TDs as Boise State cruises

Nov 18, 2006 - 11:38 PM BOISE, Idaho (Ticker) -- Being without star running back Ian Johnson was no problem for Boise State.

Jared Zabransky celebrated his final home game by throwing for 236 yards and three touchdowns, and the 13th-ranked Broncos scored on each of their first three possessions en route to a 49-10 Western Athletic Conference pounding of Utah State.

Senior Brett Denton rushed for 125 yards on 17 carries for Boise State (11-0, 7-0 WAC), which won its 30th consecutive league home game on its blue turf and improved to 24-0 at home since joining the conference in 2001. The school won its final six home contests as a member of the Big West.

Denton filled in admirably for Johnson, who leads the nation with 21 touchdowns and ranks fourth in rushing yards per game (146.6). The Heisman candidate was hospitalized with a collapsed left lung after last Saturday's game at San Jose State.

After rallying from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit for a 23-20 triumph last week, Boise needed no such rally against Utah State (1-10, 1-6). The Broncos scored touchdowns on their first three possessions, covering 201 yards in 22 plays. They finished with 488 yards and 24 first downs while converting 8-of-12 third downs and both fourth downs.

Denton capped the first two drives with TD runs of three and 27 yards before Zabransky found senior Jared Rabb for a 46-yard score for a 21-0 lead with 12:43 left in the first half. While Boise State was moving up and down the field, Utah State was limited to 21 yards on its first three drives.

Zabransky gave the Broncos a 28-3 halftime lead with a 16-yard TD pass to Legedu Naane. His third touchdown pass, an eight-yard pass to Ryan Putnam 16 seconds into the third, pushed the lead to 42-3.

Zabransky completed 21-of-23 passes as the Broncos clinched at least a tie for the conference championship for the fifth straight year. A win at Nevada next Saturday will clinch the title outright.

Linebacker Devon Hall produced the only touchdown for the Aggies, scoring on a 64-yard fumble return in the fourth quarter.

Boise State limited Utah State to 188 total yards and seven first downs in improving to 51-2 in its last 53 home games.

The loss was the seventh straight for the Aggies, who have not won a road game for the second time in four years. They conclude their season next Saturday at home against New Mexico State.

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