MOSCOW, Idaho -- Boise State usually moves the ball through the air, but Jeremy Avery had other plans Saturday against rival Idaho.
Avery rushed for a career-high 156 yards, the first Bronco back to top 100 this season, and Boise State piled up 315 yards on the ground in crushing Idaho 45-10 to keep alive its hopes of returning to a BCS bowl.
"The running game was huge," said quarterback Kellen Moore, who between handoffs completed 23 of 31 passes for 210 yards.
Boise State (10-0, 6-0 Western Athletic) won its 10th straight over the Vandals and clinched at least a share of its sixth WAC title in the past seven seasons.
Idaho (2-9, 1-6) trailed just 17-10 at halftime. But Boise State scored the first four times it had the ball in the second half to blow the game open.
Avery, a 168-pound sophomore, carried 11 times for a school-record average of 14 yards per carry. He added two touchdowns.
"When you get in, you've got to take advantage," said Avery of the committee of running backs. "You've got to capitalize."
Coach Chris Petersen said he's been waiting all season for this sort of running game to emerge.
"We know we can throw it," he said.
Boise State, ninth in the latest BCS standings, is trying to make the Bowl Championship Series for the second time in three seasons. To cash a big BCS check, the Broncos must sweep WAC rivals Nevada and Fresno State and probably need undefeated Utah, No. 7 in the standings, to lose.
Petersen contended he is paying little attention to the BCS race, to the point of not caring about next weekend's showdown between Utah and BYU.
"I care about the Wolfpack and the Broncos," he said, referring to next weekend's game with Nevada.
Moore, a freshman, was not sacked and had plenty of time to throw. Jeremy Childs made 11 catches for 99 yards.
Facing a defense ranked second in the nation by allowing just 10 points per game, Idaho managed 329 yards and one touchdown.
Quarterback Nathan Enderle completed 15 of 26 passes for 225 yards, but was sacked four times and picked off twice. Deonte Jackson was Idaho's leading rusher with 53 yards on 15 carries.
Idaho scored on its first play of the game when Daniel Hardy took a short pass from Enderle and ran for an 81-yard touchdown. Hardy appeared to have been tackled for a short gain, but he rolled across the bodies of several Boise State defenders without touching the ground, then popped to his feet and outran pursuers.
That was the high point for the Vandals.
Avery ran up the middle for a 19-yard touchdown to tie it with 5:35 left in the first quarter.
Idaho punted on its next series, and Kyle Wilson returned the ball 79 yards for a 14-7 lead.
Petersen blamed drives that turned into field goal attempts for the Broncos' failure to open a bigger lead.
"Nobody panicked," he said. "We are a second-half team, and that's the most important half."
Boise State scored on all three of its third-quarter possessions, while holding Idaho to 39 yards in the quarter.
Avery ran through a big hole on the left side for a 57-yard touchdown on Boise State's first possession of the second half. Idaho was moving the ball when Enderle was sacked and stripped, and Ellis Powers picked it up and ran 45 yards for a touchdown and a 31-10 lead.
Boise State's next possession was an 89-yard drive capped by a 16-yard touchdown run by Perretta.
There was a scuffle at midfield prior to the game, after some of the Boise State players stomped on the Vandals' logo. Petersen said that might have helped fire Idaho up early.
"We want to get ourselves excited, not the other team," he said.
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