LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 22: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Arizona State Sun Devils recovers the ball after it was fumbled on the snap as Shea McClellin #92 of the Boise State Broncos defends during the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium December 22, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
The Dennis Erickson era at Arizona State ended in a fashion that caught no fans by surprise. Facing the seventh ranked Boise State Broncos in the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas, the Devils were mistake prone and thoroughly outplayed in an embarrassing 56-24 loss.
It was evident from the game's opening play. Boise State's Doug Martin took the opening kickoff 100-yards for a touchdown and the Broncos never looked back.
While the Devils were busy punting on each of their first five possessions, the Broncos under ace quarterback Kellen Moore were scoring touchdowns. Moore tossed two easy touchdowns, offsetting a bobbled pass interception as Boise State built a 21-0 lead. They scored a late first half touchdown on a wide receiver option pass from Mike Miller to Kyle Efaw, which was their second wide receiver pass of the drive. It was as if the Broncos were just messing with the Sun Devils at that point.
The lone first half highlight for the Sun Devils was a 10-play drive that netted three points and saw Brock Osweiler set the single season passing attempts record.
However, the second half got off to a rousing start for the Sun Devils.
Rashad Ross gave the Devils a boost on the opening kickoff of the second half, returning it 98-yards for the touchdown. The momentum continued as Colin Parker intercepted a tipped ball and a nice return put ASU in Boise State territory, but the drive ended after a failed fourth down conversion.
The breaks kept coming for ASU, though. The next Bronco drive ended when the snap was fumbled and subsequently recovered by Jamarr Jarrett of the Sun Devils. The Devils drove down to the goal line and faced a key fourth down. Osweiler was then intercepted by Jamar Taylor and returned 100-yards for the back-breaking touchdown and a 35-10 lead.
The Broncos struck twice in the first minute of the fourth quarter. First, D.J. Harper had a four yard score, and then seconds later, Cameron Marshall's fumble was run back by Travis Stanaway for another score.
ASU got some measure of erspect on the ensuing drive when Osweiler connected with Gerell Robinson for a touchdown. On the throw, Osweiler set the school record for passing yards in a season.
Each team managed a touchdown in garbage time, but ASU's was actually costly. George Bell's score prevented Robinson from breaking the single-season school record for receiving yards. Robinson fell nine yards shy with 1,396, thanks to a monster 240 yard effort against Boise State.
The win gives Moore an astonishing 50 wins in his Boise State career, and mercifully closes the Erickson era at ASU.