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Las Vegas Bowl Moment 18: Special teams leave mark in 20th game

To celebrate the local bowl’s 25th anniversary milestone, the Review-Journal will rank the top 25 moments in Las Vegas Bowl history. We’ll relive one moment per day until game day Dec. 17 at Sam Boyd Stadium:

No. 18: Boise State, Arizona State go long

Date: Dec. 22, 2011

Score: Boise State 56, Arizona State 24

Back story: Boise State entered the game with an 11-1 record. Its loss was to Texas Christian, and it cost the Broncos a shot at a BCS bowl and possible national championship bid. Arizona State (6-6) took the bid after losing four consecutive games, firing coach Dennis Erickson but allowing him to coach this game.

Game: The 20th Las Vegas Bowl was filled with big plays. Three scores of 98 yards or longer occurred, including Doug Martin’s opening 100-yard kickoff to give Boise State a 7-0 lead.

 

The Sun Devils returned the favor with a 98-yard kickoff return touchdown by Rashad Ross to start the second half. Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler threw an interception on a fourth-down play that was returned for a 100-yard touchdown by Jamar Taylor. Boise’s 56 points were a Las Vegas Bowl record.

Since: Boise State became the first BCS team to win 50 games in a four-year span. Osweiler is the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans. Martin, the game’s MVP, plays running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0492. Follow @gmanzano24 on Twitter.

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