Oct 31, 2020; Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA; Boise State Broncos wide receiver CT Thomas (6) makes a catch for a touchdown reception in the first quarter against the Air Force Falcons  at Falcon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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Sears powers No. 25 Boise State past Air Force

Jack Sears passed for 280 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for one score during a surprise starting assignment to lead No. 25 Boise State to a 49-30 victory over Air Force on Saturday in Mountain West play on the academy grounds just outside Colorado Springs, Colo.

Sears completed 17 of 20 passes while starting in place of Hank Bachmeier, who didn’t make the trip with the team. Safety JL Skinner also didn’t travel. Boise State confirmed there was a player sidelined due to a COVID-19 positive test but didn’t reveal the identity.

Andrew Van Buren rushed for 70 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and CT Thomas caught two passes for 101 yards and two scores for the Broncos (2-0, 2-0 MWC). Avery Williams recorded his second career kickoff return for touchdown — and sixth total return score — for Boise State.

Matthew Murla rushed for two touchdowns and Brandon Lewis gained 112 yards and one score for Air Force (1-2, 0-2). Elija Robinson added 90 yards on 10 carries for the Falcons, who picked up 415 of their 484 yards on the ground.

Air Force starting quarterback Haaziq Daniels departed the game in the first quarter with a left shoulder injury. Warren Bryan replaced Daniels and rushed for 87 yards on 19 carries and was 3-of-6 passing for 38 yards.

Boise State totaled 459 yards on just 49 plays. The Falcons ran 73 while controlling the ball for 37:31.

Sears wasted little time in his second career start — the other came for Southern California in 2018.

He dropped back to pass on the first offensive play of the game and chucked a deep throw down the center of the field. Thomas hauled it in at the Falcons’ 30-yard line and raced in for a 75-yard score just 10 seconds into the contest.

Air Force answered with back-to-back touchdowns as Lewis scored on a 7-yard run and Murla scored from the 1 as the Falcons took a 14-7 lead with 3:23 left in the quarter.

Boise State tied the score at 14 on Van Buren’s 4-yard run with 13:14 left in the half before Tevye Schuettpelz-Rohl booted a 31-yard field goal to push Air Force back ahead with 6:53 remaining. Van Buren scored from the 1 with 2:27 left and Sears tossed a 21-yard touchdown pass to Octavius Evans with 47 seconds left to make the score 28-17 at the break.

Sears connected with Thomas on a 26-yard scoring pass with 54 seconds left in the third quarter to boost the Boise State lead to 18.

Murla scored on a 7-yard run to pull the Falcons within 35-24 with 11:24 remaining. Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a score and Sears scored on a 1-yard sneak as the Broncos closed it out.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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