James jump-starts Broncos with two early TDs

Idaho StatesmanJanuary 2, 2007 

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Boise State senior wide receiver Drisan James saved his best performance for his hometown.

James, who is from nearby Phoenix, scored two touchdowns and contributed to a third Monday night in the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium.

It was the first two-touchdown game of James' career, and it came in his last college game.

James finished with three catches for 96 yards — and all of them resulted in touchdowns.

Tailback Ian Johnson, one of James' close friends, gave him a pep talk before the game.

"I said, ‘Hey, you're at home,' " Johnson said. " ‘You can't play just average. You've got to ball out.' "

James' first big play capped the Broncos' first drive of the game.

Quarterback Jared Zabransky made a great fake handoff to Johnson that sucked in the defense, and James blazed past the entire secondary.

Zabransky chucked the ball deep, James made a nice adjustment to the ball at about the 5-yard line and scored a 49-yard touchdown.

The catch was James' third touchdown of the season. It gave BSU a 7-0 lead.

James didn't touch the ball again until late in the first half.

On second-and-6 from the Oklahoma 32, and with less than a minute on the clock, Zabransky shifted in the pocket to escape trouble.

He still had a defender on his leg as he spotted James along the right sideline, wide open. Zabransky hit James, who slipped a tackle attempt by linebacker Zach Latimer.

That left nothing but open space in front of James, one of the fastest Broncos. He zipped into the end zone to give the Broncos a 21-10 lead with 33 seconds left in the half.

His other catch was the first half of the hook-and-lateral that allowed Boise State to force overtime. James caught a 15-yard pass at the Oklahoma 35 and pitched to teammate Jerard Rabb, who bolted into the end zone.

James' 2-year-old son, DeSean, was scheduled to attend the game. He also was in attendance for the San Jose State and Utah State games. DeSean lives in Sacramento, Calif.

"There's something about him that just makes you play harder," James said two days before the Fiesta Bowl.

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