RENO Boise State offensive line coach Chris Strausser could tell, just by D.J. Harpers look on the sideline, that the Broncos senior running back was not going to be denied in the final regular-season game of his career.
You could kind of tell he was going to do whatever he had to get this thing done, Strausser said.
Harper ran for 130 yards and one touchdown on 24 attempts in the Broncos 27-21 win against Nevada. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season in the game.
Last game of the season, Mountain West championship on the line, Harper said, I kind of said, Alright, lets go.
Teammates and coaches used the same word, over and over again, to describe Harpers running style against the Wolf Pack.
I thought D.J. ran as hard as hes run since Ive seen him play, Boise State coach Chris Petersen said.
Said quarterback Joe Southwick: I could tell he was running extra hard.
With the offensive line creating a surge at the point of attack, Harper rushed for 75 yards on nine carries in the first quarter, including a 30-yarder to set up the first touchdown of the game. Harpers 2-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter pushed the Broncos lead to 14-0.
It was his 15th rushing touchdown of the season and his 16th overall.
With Boise State leading 24-14 in the fourth quarter, Harper ran seven times for 35 yards and caught one pass as the Broncos marched 49 yards and chewed up 4 minutes and 55 seconds on their way to a field goal. Harper carried all three times on the final drive as the Broncos attempted to run out the clock.
We knew all week that wed have to go out there and make plays, and we did that, Harper said.