When asked about Baylor junior wide receiver KD Cannon earlier this month, Boise State senior cornerback Jonathan Moxey said he was, “Probably one of the fastest guys I’ve seen on film.”
He saw it up close and personal, and right away, in Tuesday’s 31-12 loss to the Bears in the Cactus Bowl.
Cannon leaped over Moxey for a 30-yard first-quarter touchdown with 9:07 elapsed, the game’s first score. Then with 3:36 gone in the second quarter, Cannon got behind Moxey on a pass from Zach Smith. Moxey tried to pop the ball free, but Cannon was just out of reach, scampering easily for a 68-yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead.
“They were just kind of giving us some one-on-one coverage, and with him on anyone one-on-one, we think it’s a huge win for us,” Smith said.
It wasn’t just Moxey who got picked on by Cannon. On Baylor’s third drive, he beat sophomore cornerback Tyler Horton for a 49-yard gain on a streak down the sideline, finishing off the drive with the 30-yard score. In the first half, Cannon had eight receptions for 182 yards and two touchdowns. He backed up his promise to incoming coach Matt Rhule that the Bears would win.
“He played good tonight,” Horton said. “... He went out there and made more plays than we did.”
Cannon, who also has run track for the Bears, crossed the 1,000-yard mark in the game, entering with 989 yards. He is the first Baylor receiver with two 1,000-yard receiving seasons (1,030 yards as a freshman in 2014).
Cannon finished with 14 catches for 226 yards, becoming the first 200-yard receiver against the Broncos since Arizona State’s Gerrell Robinson had 241 in the 2011 Las Vegas Bowl. His output set a record for the Cactus Bowl, in its 28th year, formerly known as the Copper Bowl.
“He’s one of the most elite wide receivers in the country,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said.
TIGHT ENDS FINALLY FIND PRODUCTIVITY
Junior tight end Jake Roh, a native of nearby Scottsdale, Ariz., had his best game of the season, pulling in six passes for 54 yards.
He came into the game with four receptions all year, slowed by a knee injury he suffered in fall camp.
“Just kind of how the game plan works out sometimes, but it was nice to get some time in that bowl prep to get a little healthier,” Roh said. “It’s kind of the goal this offseason to really get back to 100 percent.”
As a whole, Boise State’s tight ends had 21 receptions coming into the game. They had eight for 64 yards in the Cactus Bowl, as junior Alec Dhaenens and sophomore Chase Blakley had one apiece.
“Obviously, getting involved like that, for the tight ends, it’s good to build on for next year,” Roh said. “But at the same time, we didn’t get it done tonight.”
FUTURE QB ON HAND FOR BOWL
Boise State quarterback commit Chase Cord, who lives in nearby Peoria, Ariz., was in attendance, showing up soon after doors opened to watch warmups.
Cord recently finished his senior season as the Arizona state record holder with 137 touchdown passes. He tore his ACL last December but returned with a strong final year.
He said the knee feels healthy, and he plans on running track this spring.
Sophomore tight end Jake Knight (Rocky Mountain High) carried the Hammer before the game for the second time this season. ... Boise State had a scoreless first quarter in a bowl game for the first time since the 2010 Las Vegas Bowl against Utah. ... Rhule, who was hired by Baylor from Temple as its new coach Dec. 8, was on hand for the game. ... Boise State senior safety Chanceller James had his team-leading third interception in the first quarter, when he intercepted Smith at the Broncos’ 2-yard line. He also had seven tackles. ... Baylor, the nation’s most-penalized team, had 11 penalties for 125 yards. ... Boise State senior linebacker Ben Weaver had a team-high nine tackles, while senior defensive end Sam McCaskill and sophomore defensive tackle David Moa had a sack apiece.