HONOLULU — Junior wide receiver Matt Miller would have rather had no catches and a win over Oregon State in Tuesday night’s Hawaii Bowl.
He’ll have to settle for a couple of pretty impressive records instead.
Miller had 11 catches for 206 yards and a touchdown in Boise State’s 38-23 loss to Oregon State and set the school’s single-season receptions record in the process with 88 catches.
“It’s going to be something I’ll look back to in 10 years and think it’s pretty cool,” Miller said. ”You never know with a guy like Shane Williams-Rhodes, it could have been him easily this year if he didn’t get hurt. This record might stand for just one year.”
Miller surpassed Jeremy Childs’ record of 82 catches in 2007.
The junior also set a Hawaii Bowl record and Boise State bowl record for the longest touchdown reception with an 85-yard score early in the fourth quarter.
The 206 receiving yards were the most by a Boise State receiver since Tim Gilligan had 209 against BYU in 2003 and also moved him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Miller finished with 1,140 receiving yards to record the 10th season of 1,000 yards in school history.
Miller has 216 career receptions and will enter his senior season needing just 14 catches to break Austin Pettis’ school record of 229. He’s also fifth in career receiving yards with 2,588 and fourth with 26 receiving touchdowns.
“I think he gets a little bit of a bad rap for being that possession receiver and I think we saw tonight that he can go deep,” Boise State interim coach Bob Gregory said. “That guy can make plays.”
Miller is one of just six players in the NCAA this season to have at least 80 catches, 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 88 catches for 1,140 yards and 12 touchdowns will go down as one of the top seasons by a wide receiver in school history.
And he could be in store for an even bigger senior year in 2014.
HARSIN ON ESPN
New Boise State coach Bryan Harsin was interviewed on the phone by ESPN during the television broadcast. While Harsin was being interviewed, Troy Ware’s fumble was returned 70 yards for an Oregon State touchdown that put the Beavers up 24-6.
Harsin, who was not involved in the decision to suspend senior quarterback Joe Southwick, was asked about it by ESPN.
“I back them completely,” Harsin said.
Harsin has been working from Arkansas but is expected to transition to Boise full-time within the next week.
BRONCOS TRY TRICKERY
Boise State opened up the playbook Tuesday and attempted a number of trick plays that went for minimal or no gain.
The Broncos tried a double-handoff on a kick return in the first half, but were whistled for an illegal forward handoff. Bryan Douglas caught the kickoff and ran forward and handed it to Donte Deayon, who then handed it to Charles Bertoli while the two stood with their backs facing away from the defense.
Boise State also tried an odd formation when offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr. lined up at wide receiver, but running back Jay Ajayi was whistled for a false start.
Aaron Burks gained 12 yards on a wide receiver reverse in the second quarter.
FANS FLOCK TO HAWAII
Boise State sold around 700 tickets for Tuesday’s game, surpassing the required allotment the school was given to sell by the Hawaii Bowl. The Broncos needed to sell around 670 tickets to break even.
Two of those fans were season ticket holders Ken and Ramona Hunt of Emmett. The two recently retired and purchased season tickets for the first time this season and decided before the year that they would attend the bowl game no matter where it was.
The Hunts dressed up in Boise State themed blue and orange Santa and Mrs. Clause outfits, which they planned to wear again to the Boise State men’s basketball game today in the championship of the Diamond Head Classic.
The two received a big ovation from the crowd when they were shown on the video board late in the fourth quarter as Christmas music was played over the speakers.
CROWD PLAYS KEEP AWAY
A funny moment took place late in the third quarter when security tried to get back a ball that was kicked into the stands on an extra point. Instead of tossing the ball to the security, a fan turned around and launched the ball higher into the stands. As the crowd erupted in applause, fans continued to throw the ball around the stands.
Fans booed loudly when the young fan who originally threw the ball away from security was escorted onto the field. But the boos quickly turned to cheers when he was presented with a commemorative ball from the Hawaii Bowl.
The cheers were some of the loudest of the game.
Dan Goodale went 3-for-3 on field goals and finished the season 17-for-19. His only misses were a block in the season opener vs. Washington and a miss on the final play in regulation vs. San Diego State that would have won the game. … Interim coach Bob Gregory said he has a job lined up but wouldn’t say what it was. … Boise State safety Jeremy Ioane, a Honolulu native, had 144 tickets issued for family and friends. … Matt Paradis, Matt Miller, Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe and Jeremy Ioane were Boise State’s captains. … Darren Lee carried the Hammer and led the Broncos onto the field. …The official attendance was announced at 29,106 with a turnstile count of 22,324.