Kurt Benkert passed for 273 yards, throwing 141 of them to receiver Andre Levrone, to lead Virginia to a 42-23 upset of Boise State on Friday night in Boise, Idaho.
Boise State, a 14-point favorite, had its 32-game winning streak snapped against non-conference opponents at home. It was the Broncos’ largest margin of defeat at home since they lost 62-16 to Idaho in 1992.
Virginia (3-1) won its first non-conference game on the road since 2011.
Benkert, a senior, completed 19 of 29 passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Boise State’s Brett Rypien completed 24 of 42 passes for 285 yards with no touchdowns and an interception.
Benkert exploited Boise State’s defense on the way to a 21-7 lead with 1:07 left in the first half. Benkert threw touchdown passes of 30 yards to Levone and 27 yards to Doni Dowling.
Boise State went into the locker room at halftime with the momentum after scoring with 21 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 21-14. Jake Roh ran into the end zone from 2 yards to cap the 65-yard drive in only 49 seconds.
Virginia quickly answered on the first possession of the second half, scoring on a 64-yard strike from Benkert to Levrone with 13:31 left in the third quarter to increase the lead back to two touchdowns.
The Cavaliers, now 5-15 in games west of the Mississippi River, increased the lead to 35-14 on a 56-yard scoring run by Olamide Zaccheaus with 6:51 left in the third quarter.
Virginia’s offense continued to dominate going into the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers drove 70 yards in nine plays to go ahead 42-14. Jordan Ellis, who gained 93 yards on 24 carries, capped the drive with a 1-yard run with 14:14 left.
Boise State’s first points in the second half came on a safety after the snap went over Benkert’s head with 2:07 remaining.
Montell Cozart, who replaced Rypien, capped the scoring with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Cedric Wilson. Wilson finished with 13 receptions for 209 yards.