Showing speed in the open field, the power to break tackles and patience in waiting for holes, Johnson rushed for a career-high 240 yards and five touchdowns in the Broncos' 42-14 rout of Oregon State on Thursday night.
Down 14-0, the Broncos (2-0) scored 42 unanswered points. Johnson tied a school record with the five TDs and had the third-best ground game in school history.
Johnson's previous career high was 103 yards in last year's season finale against Louisiana Tech. He ran for 136 yards in the first half on Thursday night, highlighted by a 59-yard touchdown run.
With the Boise foothills suffocated by smoke from wildfires in the region and a blustery thunder and lightning storm blowing through, the Broncos blitzed Oregon State for four touchdowns in a span of 16:12 in the first half.
Johnson was nearly unstoppable. On his 59-yard TD run, Johnson broke an arm tackle at the line of scrimmage, then sprinted away from two defensive backs in the open field.
He added TD runs of 4 and 3 yards in the second quarter and carried defenders into the end zone on his 19-yard TD run in the third quarter, one play after Oregon State's Yvenson Bernard fumbled.
Johnson capped his night with a 50-yard TD run with 11:41 left.
Not simply a ground threat, Johnson also caught a 21-yard pass from quarterback Jared Zabransky to set up Zabranksy's 3-yard TD toss to Legedu Naanee in the second quarter.
It was only the second time Boise State has defeated a team from the Pac-10 conference, both wins coming against Oregon State.
Oregon State (1-1) started strong, using a fake punt on fourth-and-1 at its own 26 and Bernard's running to take a 7-0 lead. Bernard carried seven consecutive times for 46 yards after the fake, setting up Matt Moore's 3-yard TD pass to Joe Newton.
The Beavers then went ahead 14-0 when Sammie Stroughter broke four tackles, cut across the field and returned a line-drive punt 64 yards for a score. Stroughter had a 51-yard punt return TD last week against Eastern Washington.
Other than the first drive, Bernard was held in check, rushing for 89 yards on 24 carries. Moore was 12-for-17 for 115 yards and was replaced in the final quarter by freshman Sean Canfield.
Oregon State lost its fifth straight non-conference road game.