Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore
was 23 of 29 and 279 yards and 4 TDs in guiding the Boise State Broncos (3-0) to a decisive victory over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane
(1-3) in front of a soldout stadium filled with 34,019 fans. The Broncos took to the field with an opening drive that sputtered at the start and left the Bronco faithful a little apprehensive. But that didn't last long. The Broncos held the Golden Hurricane on their first drive as well and then starting rolling toward the Tulsa end zone. The Broncos finished the 1st quarter up 13-0.
The Hurricane were shut out in the first half and went into the dressing room down 27-0. It was 34-0 before Tulsa finally got on the scoreboard in the third quarter. By then, Moore was out of the game and watching the action from the sidelines. For those that were disappointed in not seeing more of the Heisman candidate, and to see him add more yardage to his passing record, Moore was playing with a noticable limp and had a brace on his right knee after last week's game at Toledo.
"It’s fine," Moore said
when asked about it. "It’s just a doctor deal."
Okay, then. We'll move on.
After the initial series Moore still looked poised and as confident as always. He threw four TD passes in the game, and two were to crowd favorite Tyler Shoemaker
. That gave Shoemaker 6 TD's on the the season. Kyle Efaw
also caught a TD pass along with Mitch Burroughs
, who grasped a 10-yard pitch to start out the second half. The Broncos put up 458 yards of total offense, but only 133 were on the ground. RB Doug Martin
ran 21 times for 75 yards, but one was a 33-yard TD run. D.J. Harper
averaged 2.9 yards a carry on 15 attempts.
Defensively, the Broncos looked sharp in stopping a very good Tulsa team that has played one of the toughest schedules in the nation. Three of their four games have been against top-10 ranked teams. And three of those games were on the road that included a trip to Norman to take on #1 Oklahoma as their season opener. The following week the Hurricane trashed Tulane 31-3 in New Orleans, and last week they hosted #8 Oklahoma State in a game that didn't get started until after midnight or finished until the roosters started crowing.
The late hours must have caught up with Golden Hurricane last night as they struggled to get on the scoreboard. It didn't help that Tulsa started most of their drives in horrible field postition. You can credit Boise State's punter, Brad Elkin
, and the entire special teams unit for most of that. Still, QB G.J. Kinne did his best to move his team down field. In the end, Tulsa managed only 291 yards against the Boise State defense. It doesn't help that Kinne was playing despite a left knee injury suffered in last week's loss to Oklahoma State. The Bronco defense forced four turnovers by Tulsa. Bronco CB Jerrell Gavins
picked off two of Kinne's passes in the first half and that set the tone and kept the Golden Hurricane from really getting into the game.
But this game does have its critics, and none more so than Broncos head coach Chris Petersen. There is not doubt it rubbed him the wrong way for the fans to see a sometimes sloppy and not very crisp performance by his beloved Broncos. "I thought there were some really nice plays made in all three phases but I thought it was a lot of sloppy football," Petersen said
after the game. "There's no question we have a long way to go. No question. And we better get there in a hurry."
With a lot of hard, tough games down the road, he is right. The entire Mountain West Conference is still waiting for a shot at the Broncos. And there is still a big game left before conference action even starts: the grudge-match with the Nevada Wolf Pack
next Saturday on The Blue.
And Boise State fans will be expecting the Broncos to be bringing their A-game for that one.