Broncos Beat Back Beavers 37-24

After a grueling 18-hour day that began with ESPN's Gameday, Bronco fans were glad for a 37-24 Boise State victory over Oregon State. Despite the 13-point win over the #24 Beavers, Boise State has plenty to work on this week. (Doug Martin photo is provided by rights reserved.)

Boise State beat back a determined Oregon State team 37-24 last night in Bronco Stadium.  The #24 Beavers came into the game as 16-point underdogs but proved they belong in the discussion for the Pac-10 Conference title. 

Kellen Moore completed 19 of 27 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns and Doug Martin rumbled for 138 yards as the Bronco offense moved the ball nearly at will.  Titus Young was on the receiving end on five of Moore 's throws for 136 yards and a 49-yard scoring reception.  Young, who ran wild for 288 all-purpose yards, leads the nation with 208 yards per game this season.  Martin led the Broncos on their final drive of seven minutes with eight carries that moved the chains and kept the OSU offense off the field.  The Boise State defense was tenacious from the opening drive in which they recorded two sacks until the final gun sounded, harassing OSU quarterback Ryan Katz and bottling up Jacquizz Rodgers, last year's Pac-10 Offensive Most Valuable Player.  Rodgers was held to 46 yards on 18 carries and a 4-yard touchdown in the third quarter by the Broncos, who rank second in the nation in rushing defense.  Boise State has allowed just 61.67 rushing yards per game despite facing one of the top duos in the nation in Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams and Darren Evans and now Rodgers.   The aggressive Bronco defense recorded four sacks and six tackles for loss and are now second in the country in that department.

A host of special teams errors and mental errors that resulted in numerous penalties, however, gave Bronco Coach Chris Petersen plenty of material to let his team know they have a long ways to go to be the kind of team they want to be.  Kyle Brotzman booted three field goals and hit all four extra points to do his job.  Brotzman, who leads the nation in field goals, now has 367 career points in his Bronco career.  Brotzman needs 41 to tie Brock Forsey's school record of 408 and just 58 points to tie the all-time NCAA record of 425 held by Kevin Kelly of Penn State .

But eight penalties, bad coverage on punts and kickoffs and a muffed punt by Young enabled the Beavers to stay within striking range despite being outgained 469-237 in total offense.  Katz is rapidly gaining in confidence and is making great strides in leading the OSU offense.  He completed 12 of 26 passes for 159 yards against one of the top defenses in America. 

James Rodgers gave the Beavers early confidence with a beautiful 54-yard punt return for a score that tied the game at 7.  He was knocked out of the game early in the third quarter with an apparent concussion.  While Rodgers was blocking for Katz on a scramble, Rodgers and Boise State 's Winston Venable collided helmets as Venable dove to tackle Katz.  Oregon State battled hard throughout for Head Coach Mike Riley but could never get closer than seven points the rest of the way.  The third-ranked Broncos rolled to a 24-10 halftime lead and a 31-17 advantage in the third quarter. 

After Jacquizz Rodgers' third-quarter touchdown temporarily put the outcome of the game in jeopardy at 24-17, Martin broke free for a 55-yard run to set up a Moore-to-Tyler Shoemaker 21-yard touchdown pass.  Boise State held on the ensuing Beaver possession but Young mishandled the OSU punt.  Darrell Catchings then caught an ill-advised throw from Katz that should have been intercepted by Bronco safety Jeron Johnson.  Johnson mistimed his leap and the ball sailed just over his head into the waiting arms of Catchings.  Catchings fumbled when hit hard at the goal line but Beaver teammate Joe Halahuni recovered the ball in the end zone.  Oregon State closed to within seven again at 31-24 but could not stop Boise State 's strong running attack after that.

Boise State was able to emerge from the hard-fought game with their 57th straight regular season home victory, their 28th straight regular season win, their 27th straight home victory including bowl games and their 17th consecutive win overall.  Boise State is one home win shy of becoming the fourth school in NCAA college football history to win 58 regular season wins in a row.  Princeton holds the major college record with 75 wins in a row from 1887-1900, while Miami of Florida won 67 in a row from 1985-1996 and Alabama (1963-1982) put together a string of 58 consecutive regular season victories. 

The Broncos scored their third straight win over a Pac-10 school and their fourth straight victory over a Top 25 team.  Boise State defeated Oregon 37-32 in Eugene and followed that up with a 19-7 victory over the Ducks last season in Boise and also downed #3 TCU 17-10 in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl and #7 Virginia Tech 33-30 earlier this season.

Moore passed BYU quarterbacks Jim McMahon and Ty Detmer, Byron Leftwich of Marshall and Timmy Chang of Hawai'i and is now 34th all-time with a record of 29-1 as a starter.  Moore (25 career games with 200 passing yards) needs one more such game to tie Tony Hilde for second in Bronco history.  Bart Hendricks (1997-2000) is the school record holder with 28.  

Pettis moved into a tie with Ibn Green of Louisville (1996-1999) and Jordan Shipley of Texas (2006-2009) for 25th in NCAA history with his 33rd career touchdown reception last night.  Jarret Dillard of Rice holds the all-time major college record with 60.  Pettis is two catches shy of second place on Boise State's career receptions list and 23 behind Don Hutt (1970-1973), who has held the school mark of 189 receptions for 37 years.  Pettis passed Jeb Putzier (1998-2001) and Eric Andrade, a standout receiver for Boise State in the mid-1980's, in career receiving yards.  Pettis moved into eighth place in the Bronco record book and now has 2,110 yards, 51 yards behind #7 Jay Swillie.

Young is moving up on that latter list as well.  Young's TD reception last night gave him 19 and moved him into a ninth-place tie with running back Brock Forsey, who snared 18 in his great career from 1999-2002.  Swillie (1999-2002), Putzier and Andrade are tied for sixth place with 19 TD catches.

Boise State enters their final season in the Western Athletic Conference with a road contest at Las Cruces , New Mexico next Saturday against New Mexico State .  Oregon State begins its quest for a Pac-10 title Saturday in Corvallis against Arizona State .

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