Boise State struggled at times but found their rhythm by the end of the first quarter en route to a 49-7 victory over Idaho State last night in the 2008 season opener. Freshman quarterback Kellen Moore was very impressive in his Bronco debut in leading the team to the win.
Kellen Moore sizzled in
his BoiseState debut, throwing for 274 yards
and two touchdowns as the Broncos put away IdahoState 49-7 last night in Bronco
Stadium.Moore made history as he was the
first freshman to ever start the season opener at quarterback, finishing the
game 14-19.Moore's 73.7% passing set a record
for the best first game performance by a freshman.His 274 yards is the second highest ever by a
freshman in their first game, topped only by Tony Hilde's 388 yards in 1993.
"Kellen just isn't
going to get too rattled," head coach Chris Petersen said."He's a cool customer.When you know what to do out there, it makes
it a lot easier.He knows what to do."
Titus Young was both
hot and cold for BoiseState.On the positive side, Young raced behind the Bengal defense to haul in an 80-yard
touchdown in the second quarter and scored on a 24-yard reverse in the
third.He finished with seven receptions
for 142 yards and a career-high 203 all-purpose yards.Conversely, Young fumbled on the Broncos'
opening drive following a short pass and again on a punt return deep in BoiseState territory.
Tyler Shoemaker had a
coming out party as well.Shoemaker
caught two passes for touchdowns covering 56 and 17 yards, the former
capping a drive that officially was recorded as 99 yards but actually was 99
yards, two feet and 11 inches.That was
because the defense had just stopped IdahoState cold on the one-inch line
following Young's second fumble."Anytime you make a stop on fourth and inches it's going to be big in
any king of game," safety Jeron Johnson said."It's just momentum.Coach Pete
preached all week to never quit.That's
the mentality I think the defense took in that situation."
Fullback Richie Brockel
also scored a career-high two touchdowns for BoiseState, marking what is believed to be
the first time in school history that three Broncos scored two touchdowns in
the same game.
Although you wouldn't
recognize it from the scoreboard, the Broncos sputtered early, not scoring
until a little more than a minute remaining in the first quarter.Moore led the offense on an 11-play, 76-yard
drive with four straight passes for 49 yards, capped by Brockel's two-yard run.
BoiseState's juggernaut began to roll with
four touchdowns in eight minutes.Following a Bengal punt, Moore hit tight end Chris O'Neill for 22 yards and Julian Hawkins
for nine to set up a first-and-goal at the Idaho State three-yard line.It took Ian Johnson three tries, but he finally
punched it in to make it 14-0 with in the half.
IdahoState was stopped cold once again and
on the first play from his own 20, Moore unleashed a 50-yard bomb.Young ran under it and easily raced to the
end zone."It was just sort of a
potential launcher there," Moore said."The way the
defense played, they gave it to us.I
just laid it out for Titus and let him go get it."
Three plays later, IdahoState had to punt again but Johnson
blocked it at the Bengal 12.Brockel bulled over
from the three to make it 28-0.
IdahoState put together an impressive
80-yard drive featuring an 18-yard halfback pass from Ken Cornist to Isaiah
Burl that set up a two-yard score by Clint Knickrehm to cut the lead to
28-7.But that would be IdahoState's last offensive highlight of
Heisman and Doak Walker
candidate Ian Johnson gained 87 yards on 14 carries with the one TD.Johnson also
blocked a punt on special teams to match last year's block against UtahState.Tanyon Bissell carried the ball twice for 46
yards while Jeremy Avery gained 40 yards on eight carries.
Placekicker Kyle Brotzman hit all seven extra points to tie Tyler Jones for the longest streak
in school history with 74.
True freshman Aaron Tevis had a great game defensively with eight tackles, two sacks for 24 yards,
a fumble recovery and a pass deflection."It is just definitely good to get that first game out of the way," he
said."I'm just ready to roll."
Acrey, who was benched in favor of Tevis, nevertheless played most of the game
due to an injury to Kyle Gingg and led the Broncos with 14 tackles.Safety Jeron Johnson's hard-hitting disrupted
IdahoState throughout the game, but never
more so than a highlight-reel hit on Bengal quarterback Russell Hill following a scramble.
During the last
defensive stop by the Broncos, all 11 positions were filled by freshmen.
Hill completed 15 of 22
passes for 74 yards for the Bengals, while Cornist was the game's top rusher
with 98 yards on 19 carries.Eddie
Thompson led IdahoState with 10 receptions for 56
BoiseState rang up 582 yards of total
offense with contributions from throughout their lineup.
With the win, BoiseState put a stop to the two-game
losing streak of last year, the longest since the beginning of the 2005 season.The Broncos also won their sixth season
opener in the last seven years and their seventh consecutive home opener.Saturday's win marked the sixth straight year
that BoiseState scored 40 or more points in the
The game marked the debut of the new Stueckle Sky Box, leading to a Bronco
Stadium, state of Idaho football
game and state of Idaho sporting
event record crowd of 32,318.
has a week off before hosting Bowling Green.They'll need it.The Falcons shocked #25 Pittsburgh
on their home turf Saturday to set up an early showdown with the Broncos
September 13th in Bronco Stadium.
Broncos Report Card
Moore's quick release and cannon
of an arm was on full display Saturday.He showed good poise and an uncanny ability to find the open man.However, on IdahoState's only serious pressure, he
was unable to get outside to throw the ball away and was forced to take a
sack.Senior Bush Hamdan saw good action
but seemed rushed as many of his throws were high.Michael Coughlin came in on BoiseState's final drive and led the
team inside the IdahoState
five when the Broncos let the clock run out.
Johnson struggled at times against a Big Sky Conference team that was 3-8
last season.On similar plays where he
had run over an OregonState
defender from the Pac-10 two years ago, he was tackled by a Bengal.Avery had some nice runs late in the game
running behind the second team offensive line.Harper played sparingly.
Young had a spectacular game at receiver with the unfortunate early-game
fumble.His speed caused considerable
problems for the overmatched Bengals, and the reverses utilized that
speed.Shoemaker showed he is going to
be a force this year with his heroics. Austin Pettis and Vinny Perretta weren't a big
part of the game plan tonight.O'Neill
gives the Broncos a great option at tight end.There were few if any dropped passes.
Pass blocking was next to perfect; run blocking not so.As mentioned above, BoiseState's Heisman Trophy candidate
had trouble on several runs because holes were not there.As the game progressed, the line began to
wear their opponents down and the yards came a little easier.The conditioning difference will not be there
against a big-time opponent and the Broncos will have to improve their
Basically, the defense shut down IdahoState with the exception of their
80-yard drive.However, they did allow
98 yards by Cornist who is far from the best running back the Broncos will face
this year, and missed several tackles at the line of scrimmage that led to big
gains.They were able to put good
pressure on Hill at times and scored a few sacks.
At times this unit's performance reminded fans of the Nevada
game.Many of the big Bengal
runs occurred because the linebackers were out of position.As Acrey began to take charge, this seemed to
cure the problem.When the unit stayed
at home, they played well and Brady, Acrey and Tevis excelled.
Overall, the unit had an excellent game.They didn't allow any long passes and helped out in the run defense with
bone-jarring tackles.On one halfback
option pass, true freshman Jamar Taylor bit on the run initially, but good
pressure in the Bengal backfield allowed him to
recover.On the second halfback option
that led to IdahoState's
only score, BoiseState
seemed to recognize it but still allowed it to be completed.The Broncos' lone interception of the game
was called back, meaning they were shut out in that department.Once again, the Bronco corners played far off
the line of scrimmage.A good
quarterback can exploit that all the way to the end zone as Colt Brennan proved
last year.As Georgia
proved last year in the Sugar Bowl, the way to stop that is to play the
Brotzman was perfect on PAT's but did not get a chance to attempt a field
goal.His kickoffs were high and deep
allowing minimal returns.Punter Brad Elkin had good distance and also allowed short returns but needs to work harder
on obtaining good height.Young had the
fumble on one punt return and did not dart through holes quick enough to get
the yardage he could have.Johnson shot
through and blocked a punt for the Bronco special teams.
From the one-minute mark of the first quarter through the third quarter, BoiseState played well.They sputtered at the beginning and at the
end with the exception of the game's final drive.The defense held IdahoState pretty much in check except
for the one long drive.Cornist's 98
yards rushing represents about 200 yards by Lippincott of Nevada or someone
similar.Granted this was IdahoState, but there was little emotion
displayed by the team.Had this been
there for the defense, they no doubt would have performed a little better.Young's two fumbles would have been costly
against a Bowling Green, Oregon,
Louisiana Tech or FresnoState.The defense was not credited with an
interception, but when you play ten yards off the line of scrimmage, you're not
going to get a lot.This was a good but
not great team performance.