Second Effort

In this case, one quarter made the difference. Boise State scored all of its points in the second quarter to top Southern Mississippi 24-7 on the road last night. The victory enabled Coach Chris Petersen's Broncos to remain unbeaten heading into a key showdown with defending WAC Champion Hawai'i.

Boise State freshman quarterback Kellen Moore threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter to lead #13 Boise State to a 24-7 win on the road against a determined and talented Southern Mississippi team last night in Hattiesburg.

Moore connected on 16 of 20 passes for 144 yards in the first half as the Broncos scored all of their 24 points in the second quarter.  He finished the game 21-of-30, enabling the Broncos to win their fifth game of the year while Southern Mississippi lost its third straight contest for the first time since 2004.

The Bronco offensive line, completely reshuffled prior to the game, began to open holes for the deep stable of talented running backs.  Ian Johnson and Jeremy Avery each gained 56 yards.  Johnson's hustle to recover a muffed punt led to Kyle Brotzman's only field goal of the game.

Locked in a scoreless game beginning the second quarter, Moore hit leading receiver Jeremy Childs on a screen pass to the right and Childs scampered down the sideline, stiff-arming a defender at the five to score the game's first points.  Childs was the recipient of seven first-half throws from Moore and finished with 10 receptions for 82 yards. 

The Bronco defense, 7th in the nation in scoring defense, enjoyed one of its better games of the young season.  After the Childs score, they stuffed Southern Mississippi quarterback Austin Davis on a fourth-and-1 at the 50 and the Broncos capitalized with a Moore to Austin Pettis five-yard touchdown pass.  The Golden Eagles got their only score following the Brotzman field goal to close to 17-7 with three minutes remaining in the half.  Moore proceeded to lead the Broncos on a 66-yard drive, finding Johnson over the middle for 26 yards and then connecting with Childs for 18.  The Broncos hit paydirt when Moore found Pettis with a touch pass to the corner of the end zone in which Pettis made a circus grab.

Enter the Boise State defense.  They held the no-huddle Southern Mississippi attack scoreless for the rest of the contest, spending most of the remainder of the game on the Southern Miss side of the field.  Gone was Davis' school freshman record of five straight games with over 200 yards passing.  In the process, the Golden Eagles were held to their lowest home output since 2001.  Auburn, in contrast, allowed 13 to Southern Mississippi on their home field.

Time and time again members of the vaunted Bronco secondary came up to deliver hard blows to Davis after he eluded the Boise State pass rush or to an unwary receiver.  Ellis Powers led the team with 10 tackles, but Jeron Johnson, Kyle Wilson, George Iloka and Brandyn Thompson all starred.

Davis finished 15 of 34 passing for 160 yards and an interception, while star running back Damion Fletcher rushed for just 69 yards a week after going for a career-high 260 against UTEP.

Boise State returns home to prepare for an early Western Athletic Conference showdown with defending league champion Hawai'i.  The nationally-televised game will be Friday night in Bronco Stadium.



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