October 14, 2009

No. 5 Boise State holds off Tulsa 28-21

TULSA, Okla. (AP) [db]Kellen Moore[/db] threw two short touchdown passes to [db]Tommy Gallarda[/db], and No. 5 Boise State survived a late scare from Tulsa to escape with a 28-21 victory Wednesday night in one of the last road tests standing between the undefeated Broncos and the BCS.

With Boise State (6-0) trailing for the first time all season, Moore was perfect on two scoring drives to put the Broncos ahead to stay.

Tulsa (4-2) got within 28-21 in the fourth quarter when [db]G.J. Kinne[/db] and [db]Slick Shelley[/db] connected on consecutive passes for 91 yards, including a 55-yarder for a touchdown. The Golden Hurricane had one last chance to tie it in the final 2 minutes, but Boise State forced its fourth three-and-out of the second half to ice the game.

Moore finished with 187 yards passing and three touchdown passes.

[db]Doug Martin[/db] had 112 yards on 23 carries in his second 100-yard game since moving back to offense after the Broncos lost running back [db]D.J. Harper[/db] to a knee injury. [db]Jeremy Avery[/db] added 73 yards as Boise State trampled Tulsa on the ground in the third quarter and then held on for the win.

Except for the two long connections between Kinne and Shelley, Boise State's defense limited the Golden Hurricane - who led the nation in total offense each of the last two seasons - to 30 yards in the second half.

Kinne missed a wide-open [db]Charles Clay[/db] on fourth-and-6 to end Tulsa's last possession, as he rolled out of the pocket to the left. He finished with 154 yards on 14-for-27 passing.

"Our O-line got going pretty well and it would have been nice to punch it in down there for some breathing room," Boise State coach [db]Chris Petersen[/db] said. "If our O-line is doing what they need to do we can make some plays."

Tulsa represented one of the few challenges remaining on Boise State's schedule as the Broncos move into Western Athletic Conference play. The rest of the teams on their schedule have a combined 16-21 record, and in-state rival Idaho (5-1) is the only one with a winning mark.

Petersen wouldn't look far down the schedule.

"Next week is a new challenge," he said. "We'll reload and go then."

The Golden Hurricane - playing in front of a sellout crowd of 30,000 - jumped on top early, capitalizing on a muffed punt by cornerback [db]Kyle Wilson[/db] with some trickery on the very next play.

Kinne pitched the ball to [db]A.J. Whitmore[/db], the Golden Hurricane's usual wildcat quarterback, and he found speedy receiver Damaris Johnson behind the defense for a 53-yard touchdown pass.

It was the first time Boise State had trailed this season, and Moore immediately led a 68-yard scoring drive the opposite way. He hit all three of his passes for 45 yards and converted a fourth-and-1 at the 10-yard line with a sneak to set up his 8-yard scoring toss to Gallarda.

He went 6 for 6 for 62 yards on the Broncos' next drive, answering Kinne's 15-yard scoring pass to [db]Trae Johnson[/db] with a 17-yard TD connection to [db]Austin Pettis[db]. It was Pettis' sixth straight game with a touchdown.

Gallarda caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Moore in the third quarter.

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