November 16, 2009

Boise State QB Kellen Moore: Heisman hopeful?

BOISE, Idaho (AP) Kellen Moore grew up in sparsely populated central Washington. Now he is out here in Idaho, still way off Broadway.

No wonder he has never been to New York.

That may change next month.

Boise State's ruthlessly quiet gunslinger can't do much more to put himself into consideration for the Heisman Trophy, which will be awarded next month in Manhattan in front of a handful of invited candidates.

"We'll deal with that in a couple of weeks, I guess," he said with a shrug.

Maybe so.

Tucked away in the little ol' WAC, Moore is the nation's leader in passing efficiency. The studious, 6-foot tall coach's son from Prosser, Wash., deemed too small by Pac-10 schools has become a giant.

He has 32 touchdowns and three interceptions while completing two-thirds of his passes through 10 games for the unbeaten and sixth-ranked Broncos.

He has 57 career touchdown passes - more than Steve Young ever had in his WAC days at BYU - and 13 interceptions.

That's in less than two seasons. The sophomore has multiple touchdown passes in every game this season since the grinding, 19-8 win over Oregon in the opener. What's more, Boise State has won every regular season game he's started since he arrived.

Orchestrating a shotgun offense without a huddle more than usual on Saturday, Moore was 22 for 32 for 299 yards and five touchdowns in just over three quarters. He led Boise State's 63-25 annihilation of a previously resurgent Idaho team that was supposed to provide a test to the Broncos' third perfect regular season since 2004.

Idaho tried everything against Moore in its 11th consecutive loss to its archrival. In the first quarter, they dropped extra defenders into coverage. Moore completed nine of 10 throws for 101 yards and three touchdowns in opening period.

Then the Vandals sent extra pass rushers at him. They repeatedly hit Moore after he threw, and though the results weren't any better for the Vandals, at least that finally got a rise out of the silent sniper. More than once he gestured and complained to the referee for what he thought were late hits.

It was as chatty as some of his teammates had seen Moore in months.

"To see a guy that quiet and go out and put up numbers like that, you could never tell (he's a star)," said acrobatic receiver Austin Pettis, who caught four of Moore's scoring passes Saturday to set the Boise State record with 14 this season.

Boise State isn't conducting a national campaign touting Moore's Heisman candidacy. They are letting his performance speak for itself - and are relishing the idea that this precise maestro of the Broncos' creative, go-go offense that leads the nation with 43.6 points per game is going to be around for perhaps two more seasons.

Moore's roommate, Broncos linebacker Derrell Acrey, says Moore can't bring himself to talk about possibly being a Heisman candidate, or much else, really.

"He deserves it," Acrey said of consideration for the award. "But, yeah, he won't talk about that. He won't talk much about anything. He just continues to watch more football. That's all he does.

"I'll want to go out on the town, have some fun. And he just stays in, watching another game."

Moore was probably hunkered down later Saturday night watching fellow BCS outsider and No. 4 TCU destroy Utah. A Utes upset would have been Boise State's best chance of avoid their second straight snub by the BCS. Only the highest ranked non-BCS school has a realistic chance of crashing the megabucks series.

TCU has seemingly ho-hum regular-season games against Wyoming and New Mexico remaining, leaving the Horned Frogs primed for BCS inclusion.

Boise State's only real threat to another perfect regular season and a seventh WAC championship in eight years seems to be Nov. 27 when streaking conference co-leader Nevada comes to Boise.

By then, Moore may have a few more people east of the Rocky Mountains noticing him. Not that he will notice them.

"I don't care," he said. "We've got enough other business to take care of."



 

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