(Thursday, September 3rd)
Final Score: (14) Boise State 19, (16) Oregon 8
Boise, ID (Sports Network) - Kellen Moore threw for a touchdown and Boise State's defense came up with two big turnovers in the second half as the 14th- ranked Broncos won their 20th straight home game on the famed blue turf with a 19-8 season-opening victory over No. 16 Oregon.
Overwhelming favorites to repeat as Western Athletic Conference champions, the Broncos also got a rushing TD from D.J. Harper in their 50th straight regular season home game.
In a show of sportsmanship, the teams shook hands before the game, but it turned ugly at the end, especially from the standpoint of Oregon starting tailback LeGarrette Blount, who punched Boise State defensive end Byron Hout in the face. As both players greeted each other in the middle of the field, Hout yelled at Blount and touched him on the shoulder pad before he was nailed in the face with a right-handed punch. Fans then got on Blount's case and he had to be restrained by coaches and security before heading to the locker room.
"I couldn't have envisioned anything worse right here," said Blount, who was the team's second-leading rusher last year with 1,002 yards. "That will never happen again. I will never lose my head like that again. I apologize. I will never resort to that level. I should have handled that situation a lot better than I did."
Moore completed 19-of-29 passes for 197 yards for Boise State (1-0), which went unbeaten in the regular season last year before losing to TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl.
"The offensive lineman and running backs emphasized controlling the line of scrimmage this offseason," said Moore. "They really wanted to take control and establish a solid running game. I think they showed that they could do that today and were very successful."
The Broncos held Oregon to only 31 yards rushing, including minus-five for Blount.
Jeremiah Masoli connected on 14-of-27 throws for 121 yards was picked off once and ran for a score for the Ducks (0-1) in the first game for new head coach Chip Kelly, the team's former offensive coordinator. Kelly took over for Mike Bellotti, who resigned his post to take over as the school's athletic director.
Oregon, which went 10-3 last season and beat Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl, struggled with just 152 yards of total offense. The Ducks had just six first downs.
The Broncos marched from their own four to the Oregon 12 on their first possession, but Kyle Brotzman missed a 29-yard field goal attempt. He was off the mark on a 47-yard try early in the second, but later in the quarter Moore found Austin Pettis for a 10-yard TD pass on a third down play. Michael Choate ran in the two-point conversion.
Blount was tackled in the end zone by Billy Winn for a safety with nearly four minutes left in the half.
Brotzman kicked a 45-yard field goal for a 13-0 halftime lead. The Broncos held an incredible 185-14 yardage advantage over the first 30 minutes. Oregon didn't have a first down the entire half.
"It is frustrating when you don't get a first down," said Kelly. "It's frustrating. I don't know if you want to gauge it on a scale from one to 10. We were frustrated when we came in at halftime. But it's not a situation where you scrap what you do or you throw a fit and yell and scream and all those other things. A lot of it is they're a good football team."
Harper scored from a yard out early in the third, but the two-point conversion pass failed. as it became 19-0.
Masoli scored on a five-yard scramble up the middle and Blount added the two- point conversion run with under five minutes remaining in the third.
The team had turnovers on consecutive plays later in the third, and the Broncos gave the ball back on a botched snap on a field goal try in the last minute.
J.C. Percy forced Masoli to fumble the ball away in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, but Moore's fumble gave it back to the Ducks. Boise State came up with the defensive stand of the game, denying Blount a first down on a 4th- and-1 rush from the BSU 22 with under 13 minutes remaining.
"The turning point was the defense playing so well. We had pressure on, but we just couldn't put this one out of reach. Hats off to the defense," said Broncos coach Chris Petersen.
Oregon also couldn't capitalize on a fumble midway through the fourth.
Since 1999, Boise State has the best home winning percentage of any team in the nation with a record of 65-2...Boise State won the only previous meeting, scoring a 37-32 victory at Oregon last season...The Ducks host Purdue next Saturday, while the Broncos are home against Miami-Ohio...Oregon's rushing total of 24 yards was its lowest since gaining 28 yards at Michigan State, September 2, 1999...Harper ran for 88 yards and Jeremy Avery had 74 more on the ground for the Broncos...Pettis caught six passes for 68 yards...Boise State set a new record of most rushing attempts with 56 in a game, surpassing the top mark of 45 set against Eastern Kentucky in 1980.
09/04 03:58:38 ET