(Wednesday, October 14th)
Final Score: (5) Boise State 28, Tulsa 21
Tulsa, OK (Sports Network) - Kellen Moore threw for 187 yards and three touchdowns, as fifth-ranked Boise State trailed for the first time all season before moving past and then holding off Tulsa, 28-21, on a rainy night at Chapman Stadium.
Boise State (6-0), playing to continue its undefeated season and make a statement to pollsters going forward, struggled early then had to watch G.J. Kinne's across-the-body toss for a wide open receiver in the middle of the field fall short on fourth down late in the game to seal the victory.
Doug Martin gashed the Golden Hurricane (4-2) defense for 112 yards rushing and Jeremy Avery added 73 yards on the ground. Austin Pettis caught four passes for 63 yards and a score in the victory, while Tommy Gallarda had two TD grabs.
"We will go back and rack our brains on that and figure out a way to do that," Boise State coach Chris Petersen said of putting teams away. "Usually, that comes down to the running game, but I thought we ran the ball well tonight. I thought the offensive line played well and the backs did a good job for the most part."
Kinne completed 14-of-27 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns, while Slick Shelley caught three of those tosses for 99 yards and a score -- a 55-yard pitch-and-catch with 9:29 remaining that drew the Hurricane within seven.
Tulsa's last drive reached its own 39-yard line before the pass for Charles Clay fell incomplete near the Broncos 40-yard line in the final minute.
"This one hurt because we wanted this one pretty bad," said Tulsa coach Todd Graham. "If anything, we weren't outplayed, we were outcoached. It was a pretty good chess match. We made adjustments and they made adjustments. I thought our boys played great and they battled hard against a great team. We have a lot of young and inexperienced players, and I think they played great tonight and battled hard. I really thought we would win at halftime."
The game started without the fireworks foreseen prior the kickoff as a steady rain tempered both offenses at the outset. Tulsa finally turned to the razzle- dazzle to notch the game's initial blow. A.J. Whitmore, lined up wide to the quarterback's left, received a pitch after a play-fake to the running back out of the shotgun, rolled to the right and floated a perfect pass to Damaris Johnson, who ran the rest of the way for a 53-yard touchdown.
Johnson racked up 100 total yards on just eight touches (four catches, four carries) in defeat.
The seasoned Broncos didn't waver, marching nine plays and 68 yards to paydirt. A series of short passes and runs finally broke big with a 28-yard pass from Moore to Pettis. Moore finally found Gallarda for an eight-yard score then Pettis lobbed a deft pass to Kyle Efaw out of an unorthodox formation for a successful two-point conversion.
Tulsa, unfazed by the Broncos' strike, came right back with the ground game. Johnson busted off successive runs of 17 and 16 yards to move the football to the Boise State 37-yard line. Kinne eventually drilled a 15-yard touchdown pass to Trae Johnson for a 14-8 edge.
It seemed neither defense was about to stop the opposing offense as the Broncos again found the end zone on their next drive. Moore found Efaw for 23 yards, and the scoring play saw the favorite target Pettis get free for a 17- yard score. The Broncos kicked the conventional extra point for a 15-14 lead early in the second stanza.
A punt was the result of four straight drives before Tulsa turned the football over on downs. Boise State notched three more points before the half on a 27- yard boot from Kyle Brotzman.
The third quarter was dominated by the Broncos, who tacked on 10 points for a two-touchdown lead. An 11-play, 66-yard march ended with Moore rolling left and finding Gallarda along the back end line for a two-yard scoring strike.
The Broncos again sniffed the end zone later in the period, but Doug Martin's 3rd-and-goal rush fell a yard shot and Brotzman booted through an 18-yard kick for a 28-14 game with just less than three minutes left in the third.
Tulsa struck big in the fourth with a well-sold play-action fake and a deft deep ball. Kinne sold the run and uncorked a deep ball down the seam to a streaking Shelley for a 55-yard touchdown.
Boise State gained 380 total yards to 295 for the Hurricane...Tulsa was just 2-of-12 on third-down conversions...Boise State has won all five lifetime meetings with Tulsa...Arkansas, ranked seventh at the time, is the highest ranked team Tulsa has ever defeated. That victory came back on September 25, 1971...Fourth-ranked Oklahoma was the last top-5 team to visit Tulsa back in 2007.
10/15 01:00:49 ET