(Friday, November 6th)
Final Score: (5) Boise State 45, Louisiana Tech 35
Ruston, LA (Sports Network) - Kellen Moore hit Austin Pettis for a 12-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter and Jeremy Avery added a 44-yard TD scamper later on, as fifth-ranked Boise State pulled away from Louisiana Tech, 45-35, in a surprisingly close Western Athletic Conference battle.
Moore ended with 354 yards and three touchdowns on 28-of-41 throws but also threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Pettis went for 105 yards on nine catches, while Titus Young brought in eight balls for 110 yards and a score for Boise State (9-0, 4-0 WAC), which is without a regular-season loss in the last two seasons.
Avery logged 146 yards on 25 carries, as the Broncos outgained the Bulldogs, 507-250, but failed to record the blowout win to impress the pollsters. Boise State ranks seventh in the BCS standings, the lowest of the seven remaining undefeated FBS teams.
Daniel Porter ran for 92 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries for Louisiana Tech (3-6, 2-4), which has dropped three straight. Dennis Morris caught five balls for 78 yards and a score, while Ross Jenkins threw for 114 yards with a TD and a pick on 10-of-19 passes in defeat.
"You got to give it to LA Tech. They fought hard and we knew they would. They're well coached," Boise State head coach Chris Petersen said.
On 3rd-and-2 from the Boise State nine-yard line late in the third quarter, Jenkins called his own number on a bootleg and went in for the score to pull the underdogs within 30-21.
Louisiana Tech surprised the disciplined Broncos after the score, as Matt Nelson recovered his own onsides kick. On the ensuing drive, Morris made an athletic grab on a jump ball from the five, and the Bulldogs were suddenly down two, 30-28, with 14:07 remaining in the game.
As was the case most of the game, Boise State stumbled in enemy territory, and Kyle Brotzman hooked a 31-yard field goal wide left.
The Bulldogs were unable to move the ball following the missed kick, however, and the Broncos took over at their own 44 after a short punt. Kyle Efaw's 40- yard grab moved the ball into the red zone, and on 3rd-and-7 from the 12, Pettis hauled in a pass over the middle for a critical score.
"Austin is a basketball player down there and I gave him a high ball and let him go up and get it," Moore said.
The two-point conversion made it 38-28, and Louisiana Tech turned the ball over on downs after Jenkins was off the mark on 4th-and-6 from the 44.
On the first play of the next possession, Avery found a big hole off the right end and sprinted 44 yards to paydirt with under five minutes to play.
Myke Compton's one-yard TD run two minutes later was followed by an unsuccessful onsides kick for the Bulldogs, losers in eight straight against the cream of the WAC crop.
"We had a great start, and then Boise looked like the No. 5 team in the country. They stayed very aggressive on the offense," Louisiana Tech head coach Derek Dooley said.
Brotzman hit field goals of 29 and 34 yards in the opening quarter around Porter's one-yard plunge to paydirt near the midway point.
Louisiana Tech held the slim one-point lead until Boise State had a short field and went ahead on Richie Brockel's two-yard TD reception with 44 seconds left in the first.
Kyle Wilson took the Bulldogs' next punt at the right hash, shifted to the left sideline and galloped 59 yards to the three, setting up Doug Martin's two-yard TD dive early in the second.
Moore's 40-yard bomb to Young in the end zone at the midway point of the second pumped the Broncos' margin to 27-7.
Brotzman missed a 44-yard attempt just before halftime.
On the first possession of third quarter, Josh Victorian stepped in front of a Moore pass and went 75 yards the other way to ignite the crowd.
Boise State's next drive stalled inside the 10 and Brotzman was called in for a 25-yard boot for a 30-14 lead with 6 1/2 minutes left in the third.
BSU has taken 12 straight conference decisions and has won 11 consecutive road games as well...Moore entered the game with the top pass efficiency rating in the entire nation at 171.02...Boise State punted twice, compared to seven for its opponent...Boise State was the highest ranked team ever to play in Joe Aillet Stadium.
11/07 01:35:58 ET