BOISE, Idaho – The noise was everywhere for Boise State. The Broncos faced another so-called statement game on national television, this time with the pregame show held right on their blue turf.
The distractions didn't get to Kellen Moore, who showed that with him at the helm the No. 3 Broncos can overcome a flawed performance. Especially at home.
Boise State floppy-haired quarterback saw his Heisman Trophy stock rise Saturday night. Moore completed 19 of 27 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns, Doug Martin rumbled for 138 yards and the Broncos overcame a litany of special teams miscues and penalties to hold off No. 24 Oregon State 37-24.
"This seems like it's been a long day, a long day. I think the good thing about this game is we were able to come out with a 'W.' But I think everybody in the locker room knows how hard we made it on ourselves," Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. "At times we were very, very frustrated with ourselves, with just some really costly penalties. I think our special teams play we need to tight up a little bit.
But, he added, "We're proud of our guys. We know they hear the noise out there."
Kicking off just eight hours after the popular ESPN show College GameDay broke down its stage that sat at the 40-yard line on the blue turf, the Broncos (3-0) got away with their mistakes, but as always the question is did they look dominant enough to impress poll voters.
Boise State's student section started chanting "B-C-S" in the final minute, but blowouts are what will be expected in the coming weeks as the Broncos reach the soft section of their schedule.
"I think we really don't care," Moore said. "It's three games out of 12. This is only a fourth of the season. It's a long way. We've got a lot of football to take care of."
The critics are likely to come out after Boise State failed to pull away from the Beavers, maybe the most talented team left on the Broncos' schedule. Still, Boise State ran its home winning streak to 57 straight in the regular season and picked up their third straight win over a Pac-10 school in what will likely be its last game against a ranked team until at least November.
Moore was the catalyst as usual. His most impressive moment came in the first half when he spun away from the sack attempt of Oregon State's Brandon Hardin, then hit Austin Pettis for 26 yards, part of the 235 yards Moore threw for in the first half.
But Martin was the closer for Boise State. He had 119 yards in the second half, touching the ball on eight of nine plays on Boise State's final drive that ate up more than seven minutes and led to Kyle Brotzman's clinching 30-yard field goal.
Austin Pettis caught a 17-yard TD pass — this time without the somersault that landed him in Petersen's doghouse a week ago — and threw a 6-yard TD pass off a reverse to Tommy Gallarda in the first quarter.
The Oregon State (1-2) combo of Jacquizz and James Rodgers never got started offensively, even though James returned a punt 54 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter — the first punt return score of his career.
Jacquizz Rodgers was held to 46 yards on 18 carries and a 4-yard TD run in the third quarter. James Rodgers was knocked out by an apparent concussion early in the third quarter while blocking on a scramble by quarterback Ryan Katz. Rodgers and Boise State safety Winston Venable collided helmet-to-helmet.
"I asked him how he was doing and he couldn't even find his helmet. He got his bell rung but I don't know anything beyond that," Beavers coach Mike Riley said. "He's obviously a big part of what we can do. We always expect the next guy to come in there and make some plays. It wasn't pretty execution wise."
Boise State led 24-10 at halftime and 31-17 early in the third quarter. Yet the countless mistakes by the Broncos kept Oregon State hanging around when they were statistically dominated.
The Broncos outgained Oregon State 469-237. Moore's numbers were nearly double that of Katz, who completed 12 of 26 passes for 159 yards.
"They were shooting the gaps a lot and keeping the pressure on us," Katz said. "They have a really fast defense and that gave us a lot of problems."
The counterbalances were Boise State's eight penalties, poor coverage on special teams and one big turnover.
"We made some kind of bonehead plays and kept them in the ball game," Boise State's Ryan Winterswyk said.
Down 24-10 in the third, Jacquizz Rodgers scored from the 4, slipping through the tackle of George Iloka at the line of scrimmage, finishing a drive kept alive by two personal foul penalties against Boise State.
Titus Young fumbled an Oregon State punt early in the fourth deep in Boise's end. That was followed by one of the wackier TDs scored on the blue turf when Joe Halahuni recovered the fumble of teammate Darrell Catchings in the end zone for a Beavers touchdown. Catchings caught an ill-advised throw from Katz that should have been intercepted by Jeron Johnson, fumbled as he dove to the goal line, but Halahuni was the only player in the area.