The warriors of the Smurf Turf came prepared for battle against the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes.
Once again, the story this week was Kellen Moore masterfully dissecting an utterly inept Tulsa defense. In the first half alone, Moore completed 19 of 25 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns. But while these are typically numbers most quarterbacks dream of having over an entire game, Moore wasn’t quite finished.
The southpaw slinger added another touchdown and 40 yards in the third quarter before sophomore Joe Southwick took his place.
Moore played the game with a knee brace on the injured leg he “tweaked” last week at Toledo.
“I lost a bet,” Moore said, jokingly, following the game. “(The brace is) doctor order. (The knee’s) fine.”
Moore’s favorite target was, once again, senior wide receiver Tyler Shoemaker. “Shoe” finished the evening, catching five balls for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
“It feels good, I feel like it’s a lot of execution,” Shoemaker said. “Coaches do a great job all week and we do a really good job executing in practice all week. Games just kind of seem easy.”
The big story of the night was the Broncos’ dominating defense, which smothered the Hurricanes’ offense in the first half, allowing only 90 yards through the first two quarters. Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinne, (who wasn’t expected to play) started the game wearing a knee brace of his own and was noticeably limited in his mobility.
The defense had a shutout going into the third quarter and forced four turnovers as a unit. Senior cornerback Jarrell Gavins once again displayed his shutdown ability on the outside, intercepting two of Kinne’s passes.
“He’s been phenomenal, he is playing those balls exactly as they need to be played. A lot of times defensive backs panic when they see that deep ball, but he finds it, finishes the route and goes up and catches it like a wide receiver,” Football Head Coach Chris Petersen said of Gavin’s play.
The senior has continued to come up with big plays the entire season, with three interceptions and four pass deflections.
Boise’s running game struggled to gain ground once again, netting only 131 yards on the night. The Broncos only managed to gain 2.9 yards per rush and, aside from a 33-yard touchdown run by Doug Martin, were stagnate against Tulsa’s defense.
“We need to run the ball better for sure. We’ve got to really analyze that,” Petersen said. “I think this team is capable with the line that we have and the backs that we have, but we really need to be able to run the ball better.”
The offensive line played another solid game and protected Moore exceptionally well, especially with the loss of starting center, Thomas Byrd. Quarterback Joe Southwick’s sack in the third quarter was the first sack allowed by the unit so far this season.
Senior defensive tackle Chase Baker sat out of Saturday’s game due to a hamstring injury suffered in practice last week, but should return next week. Boise State had another couple of scares during the game when another pair of defensive lineman went down due to apparent leg injuries. Defensive end Tyrone Crawford and Billy Winn each were injured in the first half, but managed to return by the second half.
“I think we’re okay. It’s football season, you’re going to have to play with bumps and bruises but I think that’s why we worry so much. We know how fast things change and you can see that with Billy and Tyrone go down, we almost don’t have enough guys, it is paper-thin. We keep our fingers crossed that we can stay healthy all year long,”
The Broncos will have a week to prepare for their redemption game against the University of Nevada Wolfpack next Saturday at 12:30 p.m., at Bronco Stadium.