Scores

Final

Louisiana Tech 3

(2-2, 0-1 C-USA)

(17) Boise State 38

(4-0, 1-0 MW)

Coverage: ESPN

8:00 PM ET, October 1, 2008

Bronco Stadium, Boise, ID

1 2 3 4 T
LT 0 3 0 03
#17BSU 7 14 10 738

Top Performers

Passing: K. Moore (BSU) - 325 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: D. Harper (BSU) - 9 CAR, 35 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: I. Johnson (BSU) - 3 REC, 106 YDS

Moore, Harper combine for four scores as No. 17 Boise St. crushes La. Tech

Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho -- For years, Boise State's defense has taken a back seat to the Broncos' clever, high-scoring offense.

Fast Facts

• Boise State starts 4-0 for the first time since its undefeated 2006 season and gets its seventh straight win against WAC rival Louisiana Tech.

• The win is the 16th straight at home for the Broncos, who tied Wisconsin for the second-longest active home winning streak in the nation, behind Oklahoma (21).

• Boise State is 35-1 at home since 2003, which is best in the nation.

-- ESPN research

But this year, the defense is taking every opportunity to change that perception.

Thanks to a fourth-quarter goal-line stand, a stifling run defense and constant quarterback pressure, it was the defense that led the 17th-ranked Broncos to a 38-3 victory over Louisiana Tech on Wednesday night.

"When our defense plays the way it did today, it gives us a lot of confidence," Broncos coach Chris Petersen said after his team won its 16th straight home game. "Every defense wants to play like that. But these guys have really been backing it up."

The offense didn't do too bad, either.

Kellen Moore threw for two touchdowns and D.J. Harper rushed for two more as the Broncos (4-0, 1-0 Western Athletic Conference) beat the Bulldogs (2-2, 0-1) for the seventh straight time.

Moore, a redshirt freshman, looked sharp again, finishing 20-of-28 for 325 yards before heading to the bench early in the fourth quarter.

The left-hander tossed a 13-yard TD to Jeremy Hawkins early in the first quarter, then hit a wide-open Chris O'Neill for a 44-yard score to put the Broncos up 14-0 early in the second.

The Broncos rolled up 464 yards of total offense, avoided turnovers and costly penalties and never let the Bulldogs get close.

Harper scored twice in the second half, both on 3-yard runs, and the Broncos committee of running backs rushed for 132 yards.

Going into the game, the Broncos focused on stopping Louisiana Tech's explosive special teams and knack for making big plays.

They did just that, keeping the Bulldogs' return game in check and allowing just two plays over 50 yards, both long passes by Taylor Bennett. Six times in the first three quarters the Bulldogs crossed midfield, but only managed three points.

Then early in the fourth quarter, the Boise State defense snuffed the Bulldogs four straight times after starting first-and-goal from the 3-yard line. The Broncos held Louisiana Tech to 118 yards rushing, well below their season average of 163.7.

"It's been our thing this year to step up big in the red zone," Broncos linebacker Kyle Ginng said. "Our defense does not want to give them an inch."

For the Bulldogs, it was a night of missed opportunities.

Ultimately, it wasn't the kind of performance envisioned by Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley, who talked all week about the need for his young team to take the next step by beating a quality opponent on the road on a national stage.

"It was a disappointing performance on our part," said Dooley, whose team lost at then-No. 14 Kansas earlier in the season. "We've got a lot of freshmen and sophomores who don't know how to finish a drive. They whipped us at the line of scrimmage.

"Hopefully we'll learn and mature from these tough road games," he said.

Bennett, who initially committed to play at Boise State, struggled all night, finishing 9-of-27 for 202 yards and was sacked twice. He did connect on two long throws, a 53-yarder in the first half to R.P. Stuart and a 57-yarder to Phillip Livas late in the third.

The Bulldogs amassed 320 total yards, but were just 5-of-17 on third-down conversions.

Boise State scored on its second possession when Moore found Hawkins on a crossing route in the middle of the end zone. Moore, whose interception on the opening possession ended a scoring threat, was 4-of-5 on the drive.

The Broncos reached into the trick play chapter of the playbook to extend the lead early in the second quarter. From the Bulldogs 44, receiver Vinny Perretta took the snap and tossed to Moore, who found O'Neill all alone down the left sideline, putting the Broncos up 14-0.

The Bulldogs' lone score came the hard way. Starting from their own 1, Bennett led the Bulldogs to the red zone, the biggest play a 53-yard pass to R.P. Stuart. But the drive stalled, and Brad Oestreicher closed the gap to 14-3 with a 29-yard field goal.

Boise State added another touchdown in the final minutes of the first half when Titus Young went 15 yards around end.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
LT
BSU
1st Downs1326
Total Yards320464
Passing202332
Rushing118132
Penalties4-342-20
3rd Down Conversions5-176-13
4th Down Conversions0-20-1
Turnovers11
Possession28:0032:00

Passing Leaders

Louisiana TechC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Bennett9/272027.500
Boise StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Moore20/2832511.621

Rushing Leaders

Louisiana TechCARYDSAVGTDLG
Porter16684.3017
Jackson10252.504
Boise StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson9424.7020
Harper9353.9219

Receiving Leaders

Louisiana TechRECYDSAVGTDLG
Livas37725.7057
Beck26432.0053
Boise StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson310635.3051
O'Neill14444.0144

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERLTBSU
TD07:44Julian Hawkins 13 Yd Pass From Kellen Moore (Kyle Brotzman Kick) 07
SECOND QUARTERLTBSU
TD14:50Chris O'Neill 44 Yd Pass From Kellen Moore (Kyle Brotzman Kick) 014
FG07:33Brad Oestricher 29 Yd 314
TD01:26Titus Young 15 Yd Run (Kyle Brotzman Kick) 321
THIRD QUARTERLTBSU
FG11:12Kyle Brotzman 49 Yd 324
TD03:54D.J. Harper 3 Yd Run (Kyle Brotzman Kick) 331
FOURTH QUARTERLTBSU
TD10:59D.J. Harper 3 Yd Run (Kyle Brotzman Kick) 338