QB Moore's mettle on display in Boise State upset at Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. -- All those quarterback injuries finally caught up to Oregon against Boise State.

The Broncos upset the 17th-ranked Ducks 37-32 for their first victory on the road over a BCS-conference team. Redshirt freshman Kellen Moore led the way for Boise State with 386 yards passing and three touchdown throws.

"This is big," Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. "I know Oregon had some quarterback issues and stuff, and that helped us. Even with that, you see how explosive they are. So it was great for our guys to hang on and get this done."

The Broncos (3-0) of the Western Athletic Conference are now 3-11 against the Pac-10, with all of their victories coming against teams from Oregon (they had defeated Oregon State twice before in Boise).

The Ducks lost their projected No. 1 quarterback before the season, and No. 2 went down last week.

So Jeremiah Masoli, a junior college transfer who was Oregon's third-string quarterback going into the season, started but left the game in the first quarter with a mild concussion.

Oregon (3-1) planned on using both Masoli and true freshman Chris Harper against the Broncos after Justin Roper injured his left knee in the Ducks' 32-26 double-overtime victory at Purdue the previous week.

But combined Masoli and Harper attempted only six passes in the first half as Boise State took a 24-6 lead.

Then came more bad news: Masoli did not return after halftime. He appeared on the sidelines wearing his jersey with shorts.

Harper's troubles continued in the second half and Oregon gave freshman Darron Thomas a try. The Ducks had hoped to redshirt him.

Masoli's concussion was mild and he wasn't expect to miss time with the team. Roper will likely miss Oregon's next game against Washington State. The team hopes to have him back for a trip to top-ranked Southern California on Oct. 4.

Roper was named the starter only a week before the opener against Washington when Nate Costa was injured and required season-ending surgery on his knee.

The Ducks went into Saturday's game ranked fourth in the nation in rushing with an average of 323.3 yards per game. They were also ranked fourth in total offense, with an average of more than 562 yards.

The Broncos managed to slow Oregon, allowing 464 yards of total offense and 227 yards on the ground.

"They're a good running team; no doubt about that. So obviously if we shut the run down, they're going to have the put the ball in the air ... and that's what we wanted them to do," Boise State defensive back Kyle Wilson said.

Oregon's LeGarrette Blount ran 16 yards -- leaping of a pair of linemen tangled on the turf -- to score, but the 2-point conversion failed and the Ducks were up 6-0 in the first quarter.

Boise State halved the margin on Jeremy Brotzman's 51-yard field goal, a career-best, then took a 10-6 lead when Moore found Tommy Gallarda with a 9-yard scoring pass.

Ian Johnson upped the Broncos' lead with a 6-yard scoring run, before Moore hit Chris O'Neill with a 3-yard pass to make it 24-6 and quiet the Autzen Stadium fans.

Moore was intercepted by Oregon's Talmadge Jackson early in the second half, leading to Jeremiah Johnson's 18-yard touchdown run and narrowing it to 24-13.

The Broncos answered on the next series with Moore's 73-yard scoring pass to Perretta. Brotzman added a pair of field goals, from 26 and 34 yards out, to make 34-13 for Boise State.

Thomas gave Oregon life in the fourth quarter. First he hit Jeff Maehl with a 24-yard scoring pass, and then found Ed Dickson with a 20-yard TD pass to narrow it to 37-26.

Another late comeback appeared possible for Oregon. The Ducks got down to the Boise State 7 after two consecutive pass interference penalties by the Broncos, and Thomas found Moore in the end zone to close to within 37-32 with 2:07 left in the game. But time ran out for Oregon.

Thomas completed 13 of 25 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown in his debut. He threw one interception. Dickson had seven catches for 103 yards and two scores.

Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said Thomas probably should have gone in sooner.

"We were probably too stubborn offensively and I should've made the call earlier to get [Thomas] into the game," Bellotti said.

The Broncos made a name for themselves by beating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl to cap an unbeaten 2006 season, but this win ranks among the program's best.

"Coming into this place and getting the victory, it's big. And it's only going to get bigger from here," Moore said. "I think we're really good. But you still gotta take it week to week."


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