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Montgomery's FG keeps Boise State's perfect season alive

Nov 12, 2006 - 4:36 AM SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Anthony Montgomery kept Boise State's perfect record intact.

Montgomery connected on a 37-yard field goal with no time left as the 14th-ranked Broncos rallied from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit for a 23-20 Western Athletic Conference triumph over San Jose State.

One of four unbeaten teams in Division I-A, Boise State (10-0, 6-0 WAC) trailed, 20-12, before Jared Zabransky scored on a one-yard keeper with 5:22 remaining. After a Boise State timeout, Zabransky rolled to his right and threw a ball toward the back of the end zone that Jerard Rabb caught after outleaping several players, tying the game.

The Broncos forced a punt and Marty Tadman returned the ball 44 yards to the San Jose State 37 with 2:36 to go. Seven plays later, Montgomery split the uprights to keep Boise State perfect.

"I'm just proud of our guys," first-year Broncos coach Chris Petersen said. "They never quit."

Zabransky completed 14-of-20 passes for 181 yards with an interception, while dark-horse Heisman Trophy candidate Ian Johnson ran for 149 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries.

Adam Tafralis went 17-of-23 for 173 yards and three TDs for the Spartans (6-3, 3-2).

"We are really disappointed," Spartans coach Dick Tomey said. "We felt strongly that we could win. We just watched Boise State play (on tape), and that is why they are who they are. They made the plays that they needed to make to beat us.

"We have a good football team. We are not going to apologize to anybody for our football team. We didn't have any turnovers. We fought our guts out, and we were just not quite good enough tonight." Johnson scored on a two-yard run on 4th-and-1 with 6:56 left in the third quarter to give Boise State a 12-7 edge, but Zabransky's two-point pass attempt failed.

San Jose State regained the lead, 13-12, with a two-yard TD pass from Tafralis to John Broussard with 1:21 to play in the period, but the Spartans failed on their two-point conversion try.

On the very next play, Zabransky was intercepted by cornerback Christopher Owens, who ran the ball back to the 5. Three plays later, Tafralis threw a three-yard TD to James Jones to give the hosts a 20-12 lead with 14:21 remaining.

Boise State has won all seven games in the series, including a 56-49 win in double overtime in the last meeting here.

"We are on the right track," Tomey said. "We don't take any consolation in being close. I told the players that the reason you love football is because it hurts when you don't win. The reason you work is because it hurts so badly, because you spent so much effort trying to be good. We spilled our guts and I am proud of that, but this is not the result that we came for."

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