for this game

Boise State staves off pesky San Jose State

Oct 25, 2008 - 7:28 AM SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Boise State avoided another of its potential BCS-busters.

The 13th-ranked Broncos held off inspired San Jose State, 33-16, in a Western Athletic Conference game on Friday.

Boise State's redshirt freshman quarterback Kellen Moore was 26-of-40 for 245 yards and two touchdowns. Jeremy Avery had 21 carries for 96 yards, while Ian Johnson scored two touchdowns - the 50th and 51st rushing scores of his collegiate career.

"I felt we left a lot of points on the field," Boise State coach Chris Petersen said.

The Broncos (7-0, 3-0 WAC) drew first blood when Moore hit Austin Pettis for a five-yard TD pass. Boise State went for a two-point conversion but failed.

San Jose State (5-3, 3-1) was able to get the crowd into the game when Justin Cole picked off a screen pass by Moore and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown. The extra point, however, was wide right.

"That really brought a lot of energy and momentum to us," defensive tackle Jarron Gilbert said. "I was real juiced when I saw him run that back."

Moore rebounded and led a seven-play, 54-yard drive in the second quarter. He capped the march with an eight-yard TD pass to Jeremy Childs.

Johnson scored on a two-yard run to make it 20-6. It was his 50th career rushing score, putting him with Marshall Faulk and LaDainian Tomlinson as the only players to reach the plateau in the WAC.

Boise State missed a chance to up the lead when Johnson fumbled at the goal line with less than two minutes left in the half. San Jose State recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback.

The Spartans made the Broncos pay. They drove downfield - picking up their first first down of the game along the way - and eventually got within 20-9 on a 47-yard field goal by Jason Strubeck.

"It gave us momentum going into the locker room," said San Jose State quarterback Kyle Reed, who was 16-of-29 for 105 yards. "We were able to put some points up on the board. I was really excited about that, that we finally got something going."

All of San Jose State's first-half points came off turnovers.

Boise State enjoyed a 236-81 advantage in total offense in the first half.

"They have a very good offense," Gilbert said. "They do a lot of shifts and motions and they execute it well. Their offense is built so that if you're not disciplined, they'll take advantage of you. All the credit goes to them; they played better than us today."

Momentum started to swing to the Spartans, and it grew as Brandon Rutley scored on a 60-yard run with nine minutes left in the third quarter to make it 20-16.

"The hole was wide open. The play was originally designed to go to the right, but the way the line blocked, it opened up to the left, and it was just wide open. It was daylight," the freshman running back said. "When you're hitting a hole, of course you expect to get through it. When I got through it, I was thinking I want to just run my hardest and hope that I get to the end zone."

The Broncos countered with a 14-play, 55-yard march that ended with a 39-yard field goal by Kyle Brotzman.

Boise State recovered a fumble and went on a timer-devouring drive. The 13-play, 50-yard drive, which ate up 6:15, was capped by a 31-yard field goal by Brotzman, making it a 26-16 contest.

Johnson capped the scoring with a 10-yard run with 1:04 left.

"They are better than we are," San Jose State coach Dick Tomey said. "The fact that we were in the game in the second half was a credit to the grit and determination of our defense."