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September 25, 2011
Four Moore TDs, Broncos beat Tulsa 41-21
Game Ticker | box score
They've been playing pitch and catch ``forever.''
``We came in together. It's great. It's kind of his opportunity, he's kind of the old man of the group,'' Moore said. ``He's making big time plays and we're getting him in good spots and he's coming away with some good touchdowns.''
Shoemaker was on the receiving end of two more touchdowns on Saturday night, part of the four thrown by Moore in less than 2 1/2 quarters, and the fourth-ranked Broncos rolled to a 41-21 win over Tulsa in their home opener.
Boise State cornerback Jerrell Givens intercepted Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinne twice and the Broncos jumped to a 27-0 lead on their way to a 33rd straight regular season home victory.
But this one was ragged, sometimes sloppy and not the crisp performance the Broncos have become known for. It was noticeably irksome to coach Chris Petersen.
``I thought there were some really nice plays made in all three phases but I thought it was a lot of sloppy football,'' Petersen said. ``There's no question we have a long way to go. No question. And we better get there in a hurry.''
Asked later if he thought the Broncos had a more complete game in them, Petersen seemed to be challenging his team.
``I know we haven't seen it. I don't know if we have it in us,'' he said. ``That's to be determined.''
Moore tossed TD passes of 26 and 6 yards to Shoemaker in the first quarter, then added a 1-yard pass to tight end Kyle Efaw late in the first half.
He capped his night with a 10-yard strike to Mitch Burroughs on the first drive of the second half, then donned a baseball cap and headset the rest of the night while backups Joe Southwick and Grant Hedrick got their turns.
Part of Moore's early departure could be related to the black brace Moore wore on his right knee and a noticeable limp that followed him all night, especially when he was asked to scramble from the pocket. Moore acknowledged he was a little beat up coming out of last week's win over Toledo and that the brace was ``just a doctor deal.''
Even with a damaged wheel, Moore finished 23 of 29 for 279 yards and now has 12 touchdowns against two interceptions in three games.
Through three games, Moore is 83 of 105 for 995 yards. A week after catching three TDs against Toledo, Shoemaker now has six TDs for the season, already a career high.
``This is pretty much how I've wanted it to go for a long time and now it's coming to fruition,'' Shoemaker said.
Tulsa (1-3) concluded a brutal early season stretch that featured a game at No. 1 Oklahoma and last week's wacky 59-33 loss at home to No. 7 Oklahoma State that didn't kickoff until after midnight early Sunday morning.
Tulsa was one of just two teams in the country to play three AP top 10 teams in the first four weeks of the season. And they had to serve as the Broncos home opener on one of two nights this season where Boise State was allowed to wear blue helmets, jerseys and pants on its famous blue rug.
``This is a good measuring stick. This is what top-10 football is about. Boise is a great example but so is Oklahoma State and so is Oklahoma,'' Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship said. ``If that is where we want to take our program we have to be able to compete at that level.''
Kinne played despite a left knee injury suffered in last week's loss to Oklahoma State. His status was in doubt all week, but Kinne played into the fourth quarter. He finished 14 of 24 for 123 yards and was intercepted four times.
He wasn't helped by awful field position most of the night and a spotty running game. A week after rumbling for 365 yards against Oklahoma State, the Hurricanes managed 155 yards rushing on the Broncos.
Tulsa simply couldn't make up for a miserable first half where they ran just one play in Boise territory in the first 38 1/2 minutes. Both of Givens' interceptions came in the first half, as did Aaron Tevis' diving pick on a screen pass.``After last week that was a big emphasis for us. We wanted to take that away from them. I thought we did well with that,'' Tevis said.
That wasn't the only misfire on this night.
The Boise State Army ROTC prematurely fired off the touchdown cannon after Shoemaker's reception to the Tulsa 1 on the Broncos opening drive, only to see Tulsa hold on fourth down after Moore bobbled the handoff.
Same thing happened later in the first quarter after Martin darted 19 yards for an apparent score - and cannon firing - only to have the TD called back on holding. That drive did get finished off with Shoemaker's second TD.
There were also injury concerns with defensive linemen Tyrone Crawford and Billy Wynn getting helped off the field in the first half, only to return in the third quarter. Receiver Chris Potter and offensive guard Jake Broyles also left with injuries.
Center Thomas Byrd also saw his string of 36 consecutive starts snapped.
``I think we're OK,'' Petersen said. ``It's football season and you have to play with some bumps and bruises.''
Follow Tim Booth on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/ByTimBooth