The Cerebral Vortex

The game started in Boise on the Smurf Turf amid great fanfare. Before the opening kickoff, the two teams lined up on the field and shook hands -- as the announcers said, "a great idea in theory". Several amongst the Ducks and the Broncos started to go at it before the officials stepped in to separate the squads. By gametime, when Boise State kicked off to their visitors, the atmosphere was supercharged.

The Ducks seemed to be fired up after returning the opening kickoff to their own 42-yard-line. But that offense from Eugene, so highly touted before the beginning of the season with quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, running back LeGarrette Blount, and tight end Ed Dickson all returning for another year at school. But the offense sputtered right out of the gate, going three and out three straight times.

It was Boise State, led by sophomore quarterback Kellen Moore, who really came out of the gate on fire. Last year, playing his first collegiate road game in the unfriendly confines of Autzen Stadium, Moore torched the Ducks for 386 yards and three touchdowns and completed over 67 percent of his passes. The team pulled out to a huge 37-13 lead after three quarters. But the Ducks were able to nearly come back into the game, dredging their depth chart to find Darren Thomas at quarterback after several players ahead of him went down with injuries.

But while the Broncos were able to move the ball down the field in the first quarter, they bogged down in the red zone and failed to punch it over the goal line. Moore was able to move the offense, but Kyle Brotzman has been unable to nail either of his two field-goal attempts. A starter from the minute he walked onto the Boise State campus, Brotzman missed two straight attempts on either side of the quarter break from the left hash mark from 29 and 47 yards.

Chris Peterson, though, was able to get his offense moving properly well before new Oregon head coach Chip Kelly was able to get his spread working.  The Broncos were able to finally put it all together on their third drive of the game, moving the ball 50 yards on eleven plays and chewing up 5:15 of clock and finishing the drive when Moore found receiver Austin Pettis from ten yards out, completely open on the right side of the endzone after drifting from the left slot on a crossing route completely uncovered.

Boise State then fooled the Ducks as they lined up for the extra point, snapping directly to blocker Michael Choate lined up under center. He bowled over the line completely unscathed, putting the Broncos up 8-0. Two quick drives later, Oregon had the ball again inside their 5-yard-line and took a safety when a pitch to Blount was read perfectly and wrapped up in the endzone. Kyle Brotzman would finally hit a field goal, striking from the middle of the field from 45 yards out with under a minute left on the clock to put Boise State up 13-0 at the half.

The Ducks have thoroughly failed to do anything in this first half, and must frankly thank their lucky stars that they are only two touchdowns down on a touch WAC team that is many people's pick to be a BCS Buster yet again this season. Kelly will have to get his young charges working more effectively. Another half with only fourteen total yards of offense and zero first downs is certainly not going to get it done...


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