The Cerebral Vortex

Boise State had to come out confident as they got the ball in the second half. They'd messed up several times in the first half, failing to execute properly and putting up just 13 points on the board when there were so many more for the taking. The Ducks, though, had put up just 14 yards of total offense, giving the Broncos an opening and allowing them to pitch the shutout through the first half. The fact was, though, it looked more like Oregon failing to execute than Boise State donig anything spectacular on offense. Hope, though, was still ever-present for the home team as the ball sailed on the opening kickoff of the second half. A strong return by Titus Young put them out on their 36-yard-line for Kellen Moore to start.

A couple of four-yard plays made it 3rd and 2 just a minute into the game. A beautiful lob pass from Moore to Tommy Gallarda picked up the first down. Then it was time to turn up the heat on the Ducks defense. D.J. Harper took the handoff from Moore, busting through the heart of the defensive line to find his hole and race 23 yards down the field. Keeping it on the ground, Jeremy Avery took the next two carries a combined eleven yards to pick up another first down and put the Broncos inside the 5-yard-line.

First and goal went back into the arms of Harper, who punched two yards and change down near the Oregon 1. Second and goal was stuffed at the goal line a second time, with Kellen Moore keeping the ball but failing to get over the goal line. Third down went back to Harper, who rolled over to break the plane and give the Broncos a 19-0 lead. Their second attempt at a two-point conversion failed, with Michael Choate failing to complete a pass fake. But the damage was done coming out of the gate -- the visitors were now down three scores with twenty-five minutes and change left in the game.

Oregon's offense started back out on their 36 as well for their first second-half possession. Masoli kept the ball for a one-yard gain on first down. Then, on second down, LeGarrette Blount continued his ineptitude in this game by getting stuffed in the backfield for a four-yard loss. Blount caught a Masoli checkdown pass on third down, but the team was only able to pick up seven of the thirteen yards they needed to get to move the chains, and true freshman punter Jackson Rice -- about the only bright spot so far for the Ducks in this game -- came out to boot another punt, this one going 44 yards before a fair catch by Kyle Wilson put the Broncos inside their own 20 to start their second drive of the third quarter.

The Ducks defense, fired up by coordinator Nick Aliotti to finally do something, came out and held Boise State to three and out. Nearly blocked, Kyle Brotzman got a tremendous bounce from his punt... but it came back to the 42-yard-line since it had hit Bronco safety Doug Martin on the helmet, downing it at that spot. The third quarter halfway gone, Jeremiah Masoli lined back up under center, completing his second-down pass to tight end Ed Dickson for a 15-yard reception and their first first-down conversion of the game. Masoli then completed a second straight pass, to Jamere Holland for six more. The Ducks offense seemed to start to heat up at this point. Here was 14 yards from Masoli to Jeffrey Maehl. There was a handoff to LeMichael James that got 17 more down to the Boise State 5.

LeGarrette Blount took the ball on first and goal and failed to gain any ground. On second down, Masoli kept the ball himself and pounded it through the middle on the ground to pick up the final five yards over the goal line and get the six points. Lining up for the extra point, Blount finally made something happen, streaking outside on the left sideline to pick up the two-point conversion. Now 19-8, the game was finally starting to live up to the high-flying offensive hype that had preceded it.


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