The biggest home game in Boise State history became a four-quarter bullying of the Broncos’ big-conference neighbors to the west that left frustrated Oregon players hitting each other after a teammate punched a Broncos player.
Kellen Moore threw for 197 yards and a touchdown, and the 14th-ranked Broncos pushed aside No. 16 Oregon 19-8, shoving aside their biggest obstacle between them and a possible second BCS berth.
D.J. Harper scored on a 1-yard run early in the third quarter and Boise State held on for a shaky final 25 minutes of mistakes and turnovers to record their 50th straight regular-season home victory and ruin Chip Kelly’s debut as Oregon head coach.
But the lasting image from this highly anticipated kickoff to the 2009 college football season will be Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount punching Boise State’s Byron Hout (Lake City High) after the final whistle and then needing to be restrained from fans by police on the field.
As the Broncos began celebrating on their famous blue turf, Hout yelled in Blount’s face and tapped him on the shoulder pad. That drew an immediate scream from Boise State head coach Chris Petersen, but before Petersen could pull Hout away, Blount landed a right hand to the defensive end’s jaw.
Then as Blount was being pulled off the field, he had to be restrained from fans heckling him on the way to the Oregon locker room.
“You know, just emotions getting the best of players, and you know, it was a hard fought game, really proud of our defense,” Petersen said. “Typical first game, lot of sloppy football, but I thought our defense rose to the occasion and played great.”
Blount set a Ducks record with 17 rushing touchdowns last season.
(19) Utah 35, Utah State 17: At Salt Lake City, Terrance Cain passed for 286 yards and two touchdowns in his Utah debut and the Utes extended the nation’s longest winning streak by beating the Aggies.
Matt Asiata ran for a career-best 156 yards and two touchdowns as Utah won its 15th in a row.
South Carolina 7, N.C. State 3: At Raleigh, N.C., Brian Maddox had a short touchdown run while Stephen Garcia completed a key third-down pass in the final minutes to help the Gamecocks (1-0) beat the Wolfpack (0-1). Garcia threw for just 148 yards.
Bowling Green 31, Troy 14: At Bowling Green, Ohio, Tyler Sheehan threw two touchdown passes to help the Falcons (1-0) defeat the Trojans (0-1) in the season opener for both teams. Sheehan was 32 of 44 passing with one interception for Bowling Green, and Freddie Barnes caught 15 passes for 157 yards and both of Sheehan’s touchdown passes.
Indiana 19, Eastern Kentucky 13: At Bloomington, Ind., Trea Burgess ran for one touchdown, Ben Chappell threw for another and the Hoosiers (1-0) held off the Colonels (0-1) in the season opener.
Chappell, Indiana’s new starting quarterback, threw for a career-high 326 yards and finished 27 of 36 with two interceptions and one TD.
Iowa State 34, North Dakota 17: At Ames, Iowa, Austen Arnaud threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns, both to Marquis Hamilton, and the Cyclones (1-0) beat the Bison (0-1) to make coach Paul Rhoads a winner in his debut.
North Texas 20, Ball State 10: At Muncie, Ind., Riley Dodge threw for 216 yards and a touchdown to Michael Outlaw, leading the Mean Green to a victory over the Cardinals. Cam Montgomery rushed for 149 yards for North Texas.
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