Bulldog comeback falls short

November 12, 2009

by Sarah Brown

Over 23,000 fans came out Friday night at Joe Aillet Stadium. The final score, 45-35, gave Boise State another win on its undefeated season thus far.

Tech head coach Derek Dooley said Boise State was a great football team and gave a good effort to the game.

“We had a good start, and then Boise State looked like the No. 5 team in the country,” he said.
“They stayed very aggressive on the offense; it looked like the game was going to get away from us, but I was really proud of how well we did in the second half.”

The first quarter started off strong for the Bulldogs as running back Daniel Porter scored a touchdown on a 1-yard run with 8:14 left, giving the Bulldogs a 7-3 lead.

After that, the fight grew harder as Tech managed zero first downs and seven three-and-outs on the team’s final first half possessions. The Broncos scored 27 points and gained 219 yards.

Tech quarterback Ross Jenkins said it was a tough first half.
“We didn’t play very well, period; we had one good drive, but we weren’t able to convert on third downs,” Jenkins said.
“With third [and long], your chances aren’t very good.”

On Boise State’s opening drive of the third quarter, Tech cornerback Josh Victorian intercepted the ball from Bronco quarterback Kellen Moore, giving the Bulldogs an interception and a touchdown. Victorian ran the ball 75 yards before tacking on seven points to give the Bulldogs a score of 27-14.

“Throwing that interception gave them quick points,” Moore said.
“I was trying to get the ball out of bounds; obviously I didn’t get there and their guys made the play.”

Moore took complete fault for the play and said it kept the Bulldogs in the game.

“It was a stupid thing that shouldn’t have happened,” he said.
“I was trying to throw it away on my back foot, and nothing good ever happens from that for a quarterback.”

Broncos’ kicker Kyle Brotzman kicked his third field goal to up the Boise State lead 30-14. Soon afterward Tech drove 73 yards on 11 plays and scored a touchdown on Jenkins’ 9-yard run with 1:30 left in the third quarter.

Kicker Matt Nelson scored the extra point, making it 30-21 and followed it up with a recovered on-side kick on Tech’s 41-yard line.

In the top play of the night, tight end Dennis Morris made an acrobatic catch from Jenkins seven plays later, making the score 30-28.

Boise State led by only two with 14:07 left in the game.
When Brotzman went to kick his fourth field goal of the game, he missed a 31-yard attempt. This gave Tech the opportunity to score, but the Bulldogs could not overcome the Broncos’ tough defense, being forced to settle for a three-and-out.
The Bulldogs punted the ball on a fourth-and-one from the Tech 29 with 10 minutes left.

“It was a two point game and we still had [10] minutes left,” Dooley said.
“I just felt if we went for it and didn’t get it, they were in scoring position; I didn’t think it was the smart thing to do at the time.”

With 2:49 left in the game, Tech down 45-28, Myke Compton made a 1-yard run, followed by Matt Nelson’s kick to give the final score 45-35.

Jenkins said it is frustrating to work hard and come close to a victory but lose it right at the end. He said games are not based on 30 minutes, but rather 60.

“You aren’t judged by how you play the first 30 minutes,” he said.
“We knew we played as bad as we could have first half.”

He said they needed to play like they knew how and have been for the past season.

“As players, we were upset with how we were playing; we knew we had to take a deep breath, relax and play like we know how,” Jenkins said.
“That’s what we did.”

Jenkins completed 10-of-19 passes for 114 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed eight times for 19 yards and made one score.

Porter led the Bulldogs with 92 yards on 24 carries and Morris led the receivers with 78 yards and one score on five catches.
Tech senior safety Antonio Baker was unable to play the majority of the game after suffering an injury during the first possession of the game.

At 6 p.m. Saturday, the Bulldogs travel to Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge to take on No. 8 LSU at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU.