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October 18, 2008

Moore leads Boise State over Hawaii

By TODD DVORAK,
Associated Press Writer

BOISE, Idaho (AP) Boise State cornerback Brandyn Thompson can finally forget about his performance last season against Hawaii.

As a freshman, Thompson was picked apart by standout quarterback Colt Brennan in the Warriors' Western Athletic Conference title clinching victory in the regular season finale.

Thompson erased those bitter memories Friday night with three interceptions, two that led to 10 second-half points that helped the 15th-ranked Broncos to a 27-7 victory.

"I've had this game circled on my calendar," Thompson said after keying another dominating performance by the defense of Boise State (6-0, 2-0).

"Last year as a freshman, they took advantage of me. So it was nice to be able to get all of those picks. I just saw the ball today."

Thompson wasn't the only Bronco motivated by redemption. All week, Boise State players talked about returning the favor after losing in Honolulu last season, a defeat that snapped the Broncos' string of five straight WAC titles.

They got it Friday, thanks to a smothering defense that intercepted Hawaii's Inoke Funaki five times, notched seven sacks and held the Warriors (3-4, 2-2) to 288 total yards.

On the other side of the ball, Boise State was led by freshman quarterback Kellen Moore, who threw three touchdown passes. Moore, who was 25-of-33 for 256 yards, connected with eight receivers and kept the Warriors off balance all game.

The Broncos also got 111 rushing yards from its trio of rotating tailbacks.

Still, Boise State coach Chris Petersen said he is still looking for more consistency on offense.

"We are a work in progress and we will get better," said Petersen, whose team has won 17 straight home games. "This game is so much about detail. It looks simple, but there are so many things that go along with making it work."

First-year Hawaii coach Greg McMackin said he will also stress consistency when the Warriors, who have never won in Boise, start preparing for next week's game against Nevada.

The Warriors trailed 10-7 and were statistically even with Boise State at halftime.

But Funaki threw interceptions on the first two drives of the third quarter, each leading to Boise State touchdowns.

Funaki finished 17-of-34 for 188 yards, and the Warriors managed just 56 yards rushing on 35 carries.

"We were killed by turnovers," McMackin said. "BSU did a good job of slowing down the offense in the second half. Now we just have to look at the film and correct it and get better."

On Hawaii's opening possession in the third quarter, Thompson stepped in front of an errant throw by Funaki and returned it to the Warriors 46-yard line. The Broncos scored six plays later when Moore tossed a 12-yard pass to Julian Hawkins to make it 17-7.

After the kickoff, Funaki, under pressure, overthrew his target and the pass was picked off by Jerone Johnson, who returned it to the Warriors 41.

Moore wasted little time making the Warriors pay when he capped a six-play drive by throwing a 16-yard pass to Austin Pettis that put Boise State ahead 24-7.

Early in the fourth quarter, Thompson again picked off Funaki at the Warriors 31. The Broncos' offense sputtered, but Kyle Brotzman kicked a 43-yard field goal. Brotzman, who missed two field goal attempts, put Boise State on the board first by nailing a 31-yarder late in the first quarter.

Hawaii rallied in the second quarter after Boise State tight end Kyle Efaw coughed up the ball at the Warriors 46. Five plays later, Daniel Libre scored on a 3-yard run to make it 10-7.

The Warriors recovered a fumbled snap on the ensuing Bronco possession, notching their 12th takeaway in the last three games. But the drive ended when Thompson made the first of his three interceptions.


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