ATLANTA - Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore showed Georgia Saturday night why he finished fourth in last year's Heisman Trophy balloting.
Despite a slow start, Moore's final numbers were nonetheless impressive as he completed 28 of 34 attempts for 261 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Broncos to their 35-21 win.
The only blemish was a second-quarter interception by Branden Smith.
Otherwise, Moore was able to sit back in the pocket and surgically carve up the Bulldogs, who didn't record a single sack the entire evening.
"They protected him well," head coach Mark Richt said of the Boise State offensive line. "We were only able to get pressure on him a couple of times, but as you pointed out - no sacks."
Cornerback Brandon Boykin was surprised his defensive mates were not able to at least rush at least some of his throws.
"Coming in I felt we could get more pressure, but for whatever reason it didn't happen like we wanted," Boykin said. "They made more plays and they did what they had to do to win."
Much of Moore's damage came on simple underneath routes and dump-offs to wide open backs and receivers over the Bulldog front seven and in front of the secondary.
Due to this success, Moore didn't even have to challenge the Georgia secondary deep as his longest pass went for just 20 yards.
"It was just a combination of play-action and great pass protection," Boykin said. "You can only cover for so long, and they did a great job of holding up our defensive line so (Moore) had more time to make some great throws."
The fact that Moore didn't waste any time letting the ball fly off his talented left arm didn't help Georgia's matter, either.
"His checks are (snapping fingers), Boykin said. "He sees a blitz and he's getting the ball out. That's why he's a Heisman Trophy candidate."
Losing starting Moe linebacker Alec Ogletree to a foot injury in the second quarter didn't help Georgia's cause, either. Ogletree never returned.
With Ogletree out, that forced true freshman Amarlo Herrera and walk-on Jeremy Sulek to receive extended playing time.
Herrera finished with two tackles, while Sulek tied for third-most on the squad with seven.
Richt wasn't sure how many, if any games, Ogletree will have to miss.
"The next guy will just have to step up," said junior linebacker Christian Robinson, who finished with a game-high 13 tackles. "We'll get back, watch the film and solve the problems we had. They'll be ready."
Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at [email protected]