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September 4, 2009
Ducks dumped by Boise State 19-8
LeGarrette Blount talked before the game about keeping emotions in check. Then he lost his own cool after No. 14 Boise State pushed around its big-conference neighbors.BOISE, Idaho (AP) Oregon running back
Kellen Moore threw for 197 yards and a touchdown and the biggest home game in Boise State history became a four-quarter bullying of the No. 16 Ducks, 19-8 on Thursday night, clearing the biggest apparent obstacle between them and a possible second BCS bowl.
D.J. Harper added a 1-yard scoring run for Boise State, but the impressive effort by the Broncos was overshadowed in the postgame scrum when Blount punched Boise State's Byron Hout and was then restrained from fans by police on the field.
"I just apologize to anyone watching that," Blount said. "I just apologize to all of our fans and all of Boise's fans. That's something I shouldn't have done. I lost my head."
Rumors even swirled afterward the Blount would be arrested, but Oregon spokesman Dave Williford said that talk was "absolutely false."
"Our position is that we have full confidence in the NCAA that they're going to address that. As far as from a criminal standpoint there's nothing that I'm aware of that we're doing," Lt. Bryan Hagler of the Boise Police Department told The Associated Press.
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.
"I couldn't have envisioned anything worse than this right here," said Blount, who set a Ducks record with 17 rushing touchdowns last season.
"I tell you what, that will never happen again," Blount continued. "I will never lose my head again. ... I should have handled that situation a lot better than I did."
Oregon coach Chip Kelly said he would review the game film before making a decision on Blount's future.
"I did not see anything. I will see it on tape and make a decision on what we need to do with him," Kelly said. "There is no place for that. I do not condone that. I will make that decision if that is the case."
Petersen didn't want to comment on what happened.
"It's just unfortunate," he said.
Blount's actions took away from a night that, for 2 1/2 quarters, was a celebration of all things blue and orange before the nervous final stretch as a Ducks offense that was stuck in neutral most of the night finally gained some traction.
But Boise State's defense answered every Oregon charge and knocked off the Ducks for the second consecutive season after last year's contentious matchup in Eugene.
"Hats off to our defense tonight. They made a ton of plays," Moore said.
Nearly every available space inside Bronco Stadium was crammed with fans desperate to see this border-state battle, one that everyone expected to turn into a high-scoring shootout.
If not for two missed field goals, a botched field-goal snap and three turnovers, it very well might have been a high-scoring rout for the Broncos.
They outgained Oregon 361 to 152, rolling up 22 first downs to the Ducks' six. The struggles of Kelly's offense were stunning, considering Oregon scored a combined 162 points in its final three games of 2008 and brought quarterback Jeremiah Masoli back to run the show.
The total yards were the fewest for Oregon in nearly 15 years.
"Boise State really moved the ball, we let them have the ball pretty much the whole game, it seemed like," Oregon defensive back Walter Thurmond III said.
But Masoli's passing was off and the Ducks could not get the bruising Blount started. He carried only eight times and finished with minus-5 yards rushing, part of a miserable night for the Ducks.
"We didn't execute our gameplan. We didn't play Oregon football," Blount said. "Defense played tremendous. They gave us the ball a number of times and we didn't do anything with it. I didn't see this coming at all. Everything at practice was going well."
And Masoli's main passing target, Ed Dickson, might as well have not been on the field. He wasn't thrown to in the first half and finished with just two catches for 19 yards. His first grab, with 7:07 left in the third quarter, finally got the Ducks their initial first down.
Masoli finished 14 of 27 for 121 yards and an interception.
"It's frustrating whenever you don't get a first down," Kelly said.
The Broncos had no problem marching. Moore hit 14 of 20 throws in the first half and finished 19 of 29. He was also given plenty of time in the pocket behind a young offensive line that, for one night, answered the biggest question about the Broncos in the offseason.
Moore connected with Austin Pettis for a 10-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter and the two-point conversion put Boise State up 8-0. Blount was later pulled down in the end zone by Billy Winn for a safety.
The Broncos' line also opened holes for Harper and Jeremy Avery. The pair combined for 162 yards rushing.
"They came out talking a little bit thinking they owed us something, and we just came out and played our game," Harper said.