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September 27, 2010BOISE, Idaho (AP) Boise State's month of big games, even bigger expectations and media frenzy is over.
The No. 3 Broncos capped their perfect September on Saturday night by knocking off No. 24 Oregon State 37-24 before a national television audience.
The Broncos survived a month of hype, including the first visit from ESPN show "College GameDay."
They are 3-0 and held on to their No. 3 ranking in the AP Top 25. With two wins over ranked foes, the chatter about Boise State's national title hopes isn't likely to die down any time soon.
But there is a collective sense of relief as Boise State turns its focus to the softer side of its schedule and the dimming of the media spotlight that comes with games against New Mexico State, Toledo and San Jose State.
"I like being under the radar," said defensive end Ryan Winterswyk. "If they forget about us and don't talk about us as much, that's OK with me. It's just down to playing football now."
Winterswyk and the rest of his teammates can also expect a renewed focus this week on fundamentals.
The Beavers (1-2) took advantage of a rash of Broncos miscues on special teams and penalties that kept the game close deep into the second half.
The Broncos were penalized eight times for 58 yards. But two of those were costly personal fouls that came after the Beavers were stopped short on third downs, ultimately extending a touchdown drive that closed the Broncos lead to 24-17 early in the third quarter.
Late in the third quarter, Titus Young muffed a punt deep in Broncos territory. The Beavers recovered and cashed in two plays later to make it 31-24.
The Broncos, who usually dominate opposing special teams units, struggled to bottle up Beavers kick returners, giving Oregon State great field position on several second-half possessions.
"We'll learn," Petersen said of the miscues. "There is going to be some hard lessons learned here next week on that."
For Oregon State, Saturday's loss marks a second failed high-profile test for a team that has enjoyed its own early-season glow in the national spotlight. They lost their opener on the road against TCU, another BCS contender from conferences that don't qualify.
Despite playing Boise State close for three quarters, the Beavers struggled to get their ground game going and keep the Broncos' potent offense off the field. Running back Jacquizz Rodgers was held to 46 yards on 18 carries. Overall, the Beavers managed only 237 yards of total offense and converted just three of 13 third downs.
Boise State could get another chance at a ranked team. WAC rival Nevada was 25th in the latest poll and the two teams meet on Nov. 26
That could be Boise's next high-profile game. But Petersen insists his team won't pad stats against weaker conference foes and run up the score.
"We will never go that direction," said Petersen, whose team extended its winning streak to 16 games and 57 straight regular season wins at home. "We're not into 'is 10 enough or how many points is enough.' We're just in to 'Do we play up to our capabilities, are we getting better every week, are we supporting each other?' We're not going to play to the outside noise."