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Published: Sunday, 10/10/2010

Beckman sticks with his original QB choice

BY ZACH SILKA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOISE - Five days of competition still produced the same starting quarterback for the University of Toledo.

Sophomore Austin Dantin took the first snap against Boise State Saturday night after being benched late in the third quarter of last week's loss to Wyoming.

Coach Tim Beckman said last Monday that Dantin and redshirt freshman challenger Terrance Owens would compete in practice for the starting nod against the Broncos, with the starter being named Thursday.

Dantin scored on a 4-yard run on his second series, then gave way to Owens for UT's third possession, as planned by Beckman before the game. Owens fumbled on his first series, which led to Jeremy Avery's 12-yard touchdown to put Boise ahead 22-7 with 14:29 left in the second quarter.

Dantin re-entered with 12:06 left in the first half after the Rockets couldn't get anything going on Owens' second series, which ended with a punt. UT ended up keeping the ball after Boise State was penalized for roughing redshirt freshman punter Vince Penza.

Picking up right where he left off, Dantin guided UT deep into Boise territory before his pass to Kenny Stafford near the right sideline went through his hands and into the arms of Bronco cornerback Brandyn Thompson, who made the catch at his own 16 yard-line.

Dantin stayed in for the remainder of the first half, completing 11 of 15 passes (73 percent) for 134 yards. Owens, playing in the first road game of his career, was 4-of-7 passing (57 percent) for 28 yards on his two series in the first half.

JOHNSON TRAVELS: Senior defensive end Alex Johnson was one of the 65 players on UT's travel roster, despite being sidelined with a facial fracture.

Beckman has praised Johnson for his leadership, even while injured, and apparently saw more value in that than in a player who could contribute on the field.

Johnson was hurt in the fourth quarter at Western Michigan on Sept. 18, and Beckman said then that he would miss at least four weeks, meaning Johnson could possibly return for Saturday's home game against Kent State.

NEW KICKER: Andrew Elchert, a freshman walk-on from Cardinal Stritch, handled the kickoff duties for the Rockets.

Elchert was cleared to play before last week's game against Wyoming, but junior kicker/punter Bill Claus handled the kickoffs and field goals/extra points. Claus served as the placekicker again last night. Elchert averaged 64 yards on his two kickoffs in the first half.

FLUELLEN HURT: Freshman running back David Fluellen suffered an apparent left leg injury late in the first quarter while being tackled by Boise safety Jeron Johnson on a 7-yard pass from Dantin.

Fluellen was later seen using crutches to get around and sat out the remainder of the first half.

BOISE STREAK: With Alabama's 35-21 loss to South Carolina earlier Saturday, Boise State now holds the nation's longest active winning streak at 19 straight victories.

The last time the Broncos lost was at the end of the 2008 season to Texas Christian in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.

Boise State also picked up its 30th consecutive regular-season victory, with its last defeat coming in 2007 to Hawaii.

GAME CAPTAINS: Serving as captains last night for the Rockets were senior linebacker Archie Donald, junior wide receiver Tim Cortazzo, junior safety Mark Singer, and junior running back Adonis Thomas.

UT names its team captains on a game-by-game basis to reward hard work and dedication in the previous week of practice.



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