The question for the Georgia Bulldogs was whether last year’s losing season was a trend or an aberration. While there’s much football still to be played, they could not have liked the answers they got Saturday night.

Facing No. 5-ranked Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at the Georgia Dome in a game they hoped would return them to national relevance, the 19th-ranked Bulldogs instead were manhandled 35-21 before a partisan crowd of 73,614.

It represented the Broncos’ first win in history over an SEC team. They were 0-4 previously. But the Broncos, a former WAC member now in the Mountain West, has won their past five against BCS schools.

It was Georgia’s ninth loss in its past 11 tries against top-10 opponents.

While there certainly was no shame in losing to a team ranked among the five best teams in America, the fact that it was the Bulldogs who were coming off a losing season and have been trending downward was more problematic. It was Georgia’s 13th loss in its past 27 games under coach Mark Richt. No. 12 South Carolina, the SEC East favorite, comes to Athens next week.

In the end, Georgia just didn’t have an answer for Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore. The Heisman Trophy candidate, who is on pace to become the winningest quarterback in college football history, proved unstoppable for the last two and a half quarters of play. By the time the contest entered the fourth quarter, he had passed for 228 yards and three touchdowns with just five incompletions in 29 attempts.

It was a tight game until late in the second quarter when the Bulldogs’ mistakes finally caught up with them. An Aaron Murray interception set up Boise State at midfield and allowed Moore a chance at redemption. The Broncos scored with 48 seconds left in the half and carried a 14-7 lead into halftime.

Because Georgia had elected to receive after winning the pregame coin toss, Boise State got the ball to start the second half. And the Broncos knew what to do with it.

They came flying down the field in a hurry-up offense that left the Bulldogs huffing and puffing. Boise negotiated 76 yards in just seven plays when running back Doug Martin scored on a toss-sweep around left end. The drive consumed less than four minutes.

Georgia had a chance to answer, gaining a first down at the Boise 28 on the ensuing possession. But a false-start penalty, followed by a short run, followed by a dropped pass by Tavarres King and sack of Murray left the Bulldogs facing fourth-and-18. Then Blair Walsh’s 54-yard field-goal attempt was wide left.

A 49-yard punt return set up yet another short scoring drive for the Broncos that put them ahead 28-7 with 3:10 left in the third, and the outcome was essentially settled.

Georgia would give its fans brief hope when a penalty nullified its punt back to Boise. On fourth and two, Murray hit Orson Charles for a 36-yard touchdown that cut the Broncos’ lead in half with more than a minute left in the third quarter.

But then the game disintegrated into a scoring match and the Bulldogs were too far behind to make up enough ground.

Georgia falls to 9-2 in season openers under coach Richt. It also lost to Oklahoma State in 2009.

Georgia uncharacteristically chose to receive the opening kickoff after winning the opening coin toss and proceeded to have a horrible first possession. After Boise’s line-drive kickoff forced Brandon Boykin to take a knee for a touchback, the Bulldogs were flagged for three penalties — two false starts by tackle Justin Anderson and a delay of game on fourth down — and lost a total of 10 yards before having to punt.

Neither team registered a first down through the game’s first four possessions.

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