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Brotzman target of nasty barbs

| November 30, 2010 8:00 PM

BOISE (AP) - Dealing with missing two field goals in Boise State's loss to Nevada is difficult enough. Now Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman is having to endure an endless stream of taunts and barbs on social networking sites.

The senior kicker and leading scorer in school history missed a game-winner from 26 yards with 2 seconds left in regulation then minutes later misfired again from 29 yards out in overtime in the Broncos' 34-31 loss Friday against Nevada.

The loss spoiled the ninth-ranked Broncos' unbeaten season and even bigger hopes of playing in a BCS bowl or possibly even for the national title.

It didn't take long for angry fans to unleash their frustration on Brotzman, who grew up in the Boise area.

Within hours, the Ada County Sheriff's Department got a report about callers leaving obnoxious, harassing telephone messages with a woman thought to be related to Brotzman.

Then dozens of Facebook pages emerged, some filled with ugly name-calling, jabs and taunts aimed at Brotzman. Supporters responded just as quickly, starting "Bronco Nation Loves Kyle Brotzman" or "We Still Love Kyle Brotzman" pages and posting hundreds of messages of support for the beleaguered kicker. As of Monday afternoon, more than 21,600 people had clicked on the Like button for those pages.

One thing is certain: It was a rare moment of futility for Brotzman

During his career, the Lou Groza semifinalist has banged the ball through the uprights more than any other kicker in conference history, surpassing former Hawaii kicker Jason Elam three weeks ago to become the WAC's all-time leading scorer.

His 425 career points make him the leader for scoring among active players in major college football and at one stretch the former walk-on nailed 118 straight extra points.

And how can any Bronco fan forget Brotzman's perfect 30-yard pass to Kyle Efaw on a fake punt that set up the game-winning touchdown in last season's Fiesta Bowl victory over TCU?

"From what I have seen and what little I've heard, I think the fans have been great," Petersen said. "You're always going to have the other side, the other third, that can't do it the way you'd like them to. I don't know if those are BSU fans to tell you the truth."

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