Boise St.-New Mexico St. Preview
Boise State did everything asked of it in navigating a tough
non-conference schedule. Now the Broncos have to do what everyone
expects of them – roll through the Western Athletic Conference.
They will look to start doing so Saturday night against
overmatched New Mexico State, loser of 10 straight, at Aggie
Boise State (3-0), winner of 17 in a row, is trying to claim an
at-large BCS berth for a second straight year – and this time, the
Broncos are looking to end up in the national championship
Armed with a high preseason ranking, Boise State has justified
its No. 3 spot by flying across the country to defeat Virginia Tech
– ranked 10th in the preseason Top 25 – before winning at Wyoming
and then at home over then-No. 24 Oregon State.
Coach Chris Petersen’s team beat the Beavers 37-24 last Saturday
as Kellen Moore threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns. Doug
Martin added 138 rushing yards for the Broncos, who won despite
poor special teams play and eight penalties that kept Oregon State
in the game.
Despite those miscues, Petersen has no desire to change his
team’s approach heading into WAC play.
“We’re going to continue to play hard and aggressive,” he said.
“We’re going to continue to try and play smarter. It’s very
frustrating as a coach when you see the mental-type errors that
cause you setbacks.
“But some things are going to happen when you play that
For the Broncos, there is a sense of relief over returning to
the routine of conference play after an emotionally draining first
month with so much at stake.
“I like being under the radar,” defensive end Ryan Winterswyk
said. “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.”
Boise State may not be able to maintain a low profile much
longer, given its gaudy statistics on both sides of the ball. The
Broncos are 10th in the FBS at 500.0 yards of offense per game and
13th at 40.3 points a contest.
Moore has so far had a successful follow up to his stellar 2009
season, throwing for 873 yards and eight touchdowns with one
interception. Wideouts Titus Young and Austin Pettis have caught
six of those scoring passes, and the two players have combined for
28 receptions and 553 yards.
Martin has powered the ground game with 6.8 yards per carry in
rushing for 326.
Defensively, Boise State is second nationally against the run at
61.7 yards per game and third in total defense at 228.7.
The Broncos don’t figure to face much resistance from New Mexico
State (0-3), which has allowed at least 41 points in all three
games. The Aggies lost 42-16 at Kansas last Saturday, giving up 28
consecutive points after Seth Smith’s second-quarter touchdown tied
the game at 7.
One bright spot for second-year coach DeWayne Walker has been
the play of junior wide receiver Taveon Rogers. He had two kickoff
returns of longer than 50 yards versus the Jayhawks and set a
single-game school record with 219 yards on six overall.
“It’s a matter of Taveon and our kick return unit executing what
we want,” Walker said. “Hopefully we can get more out of him.”
New Mexico State’s last victory came Oct. 10 over Utah
The Broncos are 10-0 against the Aggies, winning 42-7 on Dec. 5
as Martin rushed for four TDs.