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

Stadium.

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

game.

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

hard.”

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

State.

The Broncos are 10-0 against the Aggies, winning 42-7 on Dec. 5

as Martin rushed for four TDs.