KICKOFF: Friday, 9:30 ET
SITE: Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho
SURFACE: Blue FieldTurf
SERIES: Boise State leads 8-4 (last meeting, 2009, Boise State 51-34)
RECORDS: Fresno 6-3, 4-2; Boise State 9-0, 5-0
POLLS: Boise State (3 AP, 3 USA Today)
PREDICTION: Boise State 42-14
KEYS TO THE GAME:
-- For Fresno State: Stop the momentum. Boise State has been able to go on scoring spurts, including a 28-0 first quarter last week against Idaho, in nearly every game. Fresno State has got to find a way to slow the Broncos down and make it a game into the fourth quarter.
-- For Boise State: Protect the quarterback. Fresno's Chris Carter and Logan Harrell have nine sacks each with Carter's all solo efforts. The Broncos need to stop the Bulldogs' running game, which has had success in recent outings.
SCOUTING THE TEAMS:
-- Fresno State QB Ryan Colburn has thrown 37 career touchdown passes, placing him eighth all-time in school history. He passed current Cal coach Jeff Tedford on the Bulldogs' list last week. Colburn, a two-year starter, is also 10th on the all-time passing yardage list with 4,447 yards. RB Robbie Rouse needs just 66 yards for 1,000 yards rushing on the season, which will give Fresno State a 1,000-yard rusher for the 13th time in the last 16 seasons. In all, 14 different Bulldogs have scored a touchdown this season. Just four schools have had more players score a touchdown.
DE Chris Carter has nine solo sacks for minus-50 yards, and DT Logan Harrell has seven solo sacks and four assists for minus-68 yards to lead a big-play defense for Fresno. The pair has combined for 27 tackles for loss. Fresno State is 77th nationally in scoring defense, allowing more than 28.4 ppg. The Bulldogs are 45th nationally in total defense, allowing 349.5 ypg. The key for Fresno State could be turnovers. The Bulldogs are minus-5 in turnover margin. Boise State is plus-5.
-- Boise State has scored at least 33 points in every game this season and at least 42 points in six straight games. The Broncos rank in the top 10 in the nation in every significant category except rushing, where they are 16th at 214.3 ypg. They're beating people with a traditional run game, a wildcat run game, possession throws and deep throws. And they're doing it so quickly that QB Kellen Moore usually doesn't even take a snap in the fourth quarter.
Boise State faced the No. 1 (Hawaii) and No. 4 (Idaho) passing attacks the past two weeks, and the starting quarterbacks for those teams combined for 33-of-62 passing for 245 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and 10 sacks. Combined, Bryant Moniz of Hawaii and Nate Enderle of Idaho were held 394 yards below their season averages for passing yards. The Broncos rank in the top 10 in every major defensive category, including first in tackles for loss.
Bulldogs: Fresno State has blocked five punts this season and 43 since 1997. The Bulldogs have 55 blocked kicks (punts, field goals and extra points) since 2002, the most in the nation. Rutgers is second with 47. ... Boise State and Fresno State are both in the top six in sacks. The Broncos are second with 35 sacks this season. Fresno State is sixth with 27 sacks. ... Boise State is leaving the WAC for the Mountain West Conference next season, and Fresno State will join the Broncos in the MWC in 2012. But the schools will play in 2011, having agreed to a non-conference game in Fresno on Oct. 8. ... Fresno State is the last WAC team with a win over Boise State with a 27-7 victory back in 2005 in Fresno. ... The Bulldogs have blocked 55 kicks since 2002, most in the nation over that span. ... Fresno State has three wins on the Blue Turf of Boise, but only one was over the Broncos (1984). The other two came in the Humanitarian Bowl played there (Virginia in 2004 and Georgia Tech in 2007).
Broncos: Boise State has won a school-record 23 straight games overall and can tie the school record for consecutive home wins (31) this week. ... The Broncos have scored first in all nine of their games this season and have had double-digit leads in seven of the games before their opponent has scored. ... Boise State is the only team in the country ranked in the Top 5 in both offense (fourth, 530.22 ypg) and defense (third, 240.78 ypg). The Broncos also are ranked second nationally in scoring (47.56 ppg) and scoring defense (12.78 ppg). ... Senior WR Titus Young needs just 80 yards to become the school's all-time leader in receiving yardage. ... Senior PK Kyle Brotzman became the WAC's all-time scoring leader last week, passing Hawaii's Jason Elam. Brotzman has 403 points, Elam had 395. ... RB Jeremy Avery has rushed for at least one touchdown in each of his last six games. ... The Broncos have allowed opponents only 18 red zone opportunities and have held them to just nine scores, a 50-percent success rate that leads the nation.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
RB Robbie Rouse -- The sophomore tailback has become a force in the last month. Rouse has rushed for 769 yards in the last four games. He has four straight 100-yard games and two consecutive 200-yard games. He is the first Fresno State rusher to have back-to-back 200-yard games. Rouse is second in the WAC in rushing, despite a slow start to the season when he battled shoulder and ankle injuries.
DT Logan Harrell -- The junior is tied for sixth in the country (with teammate Chris Carter) in sacks with nine. Harrell had four sacks in the season opener against Cincinnati. It will be up to Harrell and the interior of the Fresno State defensive line to stop the Boise State rushing attack.
PK Kevin Goessling -- A two-time Groza Award semifinalist, the junior could be important if the Bulldogs can keep the game close into the fourth quarter. Goessling has made 15 of 19 field-goal attempts this year and 45 of 57 in his career. Goessling is 4 of 6 on attempts from 50 or more yards.
QB Kellen Moore -- He has completed 70 percent of his passes in eight straight games. He almost never gets sacked, but could face unusual pressure from Fresno State's front four.
WR Titus Young -- He has six touchdown catches, all on deep balls. As a result, he is 14th in the nation in receiving yards at 91.6 yards per game. He's averaging 17.5 yards per catch.
RB Jeremy Avery -- Avery leads the team with 11 touchdowns despite only getting a third of the first-team carries. He's effective in the wildcat package in the red zone and also made a nice touchdown catch last week.
RG Andrew Jackson (ankle, probable), C Joe Bernardi (ankle, questionable), S Jermaine Thomas (knee, out).
LB Byron Hout (foot, out), LG Joe Kellog (leg, probable), TE Chandler Koch (undisclosed, probable)
Boise State/Fresno State: Game Snapshot
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