Boise State/Nevada: Game Snapshot

Boise State, who owns the nation's longest winning streak at 24 games, can clinch at least a share of its eighth WAC title in nine years with a win over Nevada today in Reno. But, don't count out a Nevada team that at 10-1 has its first 10-win season since joining the FBS in 1991.

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Friday, 10:15 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/26/10
SITE: Mackey Stadium, Reno, Nev.
SURFACE: FieldTurf
TV: ESPN
SERIES: Boise State leads 24-12 (last meeting, 2009, Boise State 44-33)
RECORDS: Boise State 10-0, 6-0; Nevada 10-1, 5-1
POLLS: Boise State (3 AP, 3 USA Today); Nevada (19 AP, 19 USA Today)
PREDICTION: Boise State 44-35


KEYS TO THE GAME:

-- For Boise State: Start strong. Boise State has used fast starts to put Nevada in a hole in recent years, and Nevada hasn't been able to overcome the deficits. The Broncos need to avoid turnovers, which is the one that has held them back at times this year is turnovers.

-- For Nevada: Be ready from the get-go. Boise State has outscored opponents 300-38 in the first half this season. Nevada has scored on its first possession in nine of 10 games this year with eight touchdowns.

SCOUTING THE TEAMS:

-- Boise State is second in the nation in scoring offense (47.9 ppg) and fourth in total offense (528.8 ypg). The Broncos have scored at least 40 points in seven straight games and at least 33 points in every game. QB Kellen Moore, a finalist for the Maxwell and O'Brien Awards, is on pace to break the national record for pass efficiency. He's at 188.84.

The Broncos lead the nation in rushing defense (72.30 ypg), sacks (3.90 per game) and tackles for loss (8.80). They are second in total defense (229.20 ypg) and scoring defense (11.50 ppg). In fact, their worst defensive ranking is in pass defense, where they are merely seventh (156.90 ypg). The defense is so balanced that 18 players have at least 20 tackles, and leading tackler J.C. Percy has 51. Twenty-four players have recorded a tackle for loss.

Nevada's prolific offense ranks in the top five nationally in rushing (fourth, 304.3 ypg), total yards (third, 537.7 ypg) and scoring (fourth, 44.1 ppg). What is really impressive is how much the passing game has improved. QB Colin Kaepernick is 15th nationally in pass efficiency and has completed 66.1 percent of his passes. Rishard Matthews leads the team with 38 receptions. He has caught at least two passes in every game this season.

First-year coordinator Andy Buh has done a nice job of getting the Nevada defense to a respectable level. The Wolf Pack ranks 21st in rushing defense (124.6 ypg), 37th in pass efficiency defense and 67th in total defense (374.5 ypg). Nevada is 38th in scoring defense (21.7 ppg). The Wolf Pack will need a great performance to keep Boise State in check. CB Isaiah Frey is tied for 11th nationally with 13 passes defended. Frey has one interception.

FAST FACTS:

Broncos: Boise State can clinch at least a share of its eighth WAC title in nine years with a win. ... Boise's winning streak is at 24 games, longest active streak in the country. ... The Broncos have scored first in all 10 of their games this season and have had double-digit leads in eight of the games before giving up a score. ... PK Kyle Brotzman was named the WAC Special Teams Player of the Week after scoring 15 points against Fresno State. He is the school and WAC all-time leading scorer. ... This is the WAC's first meeting of ranked teams since Hawaii beat Boise State for the title in 2007. ... QB Kellen Moore now is Boise State's all-time leader in passing yards. He passed Ryan Dinwiddie with 333 yards in the win over Fresno, raising his total to 9,943 for his career. Dinwiddie threw for 9,819. ... Boise's defense has forced an average of 5.50 three-and-outs a game, third nationally behind Ohio State (5.81) and TCU (6.09).

Wolf Pack: In its last three games, Nevada is plus-7 in turnover margin. The Wolf Pack has forced nine turnovers and committed two giveaways. In the right previous games, Nevada had 13 takeaways and 13 giveaways. ... Nevada earned its 500th win in program history when it beat New Mexico State. Few have been bigger than a victory over Boise State would be. Nevada (10-1) has its first 10-win season since joining the FBS in 1991. ... Though Boise State is moving to the Mountain West Conference next season and Nevada won't join the MWC until 2012, the teams will continue their series as non-conference foes next season at Bronco Stadium in Boise. ... OT Steve Haley (broken arm) returned to the starting lineup against New Mexico State. Haley started the first three games of the season before breaking his arm. Jeff Nady started the next seven games. ... OG Jordan Mudge earned his first career start against New Mexico State, replacing John Bender. It was the first change to the offensive line outside of Haley's injury all season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Broncos:

QB Kellen Moore -- In the big games, he has been at his best. He led the game-winning drive against Virginia Tech, was razor sharp against Oregon State, threw for 507 yards against Hawaii and tossed four TD passes against Fresno State.

WR Titus Young -- He has gotten almost no national attention but has climbed to eighth in receiving yards at 98.8 ypg. He had a career-high 164 yards last week and has scored a TD of at least 40 yards in three straight games.

DE Shea McClellin -- He gets a chance to state his case for WAC Defensive Player of the Year. He only has 23 tackles, but he has been part of some of the biggest plays of the season for the Broncos. He has an interception return for a touchdown, a fumble recovery for a touchdown, a tipped pass that was intercepted and a forced fumble that halted Fresno State's best scoring chance. He leads the team with 7.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss -- and he's only played about half the snaps.

Wolf Pack:

QB Colin Kaepernick -- The senior is one of 15 finalists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. He needs just 16 rushing yards to reach 1,000 for the third consecutive season. Kaepernick is already the Nevada school leader in passing and rushing touchdowns.

RB Vai Taua -- The senior leads the WAC in rushing at 124.1 ypg. Taua has 16 rushing touchdowns, tied with Kaepernick for the most in the WAC. Taua has 24 career 100-yard games, the most among active players.

DE Dontay Moch -- The senior needs 1.5 sacks to tie the WAC and school record for career sacks with 31. Jorge Cordova, who played at Nevada from 2000 to 2003, holds the current record. Moch leads the WAC in tackles for loss this season and is the career leader in that category among WAC players.

INJURY WATCH:

Broncos:
LB Byron Hout (foot, out), TE Tommy Gallarda (foot, out).

Wolf Pack:
No new injuries reported.

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