Broncos make Mtn West debut at Colorado State

Boise State started this season with eight bowl teams on the schedule. The Broncos already have played five of them -- and they won those five games so easily that they led each game by at least 10 points in the second half for all but one four-minute stretch against Georgia. In fact, no team has had the ball in the second half with a chance to tie the Broncos.

Boise State started this season with eight bowl teams on the schedule. The Broncos already have played five of them -- and they won those five games so easily that they led each game by at least 10 points in the second half for all but one four-minute stretch against Georgia. In fact, no team has had the ball in the second half with a chance to tie the Broncos.

Now the schedule softens, with only three of the next seven opponents coming off bowl seasons.

First up: Colorado State, which has started with a 3-2 record, but will be hard-pressed to get to six wins this season.

The game with the Rams also is the Broncos' first game in the Mountain West. They are expected to win the league this year and have dominated its members historically. Since 1996, the Broncos are 15-1 against the teams that made up the Mountain West last year.

This is the Broncos' first meeting with the Rams.

"They bring a top-five type of program, a program that has been in BCS bowls, a program that's shown they're capable of playing with anybody anywhere," Colorado State coach Steve Fairchild said. "There's no question no matter who you're talking to involved in Mountain West football, adding Boise is good for the conference."

NOTES, QUOTES
--Boise State senior quarterback Kellen Moore has been named the Mountain West offensive player of the week after three of his five games this season.
--Boise State has held at least a 20-yard advantage in field position in three straight games. The punt return unit is one of the best in the nation, with three blocks and two good returners; the kickoff coverage has been dominant and the punt team rarely allows more than a couple yards.
--Boise State's cornerbacks are the team's two top tacklers. Jamar Taylor is first with 23 tackles and Quaylon Ewing-Burton, a sophomore who has started the past two games, has 22.

SERIES HISTORY: First meeting

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: The Broncos played their best offensive game of the season last week against Fresno State, scoring 57 points and capitalizing on the field position provided by the defense and special teams. Quarterback Kellen Moore doesn't have a dominant receiver at his disposal but he has more options than defenses can track. The running game is improving, too, with tailback Doug Martin providing a "wow" run every week. The deep ball is still missing, but that's about the only thing to criticize.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: The Broncos' defense is starting to climb the national charts, moving in on the territory it occupied last year. The group is 10th in scoring (14.8 points per game), 12th in total defense (293 yards per game) and ninth in pass defense (174.4 yards per game). The defense also has helped the Broncos rank fifth in the nation in turnover margin, forcing 13 turnovers.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "That's always the same -- the high priority is to win a conference championship. That's really the best, to me, mark of your program. You can only play who's on your schedule. You can only play in the league you're in, so that's where your focus should be." -- Boise State coach Chris Petersen

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
THIS WEEK'S GAME: Boise State at Colorado State, Oct. 15 -- The Rams have played solid defense this season and will have a jacked-up home crowd for a rare visit from a Top 5 team. They likely don't have enough offense to keep up with the Broncos, though.

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Rams have been one of the nation's best at pressuring the quarterback, and they do it without a heavy dose of blitzing. If they can pressure Kellen Moore -- almost nobody does -- and drop six or seven players into coverage, they'll give the Broncos problems.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
WR Matt Miller -- The freshman already has 25 catches, tied for the team lead. He leads the team with 284 receiving yards and is tied for second with three touchdown grabs. On a team dominated by upperclassmen, he's making a major impact.
RB Doug Martin -- After a slow start, the Broncos' running game is beginning to pick up steam. He's averaging 84.4 rushing yards per game and 118.8 yards per game from scrimmage.
CB Jamar Taylor -- Taylor leads the team with 23 tackles. He also has three pass breakups and an interception and has been outstanding since making a couple of communication errors against Georgia.

ROSTER REPORT
--Senior fullback Dan Paul, who hasn't played this season because of a groin injury, will redshirt barring "a remarkable change," coach Chris Petersen said. Paul played as a true freshman.
--Cornerback Jamar Taylor (leg) is expected to play this week.
--Center Thomas Byrd (knee) remains week-to-week but is getting closer to playing. He practiced some last week.
--Wide receiver and punt returner Chris Potter is expected to return this week. He has missed two games.
-- DT Chase Baker is questionable with an undisclosed injury.
-- CB Jerrel Gavins is out for the season with a knee injury.
-- C Matt Paradis (undisclosed, probable)
-- OG Jake Broyles (Knee, out for season)
-- RB Malcolm Johnson (knee, out for season)
-- FB Chandler Koch (Undisclosed, probable)
-- CB Ebo Makinde (Undisclosed, probable)




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