Revenge minded Cougars look for payback

AWWWRIGHT YOU SLUGS.. I'M BACK!!<br><br>Look, here's the deal. BYU is coming to Boise and they think they're gonna dance on MY Blue. Well I'm here to set some things straight!

The Big Bad Broncos own both the longest Home win streak,
and the longest Overall Win streak in D1 Football,
and have embarrassed some teams on the way to both marks..
 now the Cougars come to the Blue looking to end the Blue Dominance..

Boise State welcomes the Cougars of Brigham Young University to Boise for the first time ever on Friday evening in front of a Sold Out Bronco Stadium, and a National Audience on ESPN.  The Broncos are once again favored, this time by nearly 3 TD's, but once teams get on the field that won't matter.  Will the Broncos be able to protect their winning streak(s)? 
Teams: Boise State  (Broncos) BYU (Cougars)
Records: 3-0 (1-0 WAC) 1-2 (0-0 Mtn West)
Wins of note: Oregon State Notre Dame

Coach Bleu's 5 Keys to a Bronco Victory:

  1. Establish a Running Game... 
    --  2 weeks ago against Oregon State, the Broncos flexed their rushing muscle, rushing for 246 yards, good for a 4.7 ypc average, against what is supposed to be one of the better defenses in the Pac-10.  Last week the Broncos struggled against what was supposed to be one of the weaker programs in the WAC this year, rushing for only 175 yards for a 3.6 ypc average.  Z's passing more than made up for the shortfall in rushing, but against the Cougars, the Broncos need to control the clock and grind out some yardage on the turf, and to do that they must... 
  2. Own the LOS
    -- Boise State's Offensive and Defensive Lines won the game in Provo last year for the Broncos.  The National Media may love to harp on how our undersized Linemen play above their size, but Bronco fans know that strong, fast, smart players beat slow lumbering behemoths every time.  The Broncos must not only hold their own against BYU's much larger lines on both sides of the ball, they must dictate the play at the line.  While the Bronco's young Offensive Line has exceeded all our expectations, which were very high to begin with, the Defensive Line has been equally bright, pressuring opposing QB's and shutting down the oppositions run games.  (Oregon State was held to 58 yards rushing while UTEP managed only 56.)  It would however appear that BYU's Head Coach missed those games as he has recently stated, "I feel like we can run the ball against these guys (Broncos) if we want to."  A perplexing boast, considering that BYU averages only 30 yards on the ground.  That mentality is typical of the  mantra the Broncos have heard all to often, but one that is rarely successful.  It would seem that respect is hard to come by, even when it's a team that was methodically picked apart not even a year ago...
  3. Win the Turn-over game... 
    -- The Broncos have had waaay too many mental mistakes so far this season.  Against UTEP, the Broncos threw 2 INT's, and fumbled 4 times, losing 2 while luckily recovering 2 in the endzone for TD's.  However, against Oregon State, the Broncos had only 1 INT that was thrown very early.  The 4 TO's against UTEP kept them in the game as one fumble was returned for a TD and the others set up UTEP generally in good field position.  If the Broncos win this battle, they win the game as the only thing that has slowed the Bronco Offensive Machine this year has been turnovers.  Last year against BYU, the Broncos had 4 picks, with one returned for a TD.  This is the type of smart play that the Broncos have come to expect.. not the UTEP aberration.  That's the way it has to be for the Broncos to remain successful.

  4. Pressure, Pressure, and more Pressure!!
     -- BYU's John Beck has proven to be a reliable starter, when healthy.  He ranks 6th overall in the MWC with a QB rating of 110.5.  He has thrown only 1 TD compared to 3 INT's, all of which came against Defending National Champ USC.  The Cougars have played a very tough OOC schedule, losing to Stanford and USC, with their lone win coming against Notre Dame.  They loaded up on JC WR's in the off-season and landed 1 true star in JC Transfer, JR Todd Watkins.  Blessed with both size, (6'3) and 4.3 speed, Watkins has been the 1 consistent bright spot for the Cougars.  Watkins already has nearly 300 yards on the season and has been the focus of the Cougar passing attack.  Far from 1-dimensional, the Cougars also have Austin Collie, a possession receiver with 15 catches, and boast a potential AA at TE in Ben Coates.  Overall there are 8 Cougars with 4 receptions or more on the season. 
    What does all that mean?  Well.. the Broncos have shown that they're vulnerable to the long ball and if Beck gets time, he could have a field-day with his stable of receivers.  So, the Broncos have 2 alternatives, play the Nickel as the base, or put Beck on his Back.  Korey Hall accomplished that last year with a vicious hit that put Beck out of the game, but a repeat of that can't be relied on, so the Broncos need to step up their pass-rush on the ultra-elusive Beck. 

  5. Remember to set the VCR...
    -- The Broncos have never lost on National TV.. they need to keep that trend going, especially given that this game is not only the only game on TV.. but it's at home ON THE BLUE!! 

Coach Bleu's Player Picks:  * watch for these players on Friday
* Alex Guerrero: As the big man goes, so does the Bronco pass-rush. 
* Jared Zabransky: Hard to ignore the leader of the pack, deadly with both his arm and legs.
* Gerald Alexander: Has been hit and miss on the season, with 2 picks, but also has let his man get behind him.. MUST have a stellar game against the Cougs.
* Cam Hall: Welcome back after missing 2 games.. we need his speed, hits, and coverage ability!
* Korey Hall: Korey always seems to come up big in big games, and against BYU last year he bullied the Cougars into submission nearly single-handedly.
* Drisan James: We all know what Lawrence Bady, TJ Acree, and Derek Schouman can do, but it's Drisan who is leading the Broncos in receptions with 13.  3 of the top 4 WAC yardage receivers are Broncos as well.. (Bady, James, & Schouman.)

Thanks go out to Miss Cleo for her help in contacting the Coach!

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