Mathews, Miller Provide Stern Test

The key to watch Friday night is quite simple. How well Fresno State runs the ball will directly influence the outcome of the game. Fresno could use the pass early to set up the run, but in any case, if the Bulldogs cannot run the ball against Boise State, they will not win.

Boise State and Fresno State renew their great rivalry Friday night on ESPN2 in Fresno.  The two teams are currently undefeated in the Western Athletic Conference with Boise State off to a 6-1 overall start and the Bulldogs sporting a 5-2 mark.


Fresno features the 1-2 punch of running backs Ryan Mathews (5-11, 205) and Lonyae Miller.  Mathews has shot out to a 6.5 yards per carry average in gaining 596 yards and scoring nine touchdowns.  Miller (5-11, 215, So.) has 402 yards thus far to his credit and six rushing touchdowns.  Mathews' best game was against Nevada, when he racked up 171 yards and three touchdowns.  He also picked up 144 yards and two scores last week against San Jose State.  He didn't fare near as well against Oregon, with 23 yards on 14 carries.  Mathews has not caught a pass yet this season.  Miller's best game to date came against Idaho, when he ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns; he picked up 95 yards against Nevada.


Mathews success as a true freshman is not surprising.  While at West High School in Bakersfield, Mathews led the nation with 3,396 rushing yards and 44 touchdowns.  Miller ran for 287 yards last season as a freshman, and has already surpassed that total.


Together, the two will offer a stern test for the Boise State defense.  The Broncos have for years taken pride in stopping the run.  How will this year's defense be remembered?  Friday night's game in Fresno will go a long way in answering that question. 


Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Mountain time in Fresno.

Bronco Country Top Stories