Boise State Defense Off to Torrid Start

Following Boise State's 27-7 win over Hawai'i last Friday, the performance by the Bronco defense begged the question--"When is the last time a Boise State team held opponents to 7 or fewer points in 5 of 6 games?

With Boise State's 27-7 victory over Hawai'i last Friday night, the Bronco defense marked the fifth time of allowing seven or fewer points in six games.  Boise State allowed 7 in the season opener against Idaho State, 7 against Bowling Green, 3 against Louisiana Tech, 7 against Southern Mississippi and the 7 allowed the high-powered Hawai'i offense.


How far do you have to go back in Bronco history to find a defense so successful in keeping opponents away from the end zone?   


There were four times in 2002-03 when the Bronco defense held opponents to 10 points or less in five of six games.  Starting with the Fresno State game, they held Fresno to 21, then held San Jose State to 8, UTEP to 3, Rice to 7, Louisiana Tech to 10 and Nevada to 7.

Eliminating the
Fresno game, the five-game streak of holding opponents to 10 or less ended when they allowed Iowa State 16 points in the Humanitarian Bowl.  Even including the Iowa State game, the five for six streak of holding opponents to 10 or less continued two games into the 2003 season when they held Idaho State scoreless and Idaho to 10 points.

The best they could do, however, was hold opponents to 7 or less in four of five games.  (
San Jose State, UTEP, Rice, Louisiana Tech and Nevada).

In 1979-80 (their best two-year streak in I-AA), they went six games in which they held opponents to 7 or fewer in four of that games.  But not five.

Here is that remarkable streak:

Shut out Idaho State 44-0
Beat Weber State 23-7
Beat Northern Arizona 44-7
Beat Nevada 28-27
Beat Cal Poly 56-14

Beat Utah 28-7

In 1978 & 1979, they also did it.

Lost to Cal Poly 7-3

Lost to Long Beach State 9-7
Beat Cal State-Fullerton 22-3
Beat Akron 31-21
Shut out Montana State 14-0

and allowed 31 to NAU and 35 to Montana on either end.  Again, that's only four out of six but not five.  Plus they lost two games in that streak.


Back to 1973 now when Boise State was a Division II national semifinalist.

Beat Portland State 64-7
Beat Weber State 34-7
Lost to UNLV 24-19
Beat Northern Arizona 21-6
Beat Montana 55-7

With 17 given up to Montana State and 23 to Nevada on either end.  Yet once again, only four out of six but not five.


O.K., you have to go all the way back to Boise State's first years as a four-year school--1968, 1969 and 1970 to find the last time a Bronco defense went through a six-game stretch in which they allowed 7 or fewer points in five of those games.

Beat Western State 41-0
Beat Central Washington 61-7
Beat College of Idaho 16-7

Beat Central Washington 37-7
Beat Whitworth 66-7
Beat Cal Poly-SLO 17-7 (for six straight)
Lost to Northern Colorado 16-10 (but still 5 out of 6)
Beat Eastern Washington 45-7 (5 out of 6)
Beat Southern Oregon 62-0 (5 out of 6)
Beat Hiram Scott 51-7 ( for 5 out of 6)
Beat Western State 23-20 (5 out of 6)

and in 1970:
Beat Southern Oregon 57-0
Beat Eastern Washington 12-0
Beat Idaho State 24-3
Lost to Hiram Scott 7-3
Lost to Weber State 41-7
Beat College of Idaho 41-7 (for 5 out of 6)

Obviously, though, the high level of competition that Boise State has played during the 2008 stretch has to qualify this period as the greatest ever for Bronco defense.  Can they continue their torrid streak?  They'll have to do it on the road, as
Boise State plays four of its next five games away from home.


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