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UH will try to become first WAC team to win at Boise


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POSTED: Friday, October 17, 2008

BOISE, Idaho » As part of its new apparel deal, the Hawaii football program adopted the "Protect This House" slogan as part of its identity.

But no Western Athletic Conference school has put the catch phrase into practice quite like Boise State.

The Broncos established themselves as the league's standard of consistency and execution by winning at least a share of the conference title for five straight seasons until Hawaii captured the crown last year.

Along the way, Bronco Stadium has become—at least record-wise—the toughest venue in the WAC, where Boise State is 35-1 since 2003.

The Warriors (3-3, 2-1 WAC), 24-point underdogs in today's nationally televised contest, tested out the feel and the look of Boise State's trademark blue turf as they reviewed the game plan in a light walk-through yesterday afternoon.

They'll try to become the first WAC visitor to leave the stadium victorious when they face the 15th-ranked Broncos (5-0, 1-0) today.

Another color-coordinated sellout crowd (32,000) is expected to ring the blue field today. But the visuals are just part of the experience.

"It's surprisingly loud, that's what I remember from '06," said Hawaii center John Estes, who played in UH's 41-34 loss as a freshman two years ago. "The stadium's not that big, but it's pretty loud."

In other news, UH backup quarterback Brent Rausch is technically eligible for today's game, although the NCAA's reversal won't change his availablility for the Warriors.

Athletic director Jim Donovan was informed during practice that the NCAA reinstated Rausch effective immediately, deciding against penalizing him for a clerical error after initially ruling him ineligible for the Boise State game. Rausch didn't make the trip and with the Warriors already at the 64-player limit, flying him to Boise wasn't an option.

"I'm glad the right decision was ultimately made, but it's just frustrating because we're here for the student-athletes." Donovan said.

Rausch was replaced by senior Jake Santos as the Warriors' third-string quarterback.