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StarBulletin.com

Boise focused on WAC, not BCS


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POSTED: Saturday, October 24, 2009

Boise State head coach Chris Petersen has grown quite adept at keeping blinders on the Broncos.

But with talk of the team's ranking and postseason prospects increasing in volume with each week, he might need to invest in earplugs as well.

“;I don't know if there's any easy way around it, because it's really not important to us right now,”; Petersen said of Boise State's aspirations of breaking into the Bowl Championship Series. “;We just have so much football left to play, yet there's a lot of chatter out there that I know the kids hear. After a while it can affect you and wear on you. But we're doing our best just to focus on not those type of things.

“;We just always try to focus on ourselves. Just figure out 'how do we play better,' and 'how do we play harder,' and then we just let the chips fall.”;

The Broncos (6-0, 1-0 Western Athletic Conference) arrive at Aloha Stadium today ranked sixth in the Associated Press poll and, more significantly, fourth in the BCS standings, putting them in position for a lucrative postseason bowl game if they can successfully navigate through seven straight Western Athletic Conference games.

That stretch begins with a matchup with Hawaii (2-4, 0-3), the only WAC team to beat Boise State since 2006.

               

     

 

BOISE STATE (6-0, 1-0 WAC) AT HAWAII (2-4, 0-3)

        When: Today, 5:05 p.m.
       

Where: Aloha Stadium

       

TV: PPV, Dig. 255

       

Radio: KKEA, 1420-AM

       

Line: Boise State by 25

       

 

       

Where the WAC championship was at stake when the Broncos visited in 2007, the Warriors will have to settle for the role of potential spoiler in Boise State's BCS plans. Although a payoff in January can be tough to ignore, the Warriors don't expect the Broncos to break from their trademark on-field discipline.

“;That's how they always beat everybody, because they never beat themselves and they do their jobs every play,”; said Hawaii center John Estes, the lone Warriors starter remaining from UH's 2007 title-clinching win.

While Boise State is aiming for its seventh WAC championship in eight years as well as the BCS berth, the Warriors' motivation flows from the angst of a four-game losing streak, the program's longest since 2000.

“;We've still got a lot to play for too, just playing for the state,”; cornerback Jeramy Bryant said.

Although the Broncos have just one senior among their defensive starters—All-WAC cornerback Kyle Wilson—they remain the stingiest unit in the conference, leading the WAC in total and scoring defense.

Hawaii moved the ball effectively last week, though the Warriors again sputtered inside the 20 in a loss at Idaho. But just getting into the red zone represents something of an accomplishment against a Boise State defense that has allowed only eight such drives, giving up six scores.

“;By far one of the best defenses I've seen,”; UH offensive coordinator Ron Lee said. “;I haven't seen a Boise defense that's as sound as this one.”;

The Broncos' ability to create pressure with the front four powered them to a 27-7 win over the Warriors last year in Boise, Idaho. They recorded seven sacks and the line's effectiveness allowed the linebackers and secondary to tighten the passing windows and a harried Inoke Funaki threw five interceptions.

For the Warriors to keep pace with the Broncos, they'll have to first shield quarterback Bryant Moniz from a defensive front led by end Ryan Winterswyk, the WAC's co-leader in sacks with five.

“;They all have motors, they just don't stop,”; Estes said. “;That's how you should play football, but they do a really good job of not quitting on any plays.”;

Keeping Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore—the nation's most efficient passer—from getting comfortable in the pocket will be a priority for the Warriors defense as well, though solving their issues against the run may be the more pressing matter.

Hawaii ranks 109th in the country in rushing defense and has surrendered a league-high 17 touchdowns on the ground. Boise State running back Jeremy Avery averages nearly 6 yards per carry, and the Broncos, the WAC's highest-scoring offense at 38.2 points per game, can create breakdowns before the snap.

“;You have to really be disciplined when you play them, because they do so many things and give you so many looks,”; UH head coach Greg McMackin said. “;They're trying to mess with your force and your techniques and they do a good job of it. ... They're always on the move, shifts, motion, all that type of thing.”;

Few have matched the Broncos' precision and discipline in building that other “;D”; word. And while Boise State's WAC dynasty can be daunting to some, the mystique can also add to the game's allure.

“;We're always up for a challenge—that's what we like,”; Moniz said. “;I think challenges bring the best out of us. They're going to come in here and try to smack us in the mouth and we have to return the bite.”;

 

PROBABLE STARTERS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
BOISE STATE
Offense
Z2Austin Pettis6-3201 
X4Titus Young5-11170
H89Tyler Shoemaker6-1207
LT73Nate Potter6-6293
LG59Will Lawrence6-2293
C66Thomas Byrd5-11284
RG62Kevin Sapien6-4286
RT57Garrett Pendergast6-4271
TE85Tommy Gallarda6-5249
QB11Kellen Moore6-0187
RB27Jeremy Avery5-9173
FB40Richie Brockel6-2240
Defense
E98Ryan Winterswyk6-4263 
T90Billy Winn6-4288
N97Chase Baker6-1296 
SE92Shea McClellin6-3262 
MIKE45Daron Mackey5-11233
WILL36Aaron Tevis6-3228
or48J.C. Percy6-0214
S23Jeron Johnson5-11194
S8George Iloka6-3207 
N17Winston Venable5-11223 
CB1Kyle Wilson5-10186
CB13Brandyn Thompson5-10180
Specialists
PK35Kyle Brotzman5-10201
Punt35Kyle Brotzman5-10201
LS44Chris Roberson6-0222
Hold2Austin Pettis6-3201
PR1Kyle Wilson5-10186
KR4Titus Young5-11170
 22Doug Martin5-9201
HAWAII
Offense
Z7Jovonte Taylor5-9170
Y2Jon Medeiros5-9185
LT77Aaron Kia6-5290
LG64Ray Hisatake6-3315
C55John Estes6-3300
RG74Raphael Ieru6-2315
RT66Adrian Thomas6-6310
or51Austin Hansen6-4285
H1Greg Salas6-2200
X21Kealoha Pilares5-11200
QB17Bryant Moniz6-0190
RB23Leon Wright-Jackson6-1215
Defense
DE98Liko Satele6-2260
DT92Rocky Savaiigaea6-2305
DT49Tuika Tufaga6-2285
DE58Fetaiagogo Fonoti6-2255
SLB59R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane5-11225
MLB5Jake Heun6-0240
BLB53Blaze Soares6-1245
CB2Lametrius Davis6-0190
or4Tank Hopkins5-9165
SAM9Spencer Smith5-11205
FS19Richard Torres5-8175
CB18Jeramy Bryant5-10180
Specialists
PK20Scott Enos5-9180
P31Alex Dunnachie6-3235
Snap45Luke Ingram6-5210
Hold11Inoke Funaki5-11205
KR7Jovonte Taylor5-9170
PR1Greg Salas6-2200