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October 7, 2010INSIDE SLANT
Boise State is now in can't-win mode.
The Broncos beat New Mexico State 59-0 last week and fell one spot in the polls to No. 4.
This week, they face Toledo (3-2), a team that just lost to Wyoming. Next week, it's San Jose State (1-4), a team that just lost to UC Davis. And rounding out the month, the Broncos face Louisiana Tech (1-4).
If any of those games are remotely close, the Broncos will pay the price in the polls. If they're all blowouts, the Broncos aren't likely to benefit.
That's why coach Chris Petersen has steadfastly refused to talk about the polls during his five-year tenure.
"It's not worth talking about until you get really, really late in the season when it's going to matter," Petersen said.
• Boise State is 27-0 at home under coach Chris Petersen. The Broncos have won 18 straight games overall and 29 straight regular-season games.
-The Broncos have outscored their opponents 65-7 in the first quarter this year.
• Quarterback Kellen Moore likely will hold most of the significant career school records by the end of this season. He's only a junior.
Series History: First meeting with Toledo.
Scouting The Offense: The Broncos are third in the nation in scoring (45 points per game) and fourth in total offense (527 yards per game). They've done it with tremendous balance, averaging 297.8 passing yards and 229.3 rushing yards, and a nearly mistake-free passing attack. Quarterback Kellen Moore has been sacked once and intercepted once in 114 pass plays. His completion percentage is at 66.4.
Scouting The Defense: The Broncos might have their best defense yet. They lead the nation in total defense at 223.5 yards per game and rank fifth in rushing defense at 75.8. They're in the top 11 in the nation in sacks (3.0 per game) and tackles for loss (8.3 per game), thanks largely to a dominant and deep defensive line. The only concern through three games was a lack of turnovers. They addressed that by forcing three in the first quarter at New Mexico State.
Quote To Note: "We all still feel like we need to play harder there, so that will be the focus this week."-Boise State coach Chris Petersen, on his special teams.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
This Week's GAME: Toledo at Boise State, Oct. 9-The Rockets, who are 3-0 on the road this year, likely are the best team on the Broncos' October schedule. That road mark includes a win at Purdue.
Keys To The Game: Toledo's defense excels at creating sacks and turnovers, which are rare for Boise State. This should be an interesting matchup with quarterback Kellen Moore, who might face more pressure than he's seen since the Virginia Tech game.
Players To Watch:
RB Doug Martin-He has become more of a receiving threat than expected with eight catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. Combined with his rushing, he has 528 yards on 66 touches this season, an 8.0-yard average.
DE Shea McClellin-He might be the WAC Defensive Player of the Year if the award were handed out today. He has 4.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, two fumble recoveries and a touchdown. He also tipped a pass that was intercepted.
LB Byron Hout-He has emerged as the starting middle linebacker this season, somewhat surprisingly. He's tied for fourth on the team with 16 tackles.
• The Broncos are getting healthy, with some players who have had their roles limited because of injuries now fully available. The only player not out for the year expected to miss this week's game is WR Mitch Burroughs (ankle).
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