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October 29, 2009

San Jose St.-Boise St. Preview

AP) -- Boise State is trying to go undefeated and capture a BCS berth from one of the power conferences.

Evidently a blowout win on the road didn't do enough to help its case.

After dropping in the latest BCS standings, the sixth-ranked Broncos look to continue their quest for one of the premier bowls and build on an impressive defensive performance when they host San Jose State on Saturday.

Despite crushing Hawaii 54-9 last Saturday, Boise State (7-0, 2-0 Western Athletic Conference) fell three spots to seventh in the BCS standings.

TCU moved up two spots to pass the Broncos and is now in position to be this season's BCS buster. Only one team from a non-automatic qualifying league can earn an automatic bid and it's unlikely either would be taken as an at-large selection. Boise State hasn't earned a BCS berth since defeating Oklahoma 43-42 in the Fiesta Bowl following the 2006 season.

Broncos coach Chris Petersen isn't getting caught up in all this talk and is playing down his team's slight slip in the BCS standings, saying it's way too soon to worry about their place in the computer rankings.

Petersen is more concerned with his team's play on the field, and they certainly looked sharp last weekend.

The Broncos racked up 472 yards of offense en route to their highest-scoring game of 2009 and forced a season-best six turnovers leading to 30 points.

The offensive outburst wasn't much of a surprise considering Boise State is tied for third in the Football Bowl Subdivision in scoring offense (40.4 points per game). All the takeaways were a bit unexpected, though, since the Broncos didn't have a takeaway in their two previous games.

Petersen realizes a dominating defense would be a perfect complement to their already high-powered offense.

"Tons of credit to our defense," Petersen said. "If we play that way on defense, we will be hard to stop."

Petersen has consistently said his goal is strictly winning, and that he's not concerned about margin of victory. Still, a lopsided win was welcomed by the Broncos, who won their previous two games by an average of 12.5 points after winning their first four by an average of 27.8.

"We needed a big victory for ourselves," said quarterback Kellen Moore, who threw a career-best five touchdown passes against the Warriors. "We certainly feel we didn't play up to our potential the last two weeks, and I think we can feel pretty good about our performance and get at it on both sides of the ball and we're excited about that."

Moore is the leader of the Broncos' potent offense, ranking first in passing efficiency in the FBS with a 172.1 rating to go with 21 touchdowns passes and just two interceptions.

Moore now tries to pick apart a San Jose State defense that hasn't had much luck slowing down its opponents. The Spartans (1-5, 0-2) rank 109th in the FBS in scoring defense (33.5 ppg) and 114th in total defense (457.0 yards per game).

In Boise State's 33-16 win at San Jose State last season, Moore threw for 244 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

The Broncos are 9-0 all-time against the Spartans, outscoring them by an average of 41.3 points in the last four home meetings.

This will be Boise State's first game at Bronco Stadium since beating California-Davis 34-16 on Oct. 3. The Broncos have had little trouble in Boise this decade, reeling off 52 consecutive regular-season wins there since a 41-20 loss to Washington State in the 2001 home opener.

The Spartans have lost all three road games this season, including a 56-3 loss at then-No. 4 USC on Sept. 5.

San Jose State, which has lost 12 straight against ranked opponents since a 27-24 win over No. 9 TCU on Nov. 4, 2000, hasn't played since a 41-21 loss at Fresno State on Oct. 17.

The Spartans took an early 14-7 lead on Jordan La Secla's 20-yard touchdown pass to Jalal Beauchman and Brandon Rutley's seven-yard TD run but the Bulldogs stormed back, scoring 34 straight points.

"We're 1-5 now," La Secla said. "We're going to Boise and we have to find a way to get our team ready and believe that we can win."

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