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October 13, 2010

Boise St.-San Jose St. Preview

AP) -- While some challenges may lie ahead in its WAC schedule, Boise State probably won't find one at San Jose State.

It's far more likely the third-ranked Broncos leave northern California with the nation's longest active winning streak at 20.

They appear to be clicking on both sides of the ball entering Saturday's game against the overmatched Spartans, who must face a ranked opponent for the fifth time this season.

(Boise State (5-0, 1-0) has topped 50 points in three of its last four games, easily running its overall winning streak to 19 with a 57-14 non-conference win over Toledo last Saturday.

That streak, three shy of the Broncos' school record set from 2003-04, became the nation's longest current run last weekend when then-No. 1 Alabama lost at South Carolina. That result also boosted Boise State one spot in the rankings - and possibly improved the team's chances of earning a ticket to the BCS title game.

To reach that stage, the Broncos would surely have to remain undefeated and perhaps rack up some style points for voters - tasks that may be more difficult during November visits to Idaho and No. 19 Nevada.

Boise State has made things look easy lately, opening its WAC slate with a 59-0 win at New Mexico State on Oct. 2 before cruising past Toledo behind Kellen Moore's three touchdown passes and Jeremy Avery's three TD runs.

Coach Chris Petersen also drew up a trick play - something he's become known for - with a 26-yard pass from wide receiver Chris Potter to running back Doug Martin to set up a touchdown.

"We don't want to hold anything back. We want to go fast form start to finish. Some games it may not seem like that," Petersen said. "But part of that is that we want to show new stuff. We want the next team to put the film on and say, 'We have to prepare for all this stuff?'"

San Jose State (1-5, 0-1) has that task this week, but a high-profile foe is nothing new for first-year coach Mike MacIntyre. His Spartans already have faced Alabama, Wisconsin, Utah and Nevada, all of which remain in the Top 25.

The Spartans have lost all of those games - by an average of 33.3 points - but MacIntyre was encouraged after his team gained a season-high 372 yards in a 35-13 loss at then-No. 21 Nevada last Saturday. Still, San Jose State remains last in the Bowl Subdivision with 10.3 points per game.

"We keep improving. You can see it. We're a step away here, a step away there," MacIntyre said. "I think pretty soon we'll bust loose where we'll score 35 or 40 points."

That will be difficult against Boise State, which has won all 10 previous meetings with the Spartans, outscoring them 120-30 in the last three.

The Broncos are the only team in the FBS to have an offense and a defense ranked in the top five nationally. Their second-ranked defense forced five turnovers during its latest victory.

The offense, meanwhile, has looked unstoppable at times behind Moore, who has thrown 14 touchdowns and one interception.

Martin gets the bulk of Boise State's carries and has a team-leading 476 yards on the ground, but Avery - a 1,000-yard rusher as a junior last year - has stepped up with four touchdowns in his last two games.

"You never know when something is going to get thrown at you," Avery said. "You have to just keep on playing. This is a good organization, a good team, and I believe in it. ... I just have to make my opportunities count."

San Jose State showed an improved running game against Nevada, sparked by 70 yards and a touchdown on eight carries from junior Brandon Rutley.

But the Spartans continue to have problems passing, with senior Jordan La Secla going 14 of 33 for 145 yards and two interceptions. San Jose State is tied for last in the nation with three touchdown passes while throwing twice as many interceptions.


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