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October 25, 2010

Louisiana Tech-Boise St. Preview

(AP) -- If the first two sets of BCS standings are any indication, Boise State might need help to reach the national championship game.

The No. 2 Broncos also have to maintain their perfect record, which will face its next test when they host Louisiana Tech in the first Tuesday night game in school history.


Despite getting one needed upset during its bye week and owning the nation's longest active win streak at 20, Boise State (6-0, 2-0 WAC) had been leapfrogged in the BCS standings announced Sunday night.

Oklahoma tumbled from the top spot following a loss at Missouri, but Auburn climbed from fourth to replace the Sooners following its victory over previously-unbeaten LSU. Boise State remained in third, one spot behind Oregon and still out of a potential national title matchup.

"I think the first part of the season just sets the stage for the second part and that's what it's all about. How do you finish?" Boise State coach Chris Petersen said.

For a Broncos team that needs to overcome the negative of a softer WAC schedule, facing the Bulldogs (3-4, 2-1) may not help. Louisiana Tech has dropped eight in a row to the Broncos, including a 45-35 defeat last season.

Boise State has won its last four home matchups with Louisiana Tech by a 184-41 margin. In their final season in the WAC, the Broncos have also taken their first two conference games by a combined 107-0.

That's helped them enter this matchup leading the FBS in total defense (210.2 yards per game) and ranked second nationally in scoring defense (12.3). On the other side of the ball, they rank fourth in both points (47.5) and total yards (523.8) per game with junior quarterback Kellen Moore leading the way.

Moore, who has topped 300 yards in each of his two matchups with the Bulldogs, leads the nation with a 190.3 passer rating and has 16 TDs to one interception. He needs two more touchdown passes to match Ryan Dinwiddie's school record of 82, set from 2000-03.

Moore's top two targets, Titus Young and Austin Pettis, each finished with more than 100 yards in last season's win over Louisiana Tech, and each caught one of Moore' three TD passes in that contest.

Junior running back [b]Doug Martin[/db] is averaging a gaudy 7.4 yards per carry - a mark he could maintain against the 113th-ranked defense in FBS (448.7 total yards allowed per game).

The Bulldogs gave up 533 yards to Idaho in their last game Oct. 16 but gained 683 as they held on for a 48-35 victory, their second in a row following a four-game slide.

Three key offensive skill players had the best days of their respective careers for Louisiana Tech. Senior quarterback Ross Jenkins threw for a career-best 422 yards and three touchdowns. Lennon Creer rushed for a career-high 179 yards and two scores, and Richie Casey had his best day with nine catches for 117 yards.

"Everybody is more relaxed and has a better feel for the offense," Casey said. "We're playing like we know how. As the season goes on, you learn as you play. It's going to continue ... as long as we keep working on details."

Creer, a transfer from Tennessee, has 299 yards and four touchdowns in his last two games to help out Jenkins, who regained his starting spot from Colby Cameron during an Oct. 2 loss at Hawaii.

Jenkins threw for one touchdown and ran for another in last season's matchup with Boise, one of Louisiana Tech's 10 consecutive losses to ranked teams since beating then-No. 23 Fresno State in 2005.


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