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October 19, 2011

Air Force-Boise St. Preview

(AP) -- While talks are swirling that Boise State's stay in the Mountain West Conference will be a short one, coach Chris Petersen and his team are more concerned about contending for a national title.

The way the fifth-ranked Broncos' offense has clicked the last two weeks, there's every indication that they'll give it a good run.

Boise State goes for its 35th consecutive victory at Bronco Stadium on Saturday when it meets Air Force for the first time in its first Mountain West home game.

Despite being in their inaugural season in the Mountain West following a decade in the Western Athletic Conference, there's been rumors that the Broncos (6-0, 1-0) will be lured to a reconfigured Big East, which could soon offer a football-only invitation to them as well as Air Force (3-3, 0-2).

"We are not on any kind of urgent timetable," Boise State president Robert Kustra said. "We really enjoy where we are and it's important for us to take advantage of the rest of this season. I mean, let's face it, if we take care of the rest of this season, we're going to a postseason bowl, a BCS bowl. And that's not exactly too shabby an existence in the year 2011."

Whether the Broncos stay or go in 2012, Petersen's focus is on this season.

"The guys that are going to make the decision are going to make a great decision for Boise State," he said. "We have 100 percent confidence in that. And that's why it doesn't distract us in the slightest. We're just playing this season."

Petersen has to like what he sees after Boise State rolled up a school-record 742 yards of total offense in its Mountain West debut, a 63-13 victory at Colorado State last Saturday.

The Broncos posted a 57-7 road win over Fresno State the week prior.

"It just felt like we were executing like we do in practice," senior Kellen Moore said last Saturday after completing 26 of 30 passes - including his first 18 - for 338 yards and four touchdowns.

Moore, one shy of matching Colt McCoy for the most victories by a quarterback in NCAA history with 45, needs two TDs to pass former BYU star Ty Detmer for fourth all-time with 122. He's also 151 passing yards away from moving into 10th place (12,747) all-time.

Not only will the Falcons try to get pressure on Moore, who's been sacked just three times, they'll have to find a way to contain Doug Martin. The senior running back was named the conference offensive player of the week after rushing for a career-best 200 yards with three TDs last weekend.

Boise State has rushed for 576 yards in its past two games, two more than in the first four combined.

"I think we're just clicking as an offense ... and it's nice to have some balance between the passing and running game," Martin said. "Now it's just trying to stay consistent in every game."

Air Force is struggling to find that consistency, dropping two straight and falling to 0-2 in conference play for the first time since 1994 in the WAC.

Trying to defeat a Boise State team that's 12th in the FBS in total offense with 498.8 yards per game and that hasn't lost a conference home game since 1998 is a tall order for the Falcons, who are 103rd in the nation in total defense (434.7).

"Just great, great talent that executes too," coach Troy Calhoun said of the Broncos.

Senior quarterback Tim Jefferson has spearheaded the Falcons' third-ranked running attack (336.0), but their option offense generated a season-low 195 yards on the ground in a 41-27 loss to San Diego State on Oct. 13.

The Broncos, 29th in the nation in rush defense by allowing 112.8 yards per game, know the challenges of facing the Falcons' offense but feel well prepared to shut down another foe.

"If we play to our responsibility and do what we have to do as individual players on the defense, we'll be successful as a core," senior defensive end Tyrone Crawford said.











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