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July 24, 2008

Boise State or Fresno State?

Day one of the 2008 Western Athletic Conference football preview in Salt Lake City, Utah saw the Boise State - Fresno State rivalry get a little boost when both teams were picked to finish first. Fresno State in the coaches poll and Boise State in the media poll. Nevada was picked third in both polls.

Fresno State finished last season with a 9-4 record and was third in the WAC with a 6-2 mark while Boise State finished last season with a 10-3 record and a second place WAC finish with a 7-1 conference record.

Coaches' Poll
Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Fresno State (7) 63
2. Boise State (2) 57
3. Nevada 43
4. Hawai'i 41
5. Louisiana Tech 33
San Jose State 33
7. New Mexico State 26
8. Idaho 15
9. Utah State 13

Media Poll
Rank Team (1st place votes) Points
1. Boise State (25) 383
2. Fresno State (20) 379
3. Nevada 296
4. Hawai'i 243
5. Louisiana Tech 209
6. San Jose State 183
7. New Mexico State 167
8. Idaho 87
9. Utah State 78

The media also voted on preseason players of the year. Boise State running back Ian Johnson was voted the Offensive Player of the Year, while Hawai'i linebacker Solomon Elimimian was picked as the Defensive Player of the Year.

Johnson, a senior from San Dimas, Calif. (Damien HS), is the top returning running back in the country with 3,417 career rushing yards and 46 touchdowns scored. He ran for 1,041 yards and 16 touchdowns last year after a sophomore season with 1,714 yards and 25 scores. Johnson's 45 career rushing touchdowns are just 12 shy of tying the WAC all-time record of 57 set by Marshall Faulk (San Diego State, 1991-93).
Elimimian, a senior from Los Angeles, Calif. (Crenshaw HS), was a first-team all-WAC performer last year after leading the Warriors in tackles with 141, including 12 for a loss. His 313 career tackles are the seventh most in WAC history and 130 shy of tying the all-time mark of 443 set by Robert Rodriguez (UTEP, 2001-04). Elimimian is also a two-time academic all-WAC honored

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