(21) Boise State (6-1) at Wyoming (1-6)|
Saturday, October 27, 3:30 p.m. (et)
From The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, Associate College Football Editor
GAME NOTES: Two teams at opposite ends of the Mountain West Conference
standings get together in Laramie this weekend, as the Wyoming Cowboys try to
keep up with the 21st-ranked Boise State Broncos at War Memorial Stadium.
The Broncos, who used to be in the Western Athletic Conference before making
the switch to the MWC last season and are scheduled to make the leap to the
Big East beginning next year, are not only moving up slowly in the AP Poll but
they are also 21st in the current BCS standings, which means they own the
longest run in the nation in the BCS at 39 consecutive weeks.
Last weekend, Boise State ran its win streak to six in a row, since bowing to
Michigan State in the season opener (17-13), by streaking past UNLV in a 32-7
decision at home. The Broncos have not lost a game during October in more than
a decade, winning 47 straight contests in the month. Just as impressive, the
team has won 32 straight home dates during October stretching back to 1998
when the squad was clipped by North Texas, 21-13.
In addition, the Broncos have not trailed since overtaking Miami-Ohio in the
second quarter back in the second game of the season, a span of more than 331
As for the Cowboys, they certainly expected some big things in 2012 after
making it to the postseason a year ago, but the results have been hard to
swallow thus far. Aside from a 40-37 overtime win against Idaho on the road
last month, the Pokes have had little to celebrate. In fact, Wyoming has now
lost three straight thanks to a 42-14 defeat at the hands of Fresno State on
the road last weekend. While BSU is undefeated in three conference games thus
far, the Cowboys have come up winless in their three league outings.
Wyoming is still winless in six tries versus BSU, having lost to the Broncos
last season in a 36-14 final in Idaho when BSU was ranked in the top-10.
Against the Rebels last week, Boise State didn't allow an offensive touchdown
by the visitors and it wasn't until the fourth quarter that Kenneth Penny was
able to return a fumble 30 yards for a UNLV defensive score. Instead, BSU
limited the Rebels to a mere 210 yards of total offense and forced three
"They're playing great," Boise State head coach Chris Petersen said of his
defense against the Rebels. "We've got some good players out there, and I
really think the seniors that are out there have taken that next step that we
continually talk about. I think that they're being coached really well...it's
a lot of different guys, and that's how you play good defense."
D.J. Harper claimed the spotlight on offense for the Broncos as he scored
twice on the ground, while quarterback Joe Southwick kept drives alive by
converting 22-of-30 passes for 243 yards. The team generated close to 400
yards on offense and was able to cruise in the second half for the most part.
Even Southwick sees that the defense for the Broncos is playing big for the
team right now and that takes some of the pressure off of him and the rest of
"They're doing a good job. It's fun to watch. I'm loving their effort. They're
doing a good job at getting the ball back for us and getting us good field
Stopping the pass has been the hallmark of the Broncos to this point in 2012,
holding opponents to just 158.7 ypg which is easily the best mark in the
conference and eighth in the country. All of that hard hitting, along with a
conservative offense, has resulted in a turnover margin of plus-1.57 per game
for the Broncos which is ninth-best in the nation.
By all accounts, Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith is capable of putting up
decent passing numbers, throwing for a combined 709 yards and seven touchdowns
in two games this season against the likes of Toledo and Idaho, but the
sophomore isn't exactly geared to take his time against a staunch defense like
Last week, Smith returned to action and threw for 158 yards and two touchdowns
against Fresno State, but that was only after the Bulldogs built a substantial
lead at home and eventually cruised to an easy win. Converting just 2-of-18 on
third down, the Cowboys were limited to just 243 yards of total offense.
Since scoring 40 points in their lone win against the Vandals last month the
Cowboys have progressively gotten worse in the scoring department and now the
team is averaging 25.6 ppg, which is seventh in the conference and 79th
The defense for the Pokes has given up no less than 24 points in any game and
with 33.9 ppg surrendered on the average the team gives itself little chance
of keeping up with the competition. On a positive note, the unit has limited
opponents to 78 percent scoring in the red zone and of those 32 trips inside
the 20-yard line, foes have earned touchdowns only 66 percent of the time, so
maybe all is not lost for the Cowboys.
Southwick has had a tough time filling the huge shoes left by Kellen Moore in
Boise, but as long as he keeps from making mistakes and lets the BSU defense
take control of games, a meeting like this against the Cowboys should be an
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 37, Wyoming 6
10/24 11:47:40 ET