LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 18: Air Force Quarterback Tim Jefferson Jr.hands the ball off to Ryan Southworth #40 during a game against the UNLV Rebels November 18 2010 in Las Vegas Nevada (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
The #5 ranked Boise State Broncos (6-0, 1-0) will play be playing at home this week in a homecoming game after two consecutive road trips to Fresno State and Colorado State. They take on the Air Force Falcons
(3-3, 0-2) who are coming off a loss at home last week against the San Diego State Aztecs. The stands are expected to be packed with Air Force fans from Boise's large base of retired military members and from the active duty folks at nearby Mountain Home AFB.
Both teams have a lot riding on the outcome of Saturday's action on The Blue. Boise State is one of only ten unbeaten FBS college teams left in the nation, and they have a chance again this year of going to a BCS bowl. The Falcon's, meanwhile, are seeking to keep a chance alive at sharing the MWC championship, and are also looking to cement a spot for themselves in a bowl game.
The showdown will at Bronco Stadium and gets underway this Saturday at 1:30 PM MT. For those wanting to tune in from home it will be televised on Versus.
This will be the Boise State's second conference game of the season, and it will be the toughest test yet coming out of the Mountain West Conference. Behind QB Tim Jefferson, 6-1, 205 lbs, the Falcons racked up horrific yardage against their opponents this year. Head coach Troy Calhoun has refined the triple option offense to perfection and it's no wonder his team is ranked 3rd in the nation with a rushing offense averaging a whopping 336 yards per game.
One of those rushers helping to put up those numbers is RB Asher Clark
, 5-8, 190 lbs. Although he struggled against San Diego State last week, he is still averaging 8.2 yards a carry at home, and 10.2 yards on the road. But you can bet that the Boise State defense, ranked among the best in the country, will be on top of him in an effort to shut him and the Falcon running game down.
That's why Air Force might be forced to go to the air. They are 103rd in the nation in passing. QB Jefferson has put up 854 yards and 8 TD's this season, but he has also tossed 5 INTs and been sacked 6 times. And that's not good when you consider that Boise State will be looking for turnovers and to nail him in the backfield.
Boise State QB kellen Moore, 6-1, 191 lbs, will airing out the ball as well. He has 1,729 passing yards for the season, and last week was 26 of 30 for 338 yards against Colorado state. He'll be looking to do the same against Air Force. Fortunately, he as a number of good receivers who seem to rotate as his main targets. Last week Tyler Shoemaker
, 6-1, 213 lbs, and Mitch Burroughs
, 5-9, 187 lbs, were the main receiving stars. Moore is one win shy of matching Colt McCoy
for the most victories by a quarterback in NCAA history with 45, and only needs two TDs to pass former BYU star Ty Detmer for fourth all-time with 122. He also is within 151 passing yards of moving into 10th place (12,747) all-time.
But that said, you can also look for the Broncos to have a not of running plays. Tailback Doug Martin
, 5-9, 208 lbs, had 20 carries for 200 yards and three touchdowns last week against CSU. He's averaging 5.1 yards per carry, and his per-game average (103.7 yards) ranks 27th nationally. The Broncos will want him to have plenty of field time, just to keep the ball out of the Falcon's possession if nothing else.
Boise State will be looking to keep their BCS bowl stars in line and need to win out the season to do it. They are one of only 10 undefeated teams in the nation. They would also like to keep their home record alive: the Broncos have won 64 consecutive regular-season home games since a 42-20 loss to Washington on Sept. 1, 2001, and will be going for its 35th overall consecutive victory at Bronco Stadium Saturday.
The Falcons would also like a win. Coach Calhoun knows a win over the top-ranked Broncos on the blue turf would add some serious credibility to a team that many thought might actually win the MWC championship this year. He also knows the momentum from such a win going forward would be phenomenal and keep his team focused on at least a piece of MWC title and post-season play. Can you spell AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl?
At any rate the Vegas line has the win firmly in the Bronco column and I have to agree.
My score prediction: Boise State 55 Air Force 24/strong>