MWC Game Preview: #24 Boise State vs. Fresno State

Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Boise State Broncos (4-1, 1-0) will be squaring off at home against the Fresno State Bulldogs (4-2, 2-0) in what could arguably be the toughest game of the season for either team. Both are coming off solid road wins last Saturday over good opponents: Boise State over Southern Miss, 40-14 and Fresno State over Colorado State, 28-7.

WEEK 7: Boise State Broncos vs. Fresno State Bulldogs

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 13, 1:30 PM MT

WHERE: Bronco Stadium, Boise, ID (37,000)

CONFERENCES: Mountain West Conference

WEB SITES: Boise State official | Fresno State official

2012 SEASON: Boise State, 4-1, 1-0 MWC | Fresno State, 4-2, 2-0 MWC

COACHES: Fresno State: Tim DeRuyter 4-2 at FSU (1st year),| Boise State: Chris Petersen 77-7 at BSU (7th year).

TV: NBC Sports Network.

RADIO: Boise: KBOI 670 AM, KKGL 96.9 FM. Fresno: KMJ 580 (Flagship Station), KYOS 1480, KNZR 1560, KION 1460.

SERIES RECORD: 15th meeting. Boise State leads series 10-4.

LAST MEETING: October 7, 2011, in Fresno, CA., BSU 57, FSU 7.

The Battle for the Milk Can is on the line and Boise State would like nothing better than to keep the Milk Can in their trophy case. But Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter and his high scoring offense has other plans for it. The Bulldogs are off to a good start this season with an offense now ranked as 19th in the nation. Led by QB Derek Carr, 6-3, 210 lbs, it is also ranked 14th in passing. Carr himself has thrown for 1,816 yards this season, completing 68% of his passes. Included in those stats are 18 TD’s vs 3 INTs.

Carr has a number of capable wide receivers to pitch to: Davante Adams, 6-2, 200 lbs; Isaiah Burse, 6-0, 179 lbs; and Josh Harper, 6-1, 182 lbs. But he also has one of the best running backs in the Mountain West Conference with RB Robbie Rouse, 5-7, 190 lbs. Rouse has carried the ball 132 times so far this season for 711 yards and is on course to break a thousand yards rushing before conference play is half over.

But that high powered offense has to get by the Boise State defense, now ranked 16th nationally. Last week, the Broncos allowed Southern Miss to chalk up 422 total yards, but forced 5 turnovers and kept the Golden Eagles from scoring until late in the 3d quarter. Look for much the same strategy from the Broncos this weekend in trying to keep Carr and company out of the end zone.

Boise State will also need another very good offensive effort from QB Joe Southwick, 6-1, 187 lbs, and his offense. After struggling early in the season to take over the starting position for the Broncos, he has shown steady improvement. Last week he was 18 of 27 for 195 yards with 3 TD’s and an interception. Luckily, he has a number of playmakers to give him a hand: Matt Miller, WR Kirby Moore, 6-3, 203 lbs, and Chris Potter.

But unlike the past few years, the game through the air is not all that has been winning games for the Broncos. They are balancing out their offense with a pretty decent ground game as well. Led by RB D. J. Harper, 5-9 205 lbs, they are starting to roll through D-lines with some impressive runs. Two rising stars in the backfield are showing up more and more with the pig under their arm are RB Jay Ajayi, 6-0, 222 lbs, and RB Jack Fields, 5-9, 194 lbs.

But no matter who has the ball for the Broncos expect the Bulldogs defense to be ready. Sure they are in Broncos Stadium and playing on The Blue. But they have been here before and this time they are not intimidated. They have seen Boise State struggle this year against BYU and New Mexico, while they themselves went toe to toe with #4 Oregon, and then went on to crush Colorado and Colorado State.

There is a different smell in the air this year and the ‘Dogs sense it. They also know this game could be for the Mountain West Championship. So the message is you can expect a dog fight at Bronco Stadium Saturday. It promises to be a slugfest you won’t want to miss.

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