The undefeated Boise State football team needed a moment to catch its breath after last Saturday's dramatic 28-27 win over Brigham Young. But the Broncos can't relax for long, not with a challenging road test coming this week against Wyoming.
Boise State (7-0) and Wyoming (5-2) are both unbeaten in the Mountain West Conference and Saturday's game will go a long way toward determining a conference champion. For Boise, a win would put it in the conference driver's seat ahead of Wyoming and New Mexico.
Here's a look at Saturday's 5 p.m. game at Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium:
By The Numbers
Boise and Wyoming have played 10 times over the years with the same result - a Boise victory. The Broncos defeated the Cowboys convincingly each of the past five years, including last year's 34-14 win in Boise. They're favored Saturday by nearly two touchdowns and are ranked No. 13 nationally by the Associated Press. Wyoming, meanwhile, received a vote in the Amway Coaches poll - its first vote in a national poll since 2007.
While Boise is the clear favorite in Saturday's game, Wyoming figures to provide a difficult test for the Broncos. The Cowboys are led by running back Brian Hill, who has already rushed for 1,010 yards, which ranks second in the country. Hill also ranks second nationally with 302 all-purpose yards per game. He had the hot hand in Wyoming's 42-34 win over Nevada last Saturday as he rushed for a career-high 289 yards and three touchdowns.
Wyoming needs only one win to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2011.
While Wyoming got past Nevada, Boise had to hang on for dear life against BYU. The Cougars had a chance to win the game with a 44-yard field goal on the last play of the game, but Boise blocked the kick to keep their perfect record intact and their dreams of playing in a New Year's Bowl Game for the second time in three seasons alive.
The Broncos have been led this season by an explosive offense that features quarterback Brett Rypien, running back Jeremy McNichols and wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck. Rypien leads the Mountain West in passing yards, while McNichols has rushed for 915 yards through seven games. Sperbeck leads the Mountain West with 810 receiving yards and seven touchdown receptions.
One of the Broncos' weaknesses this year has been turnovers. They committed 11 turnovers - including five against BYU - while forcing only three opponent turnovers. The Broncos finished last season with 31 takeaways.