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October 27, 2012

Boise State Team Report



INSIDE SLANT

Boise State has won six straight games and seems to be picking up steam.

The Broncos have shut out five straight opponents in the first half, haven't trailed in the past five-and-a-half games and have been in control throughout their past three games.

The defense has been consistent, but the offense has been getting better week to week and seems on the verge of a high-scoring performance.

The Broncos are an uncharacteristic 75th in the nation in scoring at 26.1 points per game.

"It's a little difficult, when you sit there and think about what's gone on the last four or five years," senior wide receiver Chris Potter said. "But you can see it. We all see it out there. It's one of those things where we're slowly breaking through."

The Broncos will play Saturday at Wyoming, a team in turmoil. Cowboys coach Dave Christensen is suspended for the game for his profanity-laced tirade at Air Force coach Troy Calhoun two weeks ago and can't be involved in the team's preparations.

"There are a million different things that can affect us," Wyoming senior center Nick Carlson said. "We are trying to not let this be one of them."

NOTES, QUOTES

LB J.C. Percy was named a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, a defensive award that takes into account character and off-field work. Percy leads the team with 60 tackles, 21 more than anyone else.

Boise State is tied for second in the nation with 22 takeaways. SMU leads with 25, after getting nine last week against Houston.

Series History: Boise State leads Wyoming 6-0 (last meeting, 2011, 36-14 Boise State)

Scouting The Offense: The Broncos aren't as explosive as they've been in recent years, but they're starting to show more rhythm and efficiency on offense. They have scored at least 32 points in three of the last four games and played decent offensively against a strong Fresno State defense in a 20-10 win. Quarterback Joe Southwick completes 64.8 percent of his passes and has only thrown four interceptions in his first season as a starter. Turnovers by inexperienced players have been a problem, including two last week by sophomore backup quarterback Grant Hedrick.

Scouting The Defense: The Broncos have shut out their opponent in the first half of five consecutive games. They have allowed only 19 first half points this season and 43 before the fourth quarter. The key: sound play and turnovers. The Broncos haven't allowed a touchdown of longer than 7 yards and they have forced 22 turnovers. That has covered for a rushing defense that has been about average-allowing 3.9 yards per carry.

Quote To Note: "Altitude is not an issue. It hasn't ever been an issue for us. Weather can be, but both teams have to play in it."-Boise State coach Chris Petersen, on playing at 7,200 feet and in the cold Saturday at Wyoming

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STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

This Week's Game: Boise State at Wyoming, Oct. 27-The Cowboys have lost four games by three points or fewer or in overtime this season, and they gave the Broncos some problems last year in Boise. But with head coach Dave Christensen suspended, it's unclear what kind of team the Broncos will see on Saturday.

Keys To The Game: Wyoming's defense has not played well this season-against the run or the pass. The Broncos feature a balanced attack that is improving week to week. If the weather isn't too bad, this could be a breakout game for the offense.

Players To Watch:

CB Jamar Taylor-He's building a Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year case with 39 tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and four pass breakups. Both of his sacks resulted in forced fumbles.

RB D.J. Harper-He could have a big game against Wyoming's porous defense. He has rushed for 608 yards and eight touchdowns this season. He also has 97 yards and another touchdown receiving.

DE Tyler Horn-The sophomore has stepped up lately and now ranks second on the team with 4.5 tackles for loss. He also has two sacks. He started last week in place of Demarcus Lawrence, who was suspended.

Roster Report

Starting DE Demarcus Lawrence, who was suspended last week for an unspecified team-rules violation, is eligible to play this week, coach Chris Petersen said.

WR Mitch Burroughs has a cast on his injured wrist but could return for the regular-season finale at Nevada, Petersen said. Burroughs was injured Oct. 6 at Southern Miss.

Petersen does not have timetables for the returns of tight ends Gabe Linehan and Kyle Sosnowski. Linehan has a hamstring injury and hasn't played since Sept. 29 at New Mexico. Sosnowski has not played this season.



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