Preview: Fresno State at Boise State
by CFP Staff
November 25, 2008
Fresno State has won just once in Boise - in 1984. It's nothing to be ashamed of. No one wins in Boise.
Boise State hasn't lost a home conference game since falling to Idaho in the last game of the 1998 season when the Broncos were in the Big West.
Boise State has won 37 straight home conference games and has never lost at home to a WAC team (31-0) since joining the conference in 2001. The Broncos are 52-4 overall in WAC games during their history in the league - Rice and Louisiana Tech beat them in 2001; Fresno State managed the trick in 2005; and Hawaii got them last year.
Want more streaks? Boise State has won 11 in-a-row overall, 18 consecutive home games, and 48 straight regular season home games.
The Bulldogs will try to buck history on Friday when these teams square-off for the 11th time. Boise State leads the series 6-4, but has taken 6 of the last 7.
This year, the Broncos (11-0, 7-0 WAC) are looking to cap their third unbeaten regular season in the last five years. They have already clinched their 6th WAC title, and 5th outright title.
Fresno State (7-4, 4-3 WAC) is just looking to improve its' bowl position. To that extent, the year has been disappointing to many Bulldog fans who saw preseason publications such as Athlon's, Lindy's, The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated rank them at the top of the conference. Our own preseason forecast, based on the Congrove Computer Rankings, had Fresno State ranked No. 23 but projected to finish second in the conference. It pointed to this game as the one that would determine the WAC title.
Instead, the Bulldogs stumbled to a 5-4 start before notching wins over New Mexico State and San Jose State in their last two outings.
Turnovers, run defense and the kicking game can share some blame for Fresno State's demise. The Bulldogs are last in the WAC with a minus-10 turnover ratio; three field goals were missed in a 13-10 home loss to Wisconsin, and another was missed in the overtime of a 32-29 loss at Hawaii; and the run defense ranks 102nd nationally with 192 yards allowed per game.
Fresno State is 3rd in the league in the total offense with a balanced attack that has rushed for 2,039 yards and thrown for 2,267 yards.
Boise State ranks 2nd in the WAC in total offense, and 1st in total defense. Nevada scored 34 points on Boise State last week in a 41-34 BSU win, not because the Bronco defense played poorly, but because two Nevada touchdowns came on uncharacteristic interceptions thrown by freshman QB Kellen Moore. The defense, in fact, allowed just 144 net rushing yards to the WAC's top running team.
The game will be televised Friday night at 6pm eastern on ESPN-2.