From The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, Associate College Football Editor
GAME NOTES: Owners of the longest active win streak in the nation, the third-ranked Boise State Broncos continue their annual run towards busting up the BCS as they take on the San Jose State Spartans in Western Athletic Conference play in California on Saturday.
Once again the Broncos had to give it a little extra effort this past weekend in order to impressive AP voters enough and the squad did just that with a resounding 57-14 thrashing of Toledo at home on the blue turf. The victory kept the team unbeaten on the season over five games and extended their overall win streak to 19 in a row, which is now the longest in the nation after top-ranked Alabama bowed to South Carolina over the weekend.
Boise State, which has essentially owned the WAC since joining, is again third in the AP rankings behind only Ohio State and Oregon and is also third in the first installment of the Harris Interactive poll as well.
As for the Spartans, very little has gone right for them thus far in 2010 and if not for the narrow 16-11 victory over Southern Utah in the middle of September the squad would be winless to this point for head coach Mike MacIntyre. As it stands, SJSU is a mere 1-5 and has yet to take down another member of the Football Bowl Subdivision. The team was taken apart by nationally-ranked Nevada on Saturday night in Reno, 35-13, representing the third consecutive setback for the Spartans.
"Tonight, we fought really hard," said coach MacIntyre after the setback to the Wolf Pack. "We had some other opportunities to score. It was a shame. It could have been really interesting. We were right down there (in the second half) and they made some plays. We were right there close to making some really big plays."
Unfortunately, it doesn't get any easier for San Jose State this coming weekend because the program has never beaten the Broncos, losing all 10 previous meetings. Last season on Halloween BSU tricked the Spartans into a 45-7 setback in Idaho.
"For the most part we were able to execute," said Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore of his team's quick-strike offense. "A defense can't cover everything and I think if you execute you can recognize what their coverage is, we can get some completions and move the ball down field."
It is almost embarrassing how great the Boise State offense can be, in particular Moore who is closing in on so many school passing records even though he is still just a redshirt junior. Against the Rockets Moore completed 16-of-22 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns before taking a seat. Moore now needs just one more completed pass to tie Bart Hendricks (1997-2000) for the all-time school record with 650 connections.
Moore is also now tied for second place on the program's all-time passing TD list with Hendricks as well with 78 each. Considering the signal-caller has thrown multiple TDs in every game this season and has had 18 games in his career where he has tossed three or more scores, it shouldn't take too long before he is surpassing Ryan Dinwiddie (2000-03) who holds the school record with 82 TD strikes.
Moore is not doing all the work on his own and that's what makes this offense so tough to stop. Against the Rockets, running back Jeremy Avery registered a career-high three rushing touchdowns in the first half, giving him 22 for his career. Out on the wings, speedsters like Titus Young and Austin Pettis, both of whom are now in the school's top-10 for career receiving yards, are spreading out opposing defenses so Avery and Moore can find gaps to exploit.
Last weekend the defense also had a hand in the scoring for the Broncos as Shea McClellin returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown. Having a strong defense is nothing new for Boise State as the unit ranks third in the nation in stopping the run (73.6 ypg) and second in the country overall with a mere 236.2 ypg allowed.
"I think it just goes back to preparation; watching film and knowing what we're going to do against them," McClellin noted after his squad's efforts. "In the game it comes natural if you prepare right for it."
As great as this Boise State team is on both sides of the ball, currently ranked fourth in the nation in scoring (47.4 ppg) and 11th in scoring defense (14.8 ppg), the program will continue to be hindered because they compete in a non-BCS conference no matter how lopsided scores become down the stretch.
Meanwhile, the Spartans could only wish they had an offense as potent as Boise State. To put it in perspective for the weakest scoring team in the nation (10.3 ppg) at the moment, SJSU has scored a grand total of just 62 points, which is only five more than the Broncos put up against Toledo last Saturday.
Experimenting with the pistol offense, SJSU has nowhere near the potency of the Nevada scheme right now and that was evident following the first quarter of play on Saturday night when the Wolf Pack left the Spartans in the dust. San Jose State appeared to be ready for a fight against the Pack by putting up 10 points in the first frame, but from there SJSU was held to just a single field goal in the 22-point setback.
Jordan La Secla converted just 14-of-33 passes for 145 yards and was picked off twice, while the running game tried to keep the Spartans in the loop with 178 yards and one score on 36 attempts. However, because Nevada's quick-score offense was rarely slowed, the Spartans could not rely on clawing their way back by eating up so much of the clock.
Except for the couple of times when the Wolf Pack imploded due to penalties, very little went right for SJSU as the home team rolled up not only 367 yards on the ground, but 640 yards of total offense overall.
Take away the meeting with Southern Utah when the Spartans tallied three sacks and five tackles for loss, and easily this could be one of the weakest front lines in the nation as the team currently averages a mere 1.5 sacks per game (tied for 85th in the country) and 3.8 tackles for loss (111th). Also factor in the squad's meeting with UC Davis in which they held the opposition to minimal yardage and by no means is this an FBS group that should be ranked better than 110th in the country with 442.5 ypg allowed right now.