For all the marbles: Nevada Preview

Believe it or not, with one game remaining in the regular season, Boise State is back in the BCS mix.

Following a wild and crazy weekend of college football which saw the seven teams ranked directly ahead of the Broncos in the BCS standings lose, Boise State (9-2, 6-1 MWC) finds themselves with a slim chance at a
BCS game.

In the most likely scenario, the Broncos will be once again on the outside looking in for the fourth time in the last five years as they will need to vault four spots up to no. 16; but as college football shows time and time again, anything can happen on any given Saturday.

The outside noise is surrounding this team once again as Head Football Coach Chris Petersen’s name is thrown around about filling coaching vacancies.  Petersen remains focused on the task at hand however, and doesn’t see it as a
distraction.

“It’s just rumors, I don’t even think half the time it’s reporters,” Petersen said. “Everybody is a reporter these days, everybody has got an opinion on a blog or something so they throw it out and ‘oh it’s going to
happen’.”

A lot is riding on the line this Saturday in Reno as the Broncos take on their bitter rivals, the University of Nevada Wolfpack (7-4, 4-3 MWC), for a share of the Mountain West title.

“We’re excited for the opportunity,” said redshirt junior quarterback Joe Southwick. “We’re preparing hard for these guys.”

The Broncos are coming off a bye week which followed an impressive 42-14 senior day victory over Colorado State in the
home finale. Nevada always poses problems for their opponents with their unique “pistol” offense, a system centered around a mobile quarterback, which has given the Broncos fits in the past. On their last trip to Reno, the Broncos BCS hopes were dashed by a furious second half comeback led by current San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.  The man with the reigns this season for the Wolfpack is sophomore Cody Fajardo, who has thrown for 2,327 yards and 17 touchdowns, and has 900 yards rushing and 10
touchdowns.

The Broncos will also have their hands full with a talented running back, in junior Stefphon Jefferson, who has accounted for 1,564 yards and 20 touchdowns on
313 carries.

“It’s not a regular offense,” said senior cornerback Jamar Taylor. “They can run the ball with the running back and the quarterback, but they still have the privilege of throwing the ball.”

Taylor, who spent his Thanksgiving break in Boise getting prepared for the game, will have his hands full again this weekend along with senior cornerback Jerrell Gavins, as the Broncos’ secondary will once again be without sophomore defensive back Lee Hightower, who remains suspended indefinitely along with freshman tight end
Hayden Plinke.

The Broncos’ defense will be pushed to the limit this week, as it is the run game they have struggled with the most this year.

“This is a great way to end this regular season for this defense,” Petersen said. “To see how they show up and to see if we can stop these guys, or slow them down, because I don’t think anyone
stops them.”

Boise State will look to capture a share of the Mountain West Conference Championship on a nationally televised stage on ABC Saturday in Reno.  Kickoff is scheduled
for 1:30 p.m.

About the author  ⁄ michaelsteen

michaelsteen

Steen has been all about sports since he could walk. Currently, he’s an avid golfer. Steen is currently the assistant sports editor for The Arbiter, and has been a sports writer since fall 2012. Steen is majoring in communication with an emphasis in media studies to work in public relations. He will graduate in December 2014. Steen feels Boise State sports have done wonders for putting Boise on the map. Steen is also a Twitter addict, so follow him on Twitter @michaelsteen2.