News Ticker

Boise State stays focused

ˇThree games into the new college football season and the never-ending speculations that surround every other year have already begun in Boise.

For the 2006 Bronco football team, it is postseason bowl talk that can’t be left alone for more than a day. Whether it’s the media or BSU fans making the push, reaching a Bowl Championship Series bowl game at season’s end seems to be the only destination that will be acceptable for the big blue this year.

ˇThree games into the new college football season and the never-ending speculations that surround every other year have already begun in Boise.

For the 2006 Bronco football team, it is postseason bowl talk that can’t be left alone for more than a day. Whether it’s the media or BSU fans making the push, reaching a Bowl Championship Series bowl game at season’s end seems to be the only destination that will be acceptable for the big blue this year.

The Broncos improved to 3-0 with a win at the University of Wyoming on Saturday. Immediately after the game it was already time for questions about the BCS picture and players’ thoughts on what they needed to do to show the country they belong. After a blowout against Oregon State, people asked if BSU had earned any respect, while after a close one like Wyoming, people wondered if the win will give fuel to the critics who say Boise State can’t run with the big boys.

After Saturday’s game at UW, there was a lot of speculation in the press box if Boise State’s defense had made a statement to the country about its importance to this football team. Running back Ian Johnson shrugged off such indications, making it perfectly clear that Boise State is only concerned about Boise State right now.

“We don’t need to prove anything to anyone,” Johnson said. “[The defense] will be recognized for being one of the main reasons we won. But it’s not something that we are focused on.”

One of the most common contentions made since BSU joined the national spotlight is that if it isn’t a blow out, it isn’t going to help the Bronco cause. Because the Broncos have the highest-scoring offense in the country since the 2000 season, Bronco fans have become accustomed to big numbers on offense and very few nail biters during the season. However, with improved preseason schedules every year and a much more balanced Western Athletic Conference, regularly scheduled blowouts may be a thing of the past. For Head Coach Chris Petersen, games like the one against Wyoming are expected to become the norm for the rest of 2006.

“That’s football,” Petersen said. “Wyoming has 85 scholarships, they have good coaches, good fans. Things didn’t line up, but I don’t expect every game to be 35-0. Most games from here on out won’t be like that at all.”I was a little frustrated in the fourth quarter,” Petersen said. “I didn’t’ think it should come down to this. But you have to give credit to Wyoming.”

Senior special teams’ wizard Quinton Jones intercepted Wyoming quarterback Jacob Doss on arguably the biggest play of the UW game. The defensive effort seemed to signify the weight in which the Bronco defense was willing to shoulder the win in Laramie. For Jones, bowl talk is hype right now and getting too wrapped up in that could take away all the joy from what the Broncos do each week.

“A win’s a win,” Jones said. “We need to enjoy every victory. Whether you win by 50 or not, you have to celebrate all wins.”

As BSU enters the fourth game on its schedule, it spies the Hawaii Warriors. It will undeniably get harder to dismiss bowl-game speculations as the season progresses. Boise State is currently in search of its fifth straight WAC championship, which is tied with the University of Southern California for the longest active conference championship streak in the country. Coach Petersen and company expect to rely on home crowd support to power the Broncos deep into another successful season.

“There’s no place like home,” Petersen said. “We’re gonna need our Bronco fans behind us. They know what a dog fight we were in last year."

Jake Garcin