Boise State got back on the right track and picked up a bounce back win on the islands last weekend, snatching a 49-14 victory over the Warriors of Hawaii.
With the win, the Broncos moved to 8-2 on the season and 5-1 in the Mountain West Conference. With two regular season games remaining and a bowl game, the Broncos are on pace for their seventh consecutive 10-win season.
The Broncos now look to Saturday, and specifically senior day, at a matchup with Colorado State (3-7, 2-4 MWC). The Broncos got the passing game back in a rhythm vs. Hawaii with redshirt junior quarterback Joe Southwick throwing for 209 yards and three touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Aaron Burks also headlined the Broncos offense with his breakout game, catching five balls for 107 yards and one touchdown on the day.
While the Broncos secondary has been having a sensational season, they have consistently struggled with the running game, giving up 213 yards rushing to Michigan State and 164 yards to San Diego State, the Broncos only two losses on the season. Boise State will once again be faced with a formidable force at running back this weekend in true freshman running back, Donnell Alexander. “Good player, young guy,” said Boise State Head Coach Chris Petersen. “He’s a compact guy that does not go down easy.”
While Alexander has just 417 yards rushing in seven appearances this year, he has rushed for 253 total yards in his last two games while picking up at least 20 carries in both and scoring three touchdowns. “They have got a really good running back and a big O-line,” said Senior Defensive Tackle Darren Koontz. “It’s going to be a big challenge for us at the D-line.”
Colorado State’s heavy reliance on the running game has come from a pileup of injuries at the quarterback position. With the Rams playing the running game, the Broncos will once again be tested. “They just work really well together,” Koontz said.
Offensively, the Broncos will have the upperhand against the Rams defensive unit. Allowing over 30 points per game and over 300 yards of total offense per contest, the Rams defense ranks near the bottom of the pack in the nation. With the Broncos seeming to hit on all cylinders against teams with losing records this season, Saturday’s matchup should be no different. Boise State is averaging 215 yards passing, and 159 yards on the ground on the season. With the Rams defense struggling mightily in both departments, the Broncos will be looking to take advantage.
With just two games remaining, the Broncos are still in the hunt and have an outside chance at a Mountain West Conference Championship. Boise State will need some help from other teams in the conference however, and can’t afford to overlook an improving Colorado State squad. “I think this is a team that is truly getting better,” Petersen said on Colorado State.
The Broncos will look to move to 9-2 (6-1 MWC) on the year and send out the senior class on a high note. Kickoff is scheduled this Saturday at Bronco Stadium at 1:30 and can be seen on NBC Sports Network.