October 22, 2010

No. 2 Boise State back at work after short break

BOISE, Idaho (AP) After getting a few days of midseason rest, No. 2 Boise State is back at work and getting ready for that rarity in college football - a game on Tuesday night.

The Broncos returned to the practice field Wednesday, their first since blowing out San Jose State on the road 48-0 Saturday.

Coach Chris Petersen said the players were given the day off Monday and Tuesday to relax and recover a bit from the nicks, bruises and injuries that can accumulate and linger at this point of the season.

"A bye week you get two weeks, and that can seem a little long sometimes," Petersen said Thursday. "We practiced hard, very hard yesterday. They get today off, and then we're back at it."

Next up on the schedule for the 6-0 Broncos and their top-ranked defense is a home game Tuesday night against Louisiana Tech (3-4, 2-1 Western Athletic Conference), the first regular season game on a Tuesday in school history.

Like many teams in the smaller conferences, the Broncos are no strangers to games on different days of the week and the shake-up in routines. In fact, after Tuesday's game, Boise State will have played at least once every day of the week, and their 31-6 record in those games shows they've adapted just fine.

In moving to the Mountain West Conference next season, the Broncos will likely play fewer games on school nights, a change that suits Petersen just fine.

"I don't think we'll miss them," Petersen said with a grin. "There's always two sides to the coin. We always figure out how can this help us, and they do help us. But I think coaches in general would like to play every game on Saturday at 1 o'clock. If we can just get to Saturdays, or Fridays and Saturdays, we're making progress."

At the season's midway point, Petersen said he's pleased with what he's seen so far.

It's hard not to be.

The Broncos knocked off two ranked teams in Virginia Tech and Oregon State, and have cruised in their last three games, outscoring foes by a whopping 164-14.

The defense is one of the best in the country, allowing an average of 210 total yards and 59.3 rushing yards per game, the lowest of any team in college football.

The results are just as impressive on the other side of the ball. Boise State is third in the nation in points per game (47.5) and fourth in total yards (523.8). Quarterback Kellen Moore is the nation's most efficient passer with a rating of 188.1, with 16 TDs and just one interception.

Outside of losing tailback D.J. Harper for the season, the Broncos have avoided any other major injuries. Better yet, Petersen credits his team for keeping the same intensity in practice and games that was on display in the first three games through the last three against teams with a lot less talent.

"I think we're where we need to be, but we'll grade ourselves at the end of the season when it's all said and done," he said. "But I think the first part of the season just sets the stage for the second part and that's what it's all about. How do you finish?"




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