Boise, ID – Chances are, when Boise State takes the field on ranked Broncos will be putting all their effort into closing out the regular season against New Mexico at home in Idaho.
Boise State, which trails TCU in the MWC standings after losing to the Horned Frogs back on November 12 by a score of 36-35, is still having a fantastic season with 10 wins in 11 opportunities and is 5-1 in the MWC after moving over from the Western Athletic Conference.
Last week's meeting with Wyoming started out a bit slow, but in the end the Broncos stormed back and captured the 36-14 win at home, the team's second straight victory overall.
As for the Lobos, a team which is set to begin with new head coach Bob Davie in 2012, they've been pummeled week in and week out and have only a 21-14 victory against UNLV at home three weeks ago to show for their efforts. On November 19 the team was thumped by Wyoming on the road in a 31-10 decision, dropping interim head coach George Barlow's record to just 1-6, en route to the team's first-ever meeting against Boise State on the gridiron this weekend.
Once again the New Mexico Lobos fumbled about as they clashed with the Wyoming Cowboys a couple weeks ago, so much so that the Cowboys became bowl eligible on their watch. Quarterback B.R. Holbrook tried to make a difference as he converted 18-of-28 passes for 162 yards and also ran 12 times for 48 yards and a touchdown, but it simply wasn't enough to keep UNM out of the loss column yet again.
"I thought B.R. (Holbrook) played OK, but like I said, we need to play better in crucial situations and play more consistently by moving the ball," coach Barlow said of the QB's efforts. "There are some things we need to do better up front, but there are things he needs to do like getting rid of the ball quicker."
Defensively the Lobos sat back and allowed Wyoming signal-caller Brett Smith to not only throw for 212 yards and a touchdown, but also run for 140 yards and another two scores which was difficult to watch.
Then again, this is a defense that is second-to-last in the nation in sacks with just 0.82 per game and is 117th in the country in tackles for loss with only 4.1 per outing. With that lack of push at the line of scrimmage, it should come as little surprise that the run defense is also ranked 119th with 255.8 ypg permitted and the scoring defense is second-worst in the nation with 41.4 ppg allowed.
Offensively, the Lobos are dead last in the FBS with just 13.1 ppg, thanks mostly to the fact that during a four-game stretch they were held to a combined 14 points and shut out by both TCU (69-0) and Air Force (42-0) in back-to-back weeks.
The Broncos saw the highs and the lows of their offense in a span of just 25 minutes last weekend as quarterback Kellen Moore was intercepted early in the first half and had the pick returned 29 yards for a score to put BSU down by a score. But then at the end of the second quarter Boise State caught a break when Matt Miller, lying on the goal line, collected a batted ball on the final play of the first half for a touchdown.
"I think those Hail Mary���s usually don't go exactly as planned," said BSU head coach Chris Petersen after the remarkable catch. "You try to get guys in the vicinity and try to get a ricochet. Usually if Matt Miller is around something good is going to happen."
Moore finished the meeting 24-of-36 for 279 yards and three touchdowns, shaking off the early INT to rally his team back for the easy win. Doug Martin accounted for another 153 yards and two touchdowns on the ground as well, giving him 1,038 rushing yards on the season and making him the six player in program history to post back-to-back 1,000 yards campaigns.
But as good as Martin has been, this is an offense that belongs to Moore almost exclusively. Now one TD shy of establishing a new MWC single-season record, Moore has 38 scoring strikes in 2011 and has extended his consecutive games streak with multiple TD passes to 24 in a row.
The all-time leader in wins for a quarterback at the FBS level with 48, Moore is the first player in NCAA history to have four seasons with 3,000 total offensive yards and 3,000 passing yards. He now needs just 132 passing yards to move past Hawaii's Colt Brennan for fifth place on the all-time yardage passing list, a feat that should take place in the first half of this game baring anything unusual.