Miami-Ohio (1-1) at Boise State (0-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 15, 4:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bronco Stadium (37,000) -- Boise, Idaho. Television: NBC Sports Network. Home Record: Miami 1-0, Boise State 0-0. Away Record: Miami 0-1, Boise State 0-1. Neutral Record: Miami 0-0, Boise State 0-0. Conference Record: Miami 0-0, Boise State 0-0. Series Record: Boise State leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Boise State takes the field unranked for the first time since Sept. 14, 2008 this Saturday, when the Broncos host the Miami-Ohio RedHawks for non-conference action at Bronco Stadium.
The RedHawks come into their last test before their MAC season with a 1-1 record after a pair of vastly different performances. Miami began its season with promise as it held a 3-0 lead over Ohio State after the first quarter, but Braxton Miller caught fire in the second quarter and the game ended with OSU on top, 56-10. Coach Don Treadwell's squad looked strong against SIU of the FCS the following week, using a 21-0 run to cruise to a 30-14 triumph. The split of first two games gives Treadwell a 5-9 career coaching record. Miami will be aiming to snap a three-game road losing slide dating back to last season.
Boise State will be taking the field with a losing record for the first time since Oct. 1, 2005 due to a hard fought, 17-13, loss to the Michigan Spartans on Aug. 31. Head Coach Chris Peterson's success is rivaled by very few. The annual "BCS Busters" have compiled more wins than any other school in the country over the past six seasons, going 63-7 since 2006. The Broncos have won 17 straight September home games and only lost three of their past 77 games on the blue turf. The program's success may be hard to maintain this season with only six returning starters from 2011. A win could propel Boise State back into the top-25 polls, as it is receiving the most votes among unranked teams.
Boise State won the only previous meeting between these two teams, 48-0, at Bronco Stadium on Sept. 12, 2009.
Miami's offensive leader Zac Dysert has achieved a great deal since making his collegiate debut in 2009 at Bronco Stadium. He became just the 13th quarterback in MAC history to eclipse the 9,000 career passing yard mark by throwing for 226 yards against SIU. The RedHawks' air it out philosophy has put the senior quarterback on pace to surpass Ben Roethlisberger to become the school's all-time leading passer by the season's end.
Dysert's job is made much easier by the talented wide receiver tandem of Andy Cruse and Nick Harwell. Cruse leads the MAC and is tied for fourth in the nation with 20 receptions through two games. Harwell is averaging 131.3 yards and nine catches per game over his last six contests. He also has caught eight touchdown passes during that span.
Miami eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark versus Southern Illinois due to the stellar running of Spencer Treadwell. The team has only surpassed the century mark four times over its last 14 games.
The RedHawks' defense was dismantled in their season opener to the tune of 538 total yards by Ohio State. Miami bounced back by holding SIU to 349 yards.
Senior linebacker Pat Hinkel intercepted two passes, one of which he returned for a touchdown, in the triumph over the Salukis. He also leads the team with 18 total tackles.
Boise State's offense, which averaged 44.2 points and 481.3 yards per game last season, was held to 206 yards by Michigan State in its 2012 opener. Junior QB Joe Southwick took over the starting position for the departed Kellen Moore and completed 15-of-31 passes for 169 yards in his debut.
Kirby Moore and Matt Miller were the new quarterback's favorite targets. Moore caught six passes for 52 yards, while Miller reeled in two passes for a team- high 54 yards.
The Broncos really struggled to run the ball against MSU. Southwick led the team with 18 yards on four scrambles. D.J. Harper was held to eight yards on 15 carries.
Boise State's defense could not stop Michigan State from moving the ball, but it forced four turnovers to keep it close. Tommy Smith registered a team-best 12 tackles and Jeremy Ioane returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown.
The Broncos made just two tackles for loss and were unable to record a sack in their opener.
Petersen's team was completely outplayed by Michigan State and still lost by only four points. Boise State should have no problem getting its engine running at full speed against a much weaker opponent. Miami will need its senior quarterback to play nearly perfect to pull off the upset.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 45, Miami-Ohio 27
09/12 10:37:13 ET