It didn't take Boise State coach Chris Petersen long to spot the trap that awaited the Broncos in November. He just didn't point it out to his players.
The Broncos will play four straight emotion-laced games this month, beginning Saturday at home against Hawaii. The Broncos know that Hawaii likely will win the WAC title if it can beat the Broncos, and the two teams have a strong rivalry.
The Broncos also face arch-rival Idaho in what will be a hostile atmosphere in Moscow, play Fresno State in the annual battle for the Milk Can and travel to Nevada for what could be one of the biggest games in both schools' histories.
"In college football it's all about the emotion," Petersen said. "And those are all going to be emotional games."
• Boise State has slipped out of the national lead in total defense. The Broncos are now third, at 236.4 yards per game.
• The Broncos are in the top six in the nation in sacks (fourth, 3.4 per game) and sacks allowed (sixth, 0.43 per game).
Series History: Boise State leads 8-3 (last meeting, 2009, 54-9 Boise State)
Scouting The Offense: The Broncos have climbed to second in the nation in scoring, at 47.7 points per game. They also are averaging 515.9 yards per game, which ranks fifth. They have the most efficient quarterback in the country (Kellen Moore), and tailback Doug Martin, despite a limited workload, averages 99.1 rushing yards per game. Moore and wide receivers Austin Pettis and Titus Young are rewriting the school record book.
Scouting The Defense: The Broncos have had some issues in pass defense, particularly on short throws, that have allowed opponents to chip their way down the field at times. That could be troublesome against Hawaii's ultra-productive run-and-shoot scheme. The Broncos' strength is their defensive line, which might not have as large of an impact against quick-firing quarterback Bryant Moniz.
Quote To Note: "The teams that get them are going to be the good teams. This month, it will be real interesting to see where that goes for us."-Boise State coach Chris Petersen, on his team's disappointing number of takeaways
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
This Week's Game: Hawaii at Boise State, Nov. 6-Hawaii is 5-0 in the WAC with just San Jose State and New Mexico State left after this, so the Warriors are most likely playing for the WAC championship. If Boise State (3-0) wins, the Broncos still could stumble and let the Warriors have a share of the title.
Keys To The Game: Hawaii's defense has played well lately, but it hasn't seen an offense with the depth, diversity and experience of Boise State since at least the opener against USC-and the Trojans rolled offensively. Boise State's defense, which ranks third in the nation, needs to do a better job in pass defense against Hawaii than it did against Louisiana Tech.
Players To Watch:
QB Kellen Moore - He has completed 69.8 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns and two interceptions. He's averaging 266.4 yards per game despite taking just a handful of fourth-quarter snaps in October.
WR Titus Young - The Broncos' deep threat is averaging 17.6 yards per catch. He also leads the team with 650 yards-or 92.9 per game.
S Jeron Johnson - His team lead in tackles is down to one. He has 39. He led the team by wide margins each of the past two years, but the play of the defensive line has cut down on Johnson's chances.
• Senior starting TE Tommy Gallarda will miss the rest of the regular season with a broken foot. He had surgery and hopes to return for the bowl game.
• K/P Kyle Brotzman missed last week's game with a leg injury and hasn't punted in the past two games. Coaches hope he'll be able to handle field goals this week.