Chadd's Blog -- Sept. 5, 2006

The Idaho StatesmanSeptember 5, 2006 

— The Boise State and Oregon State football teams will meet again in 2009 and 2010, BSU athletic director Gene Bleymaier said Tuesday.

The games will be in Corvallis in 2009 and Boise in 2010.

Thursday’s game between the two schools marks the end of a four-year series that has been popular with both teams and their fans.

The home team has won the first three games. The Broncos will try to even the score Thursday at Bronco Stadium. The game is sold out.

“We always knew it would be a great game on our schedule, a very attractive game,” Bleymaier said, “and it certainly has done that. The games, they’ve all been very competitive — and hopefully we can even this series this week.”

Bleymaier also said that the Broncos have filled all five non-conference openings on the 2007 schedule. The Broncos are: vs. Weber State, at Washington, vs. Wyoming, vs. a Mid-American Conference team to be determined and at Bowling Green.

The MAC team is part of the deal Bleymaier made to swap Utah for Bowling Green on this year’s schedule. It’s a one-game deal for a home game.

BSU will play 13 games without a bye next year.

•••

Boise State moved up in the USA Today coaches poll Tuesday but stayed put in The Associated Press media poll.

The Broncos climbed from 31st to tied for 28th in the USA Today poll. They remain 30th in the AP poll.

Oregon State received two points from the coaches. WAC member Fresno State got three points from the media and is 31st in the USA Today poll.

•••

In Bronco Voices, listen to tailback Ian Johnson talk about his impressions of the offense in last week’s game and his impressions of Oregon State.

•••

The answer to the trivia question: Oregon is the next Pac-10 team to play at Bronco Stadium, in 2009.

However, I gave credit to folks who submitted Oregon State since I left a loophole in the question.

I’ll notify the winner later today.

•••

Here’s a look at the Oregon State special teams:

The Beavers have a star in kicker Alexis Serna, the Lou Groza Award winner. He had a rare miss last week from 49 yards, but was 3-for-3 last year against Boise State — including the game-winner.

Punt returner Sammie Stroughter returned a punt for a touchdown last week against Eastern Washington and averaged 41.5 yards on two returns.

Punting is a problem. Freshman Kyle Loomis averaged just 28.4 yards per punt last week and had one returned for a touchdown.

The Beavers, like the Broncos, didn’t get much of a look at their kickoff return team last week. Their kick coverage was good.

•••

Here’s a look at the Oregon State defense:

One thing to watch for in this week’s game is the physical play of Oregon State’s cornerbacks. They like to play bump-and-run coverage, which is unusual among BSU opponents.

The Broncos counter with some big, strong receivers like Legedu Naanee and Jerard Rabb.

“It’s going to be a challenge this week,” Naanee said, “but it will be a challenge we’re looking forward to.”

The Beavers’ secondary was young last year, starting two freshman cornerbacks. They return all four starters, including standout strong safety Sabby Piscitelli (four interceptions, eight pass breakups last year).

OSU allowed 31 touchdown passes and 298.7 yards per game through the air last year.

Two more starters return on the defensive line, but the linebacker trio is all new.

“These guys have revamped their football team,” BSU quarterback Jared Zabransky said. “They seem to be almost an upgrade in talent.”

Later today, we’ll look at the special teams. Call up yesterday’s blog for a report on the Beavers’ offense.

•••

Today’s links:

Beavers take some shots at WAC, blue turf: http://www.oregonlive.com/beaversfootball/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/sports/1157424911120850.xml&coll=7

Ducks prepare for hostilities in Fresno: http://www.oregonlive.com/ducksfootball/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/sports/1157428518204680.xml&coll=7

Pat Hill loves the big stage: http://www.fresnobee.com/sports/bulldogs/story/12676133p-13376382c.html

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