BRONCOS WITH THE BALL
The next step for Southwick: Boise State junior quarterback Joe Southwick looked much more comfortable in his second start, throwing for 304 yards against Miami (Ohio). Next up: Coach Chris Petersen wants to see him make faster decisions and get the ball out of his hand sooner the combination that made Kellen Moore so dangerous. Instincts play a huge role in being a really elite, elite quarterback, but I also think guys can get better at it, Petersen said. Joe does some really, really good things, and hes getting better. The more live reps he gets thats what he needs. Hopefully he can get those reps without learning too many hard lessons along the way. Thats the trick.
Sack masters: Boise State is tied for the national lead with zero sacks allowed. BYU is fifth with 4.3 sacks per game. Its partly their offensive line and its partly their system, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said.
COUGARS WITH THE BALL
Boise State-style attack: BYU, like Boise State, will use its personnel in a variety of ways, shift gears into a no-huddle attack it calls the nitro offense and bring backup quarterback Taysom Hill (Highland High of Pocatello) off the bench to run some wildcat plays. The Broncos will need to react and communicate well to avoid costly breakdowns particularly with so many young defenders on the field. Boise State started four sophomores and a freshman last week.
Turnovers disappear: Boise State forced four turnovers in the opener and none in the second game but it shouldnt have been that way. Linebacker J.C. Percy and cornerback Bryan Douglas dropped interceptions against Miami. The Broncos cant afford to miss opportunities like those against a Top 25-caliber BYU team.
Not so special: The new kickoff rules and high/short or low/rolling punts have taken much of the excitement out of the kicking game. Boise State has returned four kickoffs and two punts in two games this season.
Trust issues: The last time BYU played at Bronco Stadium, the Cougars missed a field goal on the final drive of a 28-27 loss. Neither team has a proven option for a game-on-the-line situation this year. BYU punter Riley Stephenson is filling in on short kicks and missed a 36-yarder that would have forced overtime against Utah. Boise States Michael Frisina has a career long of 30.
Utah dominance: Boise State hasnt lost to a team from Utah since 1997 (Utah State). Since then, the Broncos are 2-0 vs. BYU, 4-0 vs. Utah, 10-0 vs. Utah State, 2-0 vs. Weber State and 1-0 vs. Southern Utah.
BYUs streak: The Cougars have limited nine straight foes to fewer than 300 yards.