FACTS AND FIGURES
Where: Fort Collins, Colo. (143,986)
Colors: Forest green and gold
Record: 3-7, 2-4 Mountain West
Last game: Defeated UNLV 33-11 on Saturday in Fort Collins.
First-year coach Jim McElwain was the offensive coordinator at Alabama the past four years, winning national titles in 2009 and 2011. He also was the coordinator at Fresno State in 2007, when the Bulldogs beat Georgia Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl, the quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders (2006) and an offensive assistant at Michigan State (2003-05) and Louisville (2000-02). But he got his start in the Big Sky, where he played quarterback for Eastern Washington (1980-83) and was an Eagles assistant coach from 1985 to 1994. He got his first job as an offensive coordinator at Montana State (1995-99).
The Rams use one running back and two tight ends in their base personnel group, which provides some formation flexibility. Its a balanced attack that has endured some wicked luck this season theyre on their third quarterback and at one point started their No. 3 tailback.
Redshirt freshman Conner Smith, who has an exceptional arm, has completed 64 percent of his passes and posted a better efficiency rating than his injured predecessors. Redshirt freshman Donnell Alexander has topped 100 rushing yards in consecutive games to lead the team with 417 yards and 5.7 yards per carry.
The Rams have created some havoc with 20 sacks, seven interceptions, 12 forced fumbles and 41 pass breakups. The result is a solid defense that ranks fourth in the Mountain West in yards allowed per game (402.2) and third in pass-efficiency defense (129.1). Defensive end Lanston Tanyi (70 tackles) and freshman linebacker Cory James (7.5 sacks) are playmakers.
Senior punter Pete Kontodiakos leads the Mountain West and ranks third in the nation with a 46.8-yard average, but the Rams are 82nd in net punting leaving room for some big returns. The kick-return unit produces a solid 23.6 yards on average, which sets up a good matchup with Boise States struggling coverage team. Kicker Jared Roberts is 8-of-9 on field goals with a long of 49. His miss was from 51.
DID YOU KNOW?
A school-record 18 different Rams have scored touchdowns this season the most in the nation. Sixteen Boise State players have scored touchdowns.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398