PROVO, Utah — Chris Petersen's 100th game as the Boise State football coach will be one of his most challenging.
The Broncos enter LaVell Edwards Stadium on Friday night in Provo, Utah, as seven-point underdogs - just the fifth time Petersen's team has been expected to lose by more than six.
BYU boasts an explosive offense led by Pocatello quarterback Taysom Hill, a stingy defense and an impressive home record under coach Bronco Mendenhall. But one of the key reasons this game ranks with the 2008 trip to Oregon with a freshman quarterback (Kellen Moore) and the 2012 trip to Michigan State with a first-time starting quarterback (Joe Southwick) is because the Broncos will be without their starting QB for the first time in 11 years.
Junior Grant Hedrick, who impressed in the second half last week against Nevada, will face a much better defense in a hostile environment this time. The Broncos also could be missing starting right tackle Rees Odhiambo and slot receiver Kirby Moore.
"This is a really, really tough challenge," Petersen said. "I like our guys. I think they're focused guys. They practice hard. That's all we can do is prepare and practice hard."
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398; Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat