BOISE — Whenever he had to face Air Force, former Boise State football coach Chris Petersen always felt his plate was more full than usual.
The same goes for mens basketball coach Leon Rice.
Its likely ingrained in the DNA of the cadets the Falcons are known for sharp execution and an uncommon system that can fluster ill-prepared opponents. In football, its the option. In basketball, its an updated version of the Princeton offense.
They can make you look silly, and they will at times, Rice said.
The Broncos host the Falcons at Taco Bell Arena at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, and the focus will be on stopping an offense that has given them headaches in the past.
Boise State is 2-2 against the Falcons since joining the Mountain West, giving up 63 points per game in the two wins, and 83 points a game in the two losses. On Jan. 19, 2013, the Falcons shot 54.4 percent from the field en route to a 91-80 win over the Broncos in Colorado Springs, the most points allowed in regulation during Rices 117-game tenure.
That was tough. We cant let that sort of thing happen if you want to win games. Weve got to play team defense, Boise State junior Anthony Drmic said.
The Falcons style involves constant motion of the ball and players, attempting to create mismatches on the fly while utilizing an array of picks and backdoor cuts to get open. Unlike the Princeton offenses of old, and even the Air Force offenses of the recent past, they will push the pace instead of intentionally slowing it down.
They play so controlled. As a team, theyre well-disciplined; theyre well-drilled, Drmic said. If you can keep moving and create space, its going to help your offense a lot.
Even when the Broncos have the ball, theyll face something a little different in the Falcons matchup zone defense, which can create confusion with man-to-man on the ball and zone away from it.
It creates as many problems as their offense does, Rice said.
Air Force was picked 10th out of 11 in the Mountain West preseason poll after losing its top seven scorers, including Michael Lyons (17.7 ppg), who had 37 points against the Broncos in the Falcons win last year.
Despite the heavy losses, the Falcons are scoring 72.2 points per game, on pace for their best output since 1998-99, and are shooting 47.5 percent, 44th nationally, second in the Mountain West.
Its the right system for that place, Rice said. It really exploits any mistake you make, and theyre so good at finding them.
As tough of a task as it may be for the Broncos, Air Force will have its hands full with the top-scoring team in the conference (78.8 ppg) on its home floor.
Our system can be hard to guard, too, Rice said.
Wednesday is the second straight home game for the Broncos, the only such time in conference play. It also is a chance for Boise State to get its fifth conference win, something it didnt do until Feb. 20 last year at home against Air Force. Rice said his team is peaking at the right time, while Drmic said the team is close, and can get closer Wednesday.
Were not exactly where wed like to be, but were not that far off, Drmic said.
Bronco women look to keep rolling
Boise States womens team has been on fire, and is unlikely to slow down at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Air Force.
The Broncos (10-8, 5-2) are on a four-game winning streak, the first such stretch in conference play since 2007-08. In Air Force (1-16, 0-7), the Broncos draw a team struggling mightily, being outscored by an average combined score of 75.8-54.4.
The Falcons have scored more than 70 points just once. Boise State is 9-1 when holding opponents to 70 or fewer this season.
Dave Southorn: 377-6420, Twitter: @IDS_Southorn