When the Broncos have the ball
Need to run: The Broncos have hit their goal of 150 rushing yards in just two of four games so far. They are tied for 71st in the nation at 170.5 yards per game, a number inflated by the Idaho State contest (344 rushing yards). Offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz admitted he was impatient with the run last week. “We’ve got to be better in the run game,” he said. “We all know it.”
Rypien to Sperbeck: Boise State junior wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck has made six catches for 167 yards and two touchdowns since Brett Rypien became the Broncos’ quarterback. He had 11 catches for 94 yards without a TD with Ryan Finley and Tommy Stuart running the offense.
When the Warriors have the ball
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The brick wall: Boise State leads the nation in rushing defense (44.3 yards per game) and yards per carry allowed (1.53). The longest run the Broncos have allowed is 21 yards. “It’s our front seven,” defensive coordinator Marcel Yates said.
The competition continues: Boise State seniors Darian Thompson (safety) and Donte Deayon (cornerback) are tied for the national lead in career interceptions with 16 each. They’re two short of the Mountain West record, set by Eric Weddle at Utah. Deayon averages .47 interceptions per game — .08 more than anybody else. Thompson is at .37. The Boise State FBS-era career record is 18 (Gabe Franklin, 2001-04).
Getting their kicks: Boise State juniors Tyler Rausa (kicker) and Sean Wale (punter) are off to excellent starts. Rausa is 7-for-8 on field goals, including a 51-yard make and a 54-yarder that hit an upright last week. Wale has helped with field position, particularly by pinning opponents inside the 20.
Better returns: The Broncos’ longest punt return this season covered 11 yards. The longest kickoff return covered 29. Opponents have a 76-yard punt return and 54-yard kickoff return. “Probably the biggest frustration is we just haven’t really made that big play yet,” special teams coach Kent Riddle said. “We just need to make the play that changes the game, and I expect that to happen.”