Boise State Football

Boise State’s defense must stop Louisiana’s rushing attack

Louisiana-Lafayette running back Elijah McGuire, right, runs the ball while being chased by Kentucky safety Marcus McWilson during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
Louisiana-Lafayette running back Elijah McGuire, right, runs the ball while being chased by Kentucky safety Marcus McWilson during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. Associated Press file

Louisiana boasts one of the nation’s better all-around running backs in senior Elijah McGuire, who needs 660 all-purpose yards to tie the school record of 5,231.

Boise State coach Bryan Harsin saw him up close while at Arkansas State in 2013, when McGuire had 10 carries for 110 yards in a Louisiana victory.

“They’re going to have a big O-line. They’re going to run the ball inside,” Harsin said.

All five Ragin’ Cajuns offensive line starters are more than 290 pounds. It will be a test for a defensive line that was gutted by graduation and attrition in the offseason. Six of the seven defensive tackles who saw at least 10 games of action are gone.

Not only is the experience a void to be filled, so is the production. The Broncos were fifth in the Football Bowl Subdivision against the run (108.2 yards per game). Take out the two option teams the Broncos faced, and their opponents averaged 80.4 ypg.

“(McGuire) is explosive, so what it comes down to is what we always talk about, getting the run stopped in this game and understanding, respecting that this guy can break a few if you’re not disciplined,” senior defensive tackle Elliot Hoyte said.

Beyond trying to spring McGuire, who averaged 7.9 yards per carry his first two seasons, the Ragin’ Cajuns also hope to control the clock with their running attack.

“To me, the best defense is when their offense is on the sideline drinking Powerade,” Louisiana coach Mark Hudspeth said.

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