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September 22, 2010Boise State is trying to make it a September to remember.
The Broncos already have beaten then-No. 10 Virginia Tech in Landover, Md. This week, they play their home opener against No. 24 Oregon State.
If the Broncos can complete the month undefeated-they have a win over Wyoming, too-the unprecedented expectations that surrounded this team in the offseason become realistic.
A third straight undefeated regular season. A spot in the national championship game. A Heisman Trophy for quarterback Kellen Moore.
And all trends point toward a Broncos victory. They're 26-0 at home under coach Chris Petersen, they've beaten the Beavers the last two times they visited Boise and they haven't lost a regular-season game since 2007.
Still, the Beavers have big-game experience and are considered Pac-10 contenders.
"It will be a tremendous challenge," Petersen said. "Coach (Mike) Riley does a great job over there year in and year out. We're excited to be at home finally. It seems like it's been forever. We expect a very close, hard-fought game."
• Oregon State painted one of its blue practice fields blue to prepare its players for the blue turf of Bronco Stadium. "Perfect," Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. "We've got them right where we want them if they're painting their field."
• Boise State is 26-0 at home under coach Chris Petersen. The Broncos have won 57 of their past 58 home games overall.
• Boise State is 5-2 against ranked teams and 5-1 against BCS-conference teams under Petersen. The Broncos are 4-0 against ranked BCS teams in that time. Oregon State is No. 24.
• The last three times Boise State and Oregon State met, the losing team took a 14-0 lead.
Series History: Oregon State leads 4-2 (last meeting, 2006, 42-14 Boise State)
Scouting The Offense: The Broncos can attack from all angles. QB Kellen Moore is one of the nation's best passers, he has one of the nation's best possession receivers in Austin Pettis and a fearsome deep threat in Titus Young, the tight ends are capable receivers and the run game has provided strong balance. The X-factor is TB Doug Martin, who in his first year as the starter has shown terrific tackle-breaking ability.
Scouting The Defense: The Broncos' defensive line has been dominant. The group has racked up 14 tackles for loss already this season. The line has helped the Broncos limit opponents to 107 rushing yards in two games. The Broncos also have recorded seven sacks.
Quote To Note: "Our guys know enough about Boise State to know this is going to be (difficult), even before they start watching film. They are so efficient offensively, and defensively you combine their fundamentals with the passion they play with and it's very impressive."-Oregon State coach Mike Riley
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
This Week 'S GAME: Oregon State at Boise State, Sept. 25-The Broncos need a strong showing against the Beavers. The game will be shown on national, network TV and many people consider Oregon State the last true test on Boise State's schedule. If Boise State wants to play in the national-title game, it probably needs to dominate.
Keys To The Game: Boise State's defensive line will be chasing an inexperienced quarterback. Oregon State's problematic secondary will be facing an experienced quarterback. Those two matchups could be the difference-makers.
Players To Watch:
RB Doug Martin-He has rushed for 188 yards at 6.5 yards per carry in the first two games, a strong start to his first year as the starter.
WR Austin Pettis-He was benched for most of last week's game because he drew an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty. It will be interesting to see how he responds. He already has three touchdown grabs this season.
DE Shea McClellin-He recorded four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks against Virginia Tech and scored a touchdown against Wyoming, but he left the Wyoming game in the first half with a concussion and is questionable this week.
• WR/PR Mitch Burroughs is out "for a while" with a high ankle sprain. Titus Young likely will replace him as the punt returner.
• DE Shea McClellin is questionable with a concussion.
• Kickers Trevor Harman and Jimmy Pavel will compete for the kickoff job to take some strain off starting K/P Kyle Brotzman. Harman kicked off last week.