GAME DAY! #19 Boise State at Utah State, 1:00 pm Kickoff LIVE on KTVB
LOGAN, Utah (AP) -No. 19 Boise State wants to bust into the BCS for a second straight year.
Beating winless Utah State on Saturday wouldn't do much to get the Broncos back in the Bowl Championship Series, but a loss or even a poor showing could be a monumental setback.
Utah State (0-9, 0-5) has the second-longest losing streak in the Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) at 15 straight and any win in its final three games would help salvage something of the season.
Upsetting Boise State (8-1, 5-0) would be phenomenal for the Aggies.
The Broncos know this, mostly because rest of the WAC feels the same way about beating the team that has dominated the conference in recent years. Despite being targeted every week, the Broncos have lost just one of their last 45 conference games.
``We're way more concerned with ourselves than whoever we play,'' Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. ``It's nice when you continually preach that message that it's about us. Every week, you're always looking for some sort of motivational tool and get them fired up but really it comes down to just us taking care of our business.''
The Broncos have a huge showdown Nov. 23 at No. 14 Hawaii, the WAC's other ranked team. But before either team can think about a winner-take-all conference title game, there are still a couple weeks to go.
Petersen says he hasn't had to remind his players of that.
``If you're not totally prepared and have your edge, anything can happen,'' Petersen said. ``There's always some issues we're trying to clean up. One week we might be making progress in a certain area, the next week we kind of slip in another area. There's always that moving puzzle.''
Petersen noted Boise State's 69-67 win over Nevada on Oct. 14, when the Broncos needed four overtimes to keep their WAC winning streak intact. The Broncos beat Louisiana Tech 45-31 the following week and then Fresno State 34-21 last weekend. The victories were solid, but not overwhelming.
Does that make them vulnerable Saturday? Possibly, Utah State coach Brent Guy said, but not if the Aggies fall behind quickly.
``They're a team that will jump out and can jump on you fast if you make mistakes,'' Guy said. ``That's the thing you can't do against Boise State.''
Boise State's only loss this season was to Washington on Sept. 8. The Broncos have worked their way back into the Top 25 and are 20th in the latest BCS standings, which decide who can go where in the four biggest bowls and the national title game.
In order to guarantee a spot in the BCS for the second straight season - something no school from outside the guaranteed six conferences and Notre Dame has accomplished - the Broncos would need to win the WAC and be 12th or better in the BCS standings.
Moving up eight spots is possible with three games remaining, but only if the Broncos win all of them and avoid close calls at Utah State on Saturday and at home next week against Idaho (1-9, 0-6).
The Broncos have gotten used to being heavy favorites.
``I don't think it's hard to keep your edge. I think it's probably easier to keep your edge because you do not want to be upset by a team that shouldn't beat you,'' Boise State defensive back Marty Tadman said. ``You don't want to lose your chance at a WAC championship on a team that you should beat.''
The last time the Broncos played in the state was last Sept. 30, when they routed Utah - the original ``BCS Busters'' - 36-3. The orange-clad Boise fans were vastly outnumbered, yet much louder than the Utes' supporters in the blowout.
Logan, which is about 85 miles north of Salt Lake City, is only half an hour south of the Idaho state line and Romney Stadium could be more full than it has been all season.
It will be the final home game for Utah State's seniors, whose careers have spanned two coaches, numerous assistants and very few wins.
``It hasn't been the plan that we wanted and we haven't had the years that we've wanted,'' receiver/kick returner Kevin Robinson said. ``We say we're going to do something and we didn't but you can't get mad at us for not fighting every single game.''
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