GAME DAY! #15 Boise State vs. Idaho, Kickoff at Noon
BOISE, Idaho (AP) Those who like low-scoring football might not enjoy what happens in Boise this Saturday.
No. 17 Boise State's prolific offense should be on display when the Broncos welcome rival Idaho and its struggling defense to the blue turf of Bronco Stadium, looking for their 17th straight win in Western Athletic Conference play.
The Broncos (9-1, 6-0) have averaged more than 49 points per game during their current eight-game winning streak against Idaho (1-9, 0-6), including three games in which they scored 65 or more.
There appears to be no reason to expect anything different this year. The Broncos, who call their offense "Pete's Poison" after coach Chris Petersen, rank fourth in the nation at 42.8 points per game, and are coming off a 52-0 win over Utah State - their first road shutout in 31 years.
"Even if you do figure out everything we run, to run it at the pace and the tempo we run it at, it's just amazing. You can't reproduce that,'' said Boise State running back Ian Johnson. "It's one of the reasons we are so successful and we can score so many points.''
Idaho, which had a bye week after losing to Louisiana Tech 28-16 on Nov. 3, ranks 106th nationally in scoring defense with 36.1 points allowed per game, and has allowed at least 28 points in each contest of its current eight-game losing streak.
The Broncos, meanwhile, have won eight straight since a loss at Washington Sept. 8. But their chances of a second straight BCS bowl appearance are slim considering they currently sit at 18th in the BCS standings.
"Whatever comes to us in the end will be whatever we deserve,'' Johnson said. "If you go out seeking to impress people, a lot of times you're going to end up short-handed. If people are impressed, they're impressed. If they're not, then we're at no loss because of it.''
Johnson and the Broncos still have an excellent shot at the WAC title. The league championship will be decided next week when the Broncos visit No. 13 Hawaii, which is one of the nation's two remaining unbeatens entering this weekend.
Boise State's passing game was nearly perfect last week against Utah State. Quarterback Taylor Tharp completed 26 of 29 attempts (89.7 percent) for 283 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman wide receiver Titus Young scored three touchdowns - two of them rushing - while Johnson picked up 110 of Boise State's 190 yards on the ground.
Tharp, a senior, has completed 68.9 percent of his passes this year - eighth in the nation - in his first season taking over for three-year starter Jared Zabransky.
"He's an accurate thrower and this is a Taylor that we have known about for a long time,'' Petersen said. "It's awesome to see him in such a great groove.''
Idaho's offense is much more one-dimensional. The Vandals have rushed for 1,800 yards behind 1,000-yard redshirt freshman Deonte' Jackson, but the passing game led by redshirt freshman Nathan Enderle is completing passes at just a 44.9 percent clip.
Enderle completed only 16 of 48 passes for 188 yards and three interceptions in the loss to Louisiana Tech - the fourth time in the last five games he threw at least three picks.
Boise State is looking for its 45th straight regular-season home win.
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