GAME DAY! #12 Boise State vs. Utah State, Kickoff at 1:00 pm on KTVB
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) -Stakes are too high for Boise State on Saturday to overlook Utah State.
``We get everybody's best shot week after week,'' said Boise State coach Chris Petersen. ``There's no hiding. Everybody brings their best against us.''
It's clearly a favorable matchup for the Broncos (10-0, 6-0 Western Athletic Conference) against the Aggies (1-9, 1-5), especially in Bronco Stadium where they've won 50 of the last 52 games.
Boise State climbed to No. 12 in the Bowl Championship Series standings, putting it in position to become the second team from a non-BCS conference to automatically qualify for one of the big-money bowl games.
Saturday's contest also marks Senior Day and likely the final game on the distinctive blue turf for Broncos seniors who, for those who red-shirted, helped compile a 55-7 record during their careers that included an undefeated regular season in 2004.
``I think it's going to be a pretty emotional day,'' said senior safety Gerald Alexander.
The Broncos lead second-place Hawaii by a half-game in the WAC and can capture at least a share of the league title with a win.
Boise State, one of four undefeated Division 1-A football teams remaining, hasn't made any statements about Ian Johnson's status for Saturday. But his teammates expect either Vinny Perretta, a 5-9, 194-pound sophomore, or Brett Denton, a 5-9, 191-pound senior, to be in the backfield.
``If Vinny has to carry the ball or B-Dent, hopefully they'll have a great game and we'll prove to everybody that it's not the running back that makes the O-line, it's the O-line that makes the running back,'' said offensive lineman Jeff Cavender.
Perretta has rushed 42 times for 258 yards and two touchdowns this season, while Denton has carried the ball 42 times for 190 yards and a score. Johnson has rushed 222 times for 1,466 yards this year, and the school even started a Heisman campaign.
``I prepare for every game the same,'' said Denton. ``Who knows what could happen in a game. It is football. I always want to play, and if I get a chance to play more, I'll be ready for it.''
What he'll face is a Utah State defense that gives up 425 yards a game, 185 of them rushing. Boise State averages 412 yards a game on offense.
``We're going to try and establish the run and see what happens from there,'' said senior offensive lineman Jadon Dailey. ``We know that teams really don't like us all that much. We prepare that way, and when we come out for the game we'll see what happens.''
If the Broncos win, they will try to finish off a second undefeated regular season in three years on Nov. 25 when they travel to Nevada (7-3, 4-2).
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