MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Breakdown: Bronco Run Game vs. Utah Defense

Boise State Rushing Attack

The Boise State rushing game hit full stride in 2010 as the Broncos produced one of the nation's top offensive attacks once again. Boise State finished the regular season ranked second nationally in scoring (46.67 ppg) and fourth in total offense (519.50 ypg). A big reason for the Broncos dominant offense was thanks to its 24th ranked rush offense that averaged 200.08 yards per game.

Boise State punished opposing defenses with balanced offensive play calling, running the football 53.9 percent of the time on the season. The Broncos also scored 33 rushing touchdowns, just less than half of their offensive touchdown total (47.8%).

As a team Boise State topped the 100-yard rushing mark in all 12 games. The Broncos also managed to tally over 200 rushing yards in six different games this season. A big reason for Boise State's rushing success as a team came from the consistent play of junior running back Doug Martin, who topped the 100-yard rushing mark individually five times.

Martin (5-9, 212), a Stockton, Calif. (St. Mary's HS) native, played his way to first team All-Western Athletic Conference honors after leading the Broncos in both rush attempts and rushing yards. He finished the regular season with 1,142 rushing yards on 184 attempts with 11 rushing touchdowns. Martin averaged 92.8 rush yards per game and 6.0 yards per rush attempt.

Boise State shared the majority of its rushing attempts between Martin and senior Jeremy Avery, who was coming off a second team all-WAC season in 2009. Avery (5-9, 174), a senior from Bellflower, Calif. (Bellflower HS), finished second on the team in attempts (83) and rushing yards (440). Despite getting fewer carries in 2010 Avery still had a knack for finding the end zone, scoring 11 rushing touchdowns on the year.

The Bronco rushing attack was only as good as Boise State's offensive line however, which proved to be outstanding once again in 2010. Led by first team All-WAC honorees Nate Potter and Thomas Byrd, the Bronco offensive line was one of the best in the nation through the regular season. Potter (6-6, 300), a junior from Boise, Idaho (Timberline HS), was voted all conference at tackle, while Byrd (5-11, 281), a junior from San Pablo, Calif. (McClymond HS), was named All-WAC at center.

Utah Rush Defense

Boise State will meet its biggest challenge of the season in running the football when facing Utah. The Utes finished the regular season ranked eighth in rush defense allowing just 104.17 rush yards per game. Most impressively however, Utah didn't allow a single 100-yard rusher all season while only allowing opponents to top the century mark seven times.

The Utes also only saw one opponent top the 200-yard mark as Air Force tallied 210 rushing yards. Utah held Colorado State to a season low 28 rushing yards. Pittsburgh's Dion Lewis had the top individual rushing performance of the season against Utah, only recording 75 yards on 25 carries.

The Utes are led by a strong defensive front that boasts a pair of All-Mountain West Conference opponents. Defensive end Christian Cox played his way to first team All-MWC honors, while defensive tackle Sealver Siliga was voted honorable mention all-conference.

Cox (6-3, 250), a senior from Bountiful, Utah (Southern Utah) finished the season with 50 tackles, including 18 unassisted. He also recorded 7.5 tackles for loss.

Siliga (6-3, 305), a junior from West Jordan, Utah (Copper Hills HS), recorded 36 tackles (15 solo) with 4.0 tackles for loss.

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