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The phrase "out of the frying pan and into the fire" will never ring more true than Thursday's brawl between BYU and Boise State.
Coming off a tough 24-21 loss to rival Utah during their first away game of the season, BYU players and coaches had no choice but to get over it and turn their gaze north to Boise, where they'll play their second away game.
- BYU (2-1) at No. 24 Boise State (1-1)
- Date/Time: Sep. 20, 2012 7:00 p.m. MT
- Site: Bronco Stadium (Boise, ID)
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM 1160 AM
- Series Record: Boise State leads 2-0
- Last Meeting: 2004 (BSU 28-27)
- Kickoff Weather: Clear, temps in the upper-70s
There's no denying it: The Boise State Broncos are good at football.
This is a team known for constant Top 25 positions, an entire defensive line taller than six feet and an 83-3 home record since 1999.
Just like last week, the argument over who will win rages across the country, especially considering the wins and losses of each team.
BYU and Boise State traded Top 25 titles this past Sunday, voters tossing out the Cougars from their No. 25 slot, and welcoming the Broncos to the 24th spot after a 39-12 win over Miami (of Ohio).
Though BYU's presence in the Top 25 was iffy among the nation's experts, the loss to Utah was a surprise to many, and a few folks still think BYU has the skill to trump the smurf turf-dwellers.
Gene Wojciechowski, an ESPN senior national columnist, picked BYU over Boise State in his weekly Top 20.
"Yes, the game is on Boise's blue carpet," Wojciechowski wrote, "but BYU is steamed about the weird loss to Utah. The Cougars will be properly motivated. And I like BYU's chances of putting up some points."
On the other hand, Bleacher Report contributor Vance Wloch pegs the game as a close-but-no-cigar, 27-21 win for Boise State.
"BYU has a statistical advantage both in rushing and passing defense and pretty much across the board on offense as well this season," Wloch said. "Yet there's something about the Broncos' stunning 83-3 record at home since 1999 and their consistent competitiveness with top teams that makes me believe BYU will lose its second straight."
Attributing their loss to lots of little mistakes, one of BYU's biggest faults during the Utah game was the lack of preparation for the noise from the crowd. The incessant buzz of the Utah fans led to three false starts within the first 30 seconds of the game. And because that game was on a national stage, now everyone knows the Cougars get a little weak-kneed and anxious with loud noise.
Boise State head coach Chris Petersen is taking advantage of that.
“If we can have our people as loud as they’ve ever been, I promise you it will help us,” Petersen said.
BYU quarterback Riley Nelson had experience against Boise State back when he repped the Utah State Aggies — he knows of the Bronco fans' dedication.
"The Boise State fans come out in the masses, and they love their Broncos," Nelson said. "They fill that stadium week in and week out and it really doesn't matter who they're playing."
Because the Boise game is such a quick turnaround for BYU, a thematic worry among fans is whether or not the Cougars will be well rested enough.
Nelson put those worries to rest:
"You know they're (Boise State) going to be a big, physical team. Utah was a big, physical team, so your bumps and bruises probably won't quite be healed, but the adrenaline kicks in and you do fine. We'd like to be fresh, but it's psychological. Nobody's fresh. It's the fourth week of the season and very few people are fresh. So it's all kind of an even playing field and for them it's a short week, too."