Broncos Can Play A Little Defense Too

George Iloka & The Bronco Defense Standing Tall

Boise State's defense earned a measure of payback Saturday in a 30-10 defeat of Nevada at Bronco Stadium. The Broncos, who have struggled to stop the pistol offense in the past, held the Wolf Pack to 182 yards, including just 59 rushing yards. It was the worst offensive output for the Pack since a 2006 game against the Broncos, the year before Colin Kaepernick came on the scene.

Nevada overcame a 24-7 halftime deficit to beat Boise State in overtime last year.

The Broncos were careful to say they weren't looking for revenge or redemption, but they did draw motivation from the past.

"Really proud of how hard, really everybody, played," coach Chris Petersen said. "Extremely happy with how good our defense played to hold those guys to three points late in the fourth quarter. I don't think anybody thought that would happen."

The Broncos won despite a career-worst game from quarterback Kellen Moore, who threw two interceptions and failed to take advantage of some prime field position. The Broncos generated 329 yards, their lowest output since the 2010 Fiesta Bowl against TCU.

"Not the way we want to play," Moore said. "It certainly didn't feel like we were executing the way we want to. We've just got to learn from it and move on."

NOTES, QUOTES
--Boise State held a 21-yard advantage in average field position against Nevada. The Wolf Pack started on average on their own 19-yard line and didn't start outside their own 20 for any drive in the first half.
--The Broncos likely have lost two starters for the season. Senior cornerback Jerrell Gavins, who leads the team with three interceptions, sustained a knee injury in practice and is likely to redshirt. Sophomore right guard Jake Broyles sustained a toe injury Sept. 24 against Tulsa and is out for the year.
--Quarterback Kellen Moore had, statistically, the worst game of his career against Nevada. He was 19-of-33 for 142 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. It was the third multiple-interception game of his college career.

KEEP AN EYE ON: RB Doug Martin -- The Broncos' tailback topped 100 rushing yards for the first time this season -- and for the third straight year against Nevada. He carried 21 times for 126 yards and two touchdowns. A third TD, a 92-yarder, was called back on a penalty. Martin also averaged 30 yards on three kickoff returns. He's tied for 14th in the nation with 170 all-purpose yards per game.

LOOKING GOOD: The Broncos' defense limited the Wolf Pack to 182 yards, Nevada's lowest output since a 2006 game -- also against Boise State. The defense took a shutout into the fourth quarter and only allowed one drive to last more than six plays. The Wolf Pack lost yards on four of their possessions. The Broncos defense accumulated 12 tackles for loss, with 12 players contributing to those plays.

STILL NEEDS WORK: The Broncos haven't put together a thoroughly impressive performance since the season-opening defeat of Georgia. Poor tackling cost them against Toledo, the run game stumbled and the defense let up late in the game against Tulsa, and the passing attack was mistake-prone against Nevada. Injuries and inexperience have contributed to those issues.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's interesting sometimes how this team comes together. We end up being kind of a control-the-clock, grind-the-ball-out (team). That's not really who we think we are. We think we're more of a spread-it-out, throw-it-all-over, explosive team." -- Boise State coach Chris Petersen

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
PLAYER NOTES:
--Sophomore cornerback Quaylon Ewing-Burton made his first career start against Nevada and finished with a team-high seven tackles.
--Senior tailback D.J. Harper had a 21-yard touchdown catch. He now has scored at least two touchdowns in five straight seasons -- and he's expected to receive a sixth year from the NCAA to return in 2012. He only played three games in two of those seasons.
--Redshirt freshman Dan Goodale nailed the Broncos' first field-goal attempt of the year, a 31-yarder.

ROSTER REPORT
--CB Jerrell Gavins, who leads the team with three interceptions, will likely miss the rest of the season after sustaining a serious knee injury during practice last week. It's not a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. Gavins can redshirt and return next year because he hasn't redshirted in the past and has only played three games. If he had played one more game, he wouldn't be eligible to redshirt. Sophomore Quaylon Ewing-Burton replaced Gavins in the starting lineup.
--RG Jake Broyles has a toe injury that will sideline him for the rest of the year. He was replaced by senior Chuck Hayes. Broyles, a sophomore, was injured in the Tulsa game.
--C Thomas Byrd remains week to week. Sophomore backup Matt Paradis didn't play against Nevada but is making progress from his injury. Senior Cory Yriarte started for the first time since 2008.
--WR/PR Chris Potter missed the Nevada game but isn't expected to be out long.
--FB Dan Paul (groin) still hasn't played this season. He does have a redshirt year available and that's a possibility.
--DL Chase Baker and Tyler Horn returned to action after missing the Tulsa game.



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