BOISE - After an early-season bye week, the Boise State football team takes to the road for a nationally televised matchup against Oregon State in Corvallis on Saturday.
The Broncos (2-0) will face a Pac-12 team for the second consecutive game, having beaten Washington State 31-28 in a nail-biter that came down to the final seconds. Meanwhile, the Beavers (1-1) broke a 10-game losing skid when they beat Idaho State 37-7.
While Boise State looks to knock off another Power Five conference foe, Oregon State is searching for a signature win that will give them momentum heading into conference play.
In their respective press conferences this week, both Boise State coach Bryan Harsin and Oregon State coach Gary Andersen expressed mutual respect their opponent.
"It'll be a tremendous challenge for us, just as it always is when you play Boise," Andersen said. "It's like I told our kids today in the team meeting - if you're gonna beat Boise, you're gonna have to beat Boise. They're not gonna beat themselves, that's for dang sure. I promise you that much."
"We're excited about the game," Harsin said. "It's Oregon State, they're very good. Those games with Boise State have been very good battles in the past."
- Boise State at Oregon State
- Saturday, Sept. 24
- Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Ore.
- Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. MT
The game will air on Fox Sports 1, which can be found on the following television providers:
- Cable One: Channel 146 / 1146 (HD)
- DirecTV: Channel 219
- Dish Network: Channel 150
ON THE RADIO
In the Boise area, you can listen to the game on the Bronco Radio Network, which can be found on the following stations:
- KBOI 670 AM
- KTIK 93.1 FM
For a list of Bronco Radio Network stations outside the Boise area, click here.
BRONCO ROUNDUP GAME DAY
KTVB's Bronco Roundup Game Day show will be live from Reser Stadium from 9 - 10 a.m. on KTVB, KTVB.COM, and in the Bronco Roundup app. Join Jay Tust and Brian Holmes on the Blue for a live look at all of the major storylines leading up to kickoff.
ABOUT LAST WEEK
Boise State moved to 2-0 for the first time since 2011 with its heart-stopping win over Washington State that ended with an unsuccessful Hail Mary throw by the Cougars as the clock ran out. It was the 15th straight home-opening win for the Broncos.
Against one of the nation's top passing attacks, the Broncos took on a "bend, don't break" philosophy, allowing a lot of passing yards (480), but were able limit big plays and touchdowns. Much of the credit goes to the stingy performance of the d-line, which, despite losing every starter from 2015, managed to stifle the run game and force the Cougars into a one-dimensional passing attack. That unit currently ranks fifth in the country by allowing just 60.5 yards rushing per game.
Cornerback Tyler Horton earned Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance against Washington State. Horton returned an interception 85 yards for a touchdown, and had five tackles in the win.
On offense, the Broncos continued to prove that they have a bevy of weapons at their disposal. Despite quarterback Brett Rypien's uncharacteristic three interceptions, the Broncos racked up 299 yards through the air and 121 on the ground.
Wide receivers Thomas Sperbeck (131.5) and Cedrick Wilson (99) both rank in the top 25 nationally in receiving yards per game. Against Wazzu, Sperbeck hauled in seven receptions for 133 yards. Wilson, meanwhile, had three cathes for 85 yards. On the ground, Jeremy McNichols remains a force to be reckoned with, picking up 126 yards and two touchdowns.
In Corvallis last weekend, Oregon State fans and players alike breathed a collective sigh of relief. The 37-7 win over Idaho State was the Beavers' first since beating San Jose State on Sept. 19, 2015.
Quarterback Darell Garretson threw for 172 yards and ran for a touchdown, while Victor Bolden ran for 111 yards on just three carries, including a 92-yard touchdown run. But despite several big plays, the Beavers were sporadic on offense, struggling to convert third downs. The lopsided score is a credit to OSU's defense which collected five Idaho State turnovers, leading to 24 points.
The one glaring hiccup for the Beavers on defense came on a 75-yard touchdown run by ISU running back Jakori Ford to start the third quarter.
Cornerback Treston Decoud earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors for his four tackles, two interceptions, two pass breakups and one touchdown.
After their 2-0 start, the Broncos are receiving votes in both the AP Top 25 and Amway Coaches Poll. In the latest AP poll, Boise State got 69 votes, which puts them in 29th place. In the coaches poll they are in 30th place with 62 votes.
It appears the bye week had a positive effect when it comes to injuries. Harsin said on Tuesday that he "fully expects" linebacker Joey Martarano and tight end Jake Roh to return to the lineup on Saturday. Martarano went down with an injury in the first quarter of the season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette, while Roh has yet to suit up this season. Tom Scott notes in Tuesday's Scott Slant that Roh is listed as a starter in the latest depth chart.
Harsin added that the team should be back to full strength this week, and that they currently have no season-ending injuries.
"Our injury list is a lot better than it was," he said.
The Broncos and Beavers have played a total of eight times over the last 30 years. The team from Corvallis has a 5-3 edge in the series, with their most recent win coming in the 2013 Hawaii Bowl. Boise State won the two previous meetings (in 2006 and 2010) by a combined score of 79-38. All three of BSU's wins came at home, so the Broncos will be looking for their first-ever win in Corvallis on Saturday night.
"They obviously have our number," said senior offensive lineman Mario Yakoo. "We haven't beaten them (in Corvallis) and we play this game to win, so obviously we are going to emphasize that all week."
"That's something we have focused on, and something we are going to go out an try and fix," added senior linebacker Ben Weaver.
The teams have future home-and-home series scheduled for the 2022-23 seasons.
Oregon State coach Gary Andersen knows all too well what the Broncos are capable of. He was head coach at Utah State from 2009-2012. His Aggies teams played the Broncos twice (before Boise State left for the Mountain West), losing both contests by a combined score of 102-35.
After the Beavers' victory over Idaho State, Andersen said his team would quickly turn its attention to preparing for the Broncos, a team which has "all the bells and whistles."
"I think it's going to be a very physical football game," Andersen said. "They're going to make you play good, solid, stout defense or they're going to take advantage of you. So I'm excited about the challenge that's in front of us."
Andersen added that a win against the Broncos would be "a big step" for his program.
"We have such respect for them," he said.
New OSU defensive coordinator also knows a thing or two about the Broncos. He held the same position at Utah State last year when the Aggies destroyed the Broncos 52-26 in Logan.
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