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Friday, October 24, 2014         

FERD'S WORDS


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Warriors' emergence should make Boise State think twice

By Ferd Lewis

POSTED:



With 10 days until Boise State and Hawaii tee it up, the Broncos have a lot of time to plan.

Also, plenty of time to think.

So much so that you wonder what will be bouncing around inside those blue and orange helmets in the interim.

While the Warriors focus on the here and now, Saturday's homecoming game against Idaho at Aloha Stadium, the Broncos can contemplate their next challenge -- UH -- the depth of which you suspect they hardly imagined when the season began.

Back then, a lot of people pretty much penciled in the Nov. 6 game as a guaranteed, slam-dunk win for the Broncos. Small wonder, since the two-time WAC champions were picked to win the conference for the eighth time in nine years and the Warriors were tabbed to finish somewhere south of the WAC Mendoza line.

But a funny thing has happened in the past few weeks: The Warriors have been steadily gaining in the Broncos' rear-view mirror. You know that disclaimer about how objects may be closer than they appear? Well, suddenly, those are the Warriors coming up on the outside.

What was to have been the made-for-TV Nov. 26 showdown between Boise State and Nevada for the WAC title has been supplanted by the impending UH appearance on the smurf turf after the Warriors exposed the Wolf Pack's fraudulence.

Now the Warriors are positioned as the biggest remaining challenge to the Broncos exiting the WAC with one more title and probably the highest hurdle to be negotiated on the way to a possible Bowl Championship Series title-game breakthrough.

Suddenly, the trivia question of who inflicted the last WAC loss on the Boise State dynasty 20 games ago is no longer so trivial. The last time the Broncos lost a WAC game -- and a conference title to boot -- it was the Warriors who did the deed.

Back in 2007 the Broncos were on a 17-game WAC winning streak when Colt Brennan & Co. brought things to a screeching halt, 39-27, on their way to the Sugar Bowl.

It will be recalled the Warriors had their chances a year earlier on "the blue" and, except for some costly breakdowns in the kicking game, could have done it in what became a 41-34 loss.

So there is some history for the Broncos to chew on this week. Not that they lack for more current concerns with not only the blossoming of UH's offense but the emergence of the defense.

What the Broncos really, down to their blue-stained cleats, think of UH we'll never know, of course. About the most revealing quote you'll see out of Boise State head coach Chris Petersen for a while is what he told the Idaho Statesman the other day when talking about his secondary: "Especially with Hawaii coming to town, we're going to have to tighten some things up."

Other than that you'll mostly hear a stream of banalities for the next 10 days. You might not get much more from the players since they are prohibited from talking to the opponent's media surrounding game week.

But be assured that the Warriors have given them something to think about.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@staradvertiser.com.






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