Fourth-ranked Boise State, who finished the cupcake portion of its WAC schedule last week against Lousiana Tech, hosts streaking Hawaii Saturday afternoon in Boise. The next four games for the Broncos, all against soon-to-be bowl eligible squads, will test their mettle and help us understand just how good this BSU squad can be.
First on the docket: The Hawaii Warriors. Greg McMackin's boys, picked to finish in the bottom third of the WAC, have won six games in a row. The Warriors high-octane offense is led by quarterback Bryan Moniz and his trio of fantastic receivers. Hawaii leads the nation in passing yards and passing touchdowns. The Islanders are also on the cusp of the Top 25, currently ranked 26th.
The Warriors are not a one-phase ball club. It was the Hawaii defense that disarmed nationally-ranked Nevada and its high powered Pistol offense. The Warrior D is only allowing 19 points per game. This has helped the Warriors beat their first four WAC opponents by an average of 24 points per game.
So, should Boise State be worried?
Maybe. But probably not.
The Broncos have been fantastic in all three phases this season. Kellen Moore is a legitimate Heisman contender as he leads the nation in passing efficiency. The Broncos are in the top-10 in both total offense and total defense. Boise is outscoring its opponents by over 30 points per game. Boise State has the nation's longest winning streak and Chris Petersen has never lost in Boise. Need I go on?
Hold the phones! It was the Hawaii Warriors who last beat Boise in the regular season. Colt Brennan blitzed the Broncos on the littered field of Aloha Stadium. That was in 2007. 32 games ago. Can Saturday have a similar outcome? The Broncos have also dominated the Warriors on the mainland. BSU has beaten the Warriors by an average of 30 points in the friendly confines of Bronco Stadium.
Is 2010 different for the Warriors? Hawaii has struggled on the road against quality opponents over the years. If Greg McMackin can pull off the upset of the year in mid-major land, he will have earned his salary, which is the highest in the WAC. However, no one is expecting the Warriors to win the ballgame, except maybe McMackin himself.
"We're real excited about this week," McMackin said. "I think we're peaking right now. ... I know (Boise's) had some time off, and I like playing teams that have byes, so I think it's the right time."We all know Chris Petersen and his ability to get his ball club ready week in and week out. So does Vegas. The Broncos are three touchdown favorites. The Over/Under is 66. Look for an old Western Athletic Conference shootout. And, while we might all be glued to Utah/TCU on Saturday afternoon, flip it over to Hawaii/Boise State and you shouldn't be disappointed.