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Three keys: Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

1/4/2010

Boise State (13-0)

1.Run the ball: During last season's matchup between these two teams, Boise State rushed for 28 yards on 20 carries, and 20 of those yards came on one carry. The Broncos must rush the ball to take the pressure off quarterback Kellen Moore and keep the TCU defense honest. The Boise State running game has been better this season, rushing for almost 200 yards per game, but it hasn’t faced a defense as stout as TCU’s.

2.Perform in the red zone: One of the biggest problems for the Broncos last season was their inability to execute in the red zone. Either they’d get into the red zone and a penalty would knock them out, or they’d falter and have to settle for a field goal. With the way the TCU offense has performed this season, field goals won’t win this game.

3.Watch the pass: All week Boise State’s defense has said its primary focus is on stopping the run. And while TCU is a great running team, quarterback Andy Dalton and the Horned Frogs receiving corps also have been good and could take advantage of safeties overcommitting to the running games.

TCU (12-0)

1.Pressure Moore: TCU’s defensive pressure forced two sacks, eight tackles for loss, an interception and a fumble against Boise State a year ago, which helped contribute to the Horned Frogs win. The Horned Frogs need to get that same pressure if they expect to stay in this game. Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore is far more savvy with the football and his quick release makes it hard to get to him. But if the Horned Frogs can apply some pressure it will sway the game in their favor.

2.Diversify the offense: The Horned Frogs offense has been balanced this year and that will provide them the most success against a Boise State defense that is focusing on the run. TCU quarterback Andy Dalton was OK in this game a year ago, but he’s so much better. He needs to use both his arm and his feet to keep the Boise State defense off balance.

3.Let Kerley loose: One of the areas of the game that hasn’t been talked about much this week has been the ability of kick and punt returner Jeremy Kerley to change a game. Kerley already has returned two punts for touchdowns this year and has consistently been one of the biggest special teams threats in the country. Even if the Broncos try and kick it away from Kerley on kickoffs, they’ll have to contend with Greg McCoy, whom teammates say is the fastest player on the team.