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Midseason Report: Boise State

10/12/2010

Boise State Broncos

Record: 5-0 (1-0 WAC)

You want to talk about pressure? Try being Boise State this season. The Broncos are trying to become the first team from a nonautomatic qualifying conference to play in the BCS national championship game, but are fighting negative perceptions and stereotypes along the way. They started the season with a crucial game on the road against No. 10 Virginia Tech. But even a 33-30 win has not been good enough to silence the critics, who point to the way the Hokies lost the following week to FCS James Madison. Boise State beat Oregon State, another team from one of the “Big Six” conferences many said afterward the Broncos did not do it convincingly enough. Winning is not enough, and beating teams 59-0 is not enough -- because Boise State dropped in the polls after posting that large margin of victory over New Mexico State. The Broncos now have their highest ranking ever at No. 3 and own the longest current winning streak in the country at 19 games. But they have helped draw distinct lines in the sand among college football fans. You either want to see them bust the system, or you want them to lose, go home and stay in their little corner in the West. Either way, Boise State has been one of the biggest storylines to watch this season, and a huge game at Nevada on Nov. 26 could determine its fate.

Offensive MVP, QB Kellen Moore. What more can you say about the only non-AQ player in the Heisman conversation? Moore is as good as he was last season, as evidenced by his poise under pressure in leading the Broncos to the game-winning drive against Virginia Tech with time ticking down. He is 91-of-135 for 1,336 yards with 14 touchdowns and just one interception this season.

Defensive MVP, DE Shea McClellin. All the guy does is make one big play after another. He has five tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and has scored twice -- once on an interception return and once on a fumble return, the first player to do that since Kareem Williams in 1999. He has helped key an aggressive but underrated defensive line.