Boise State defense impresses

Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson

BOISE, Idaho -- Boise State coach Chris Petersen came into Thursday’s game against No. 16 Oregon admittedly concerned about his defense.

His front seven was almost entirely new and he wasn’t sure how his players would react in a high-pressure situation against a team that had most of its players returning from the No. 7 offense in the country last season.

Those worries were assuaged after the first half when the Broncos held Oregon to just 14 yards of total offense and 16 plays in the half. The Ducks didn’t have a first down until there was about 7 minutes remaining in the third quarter. They committed two turnovers.

Overall, Boise State held the Ducks to 152 yards of total offense, their lowest output since being held to 148 yards by UCLA on Nov. 24, 2007.

“I’m very anxious to go put the tape [on] and see what they were actually doing, who was making the plays because I think a lot of guys were doing a great job getting off blocks, rallying to the ball and not getting anything started,” Petersen said. “I think we all know Oregon’s got some very explosive players and they just did a good job of containing them and not letting it happen."

Boise State’s defense was one of the best in the country last season, but returned just five starters and most are in the secondary. While the Broncos' success was part their effort and part the lack of cohesion in the Ducks' offense, Petersen said the game was something on which his young defense can build.

“I think this will be a confidence builder for our defense as well,” Petersen said. “As we all know, this game of football, and life in general, is all about confidence and I think that will help us.”