Stats & Info: Chris Petersen

Boise brings 'A' game vs ranked opponents

August, 31, 2012
For the fourth straight season Boise State
is opening with a top-20 opponent, as the 24th-ranked Broncos face 13th-ranked Michigan State on Friday at 8 ET on ESPN.

However, this will be the first time the Broncos have played a true road game in the season opener since a loss at Georgia in 2005.


Over the last 10 seasons, no team has won more games or had a better win percentage than Boise State.

And the Broncos have been at their best against AP Top 25 opponents, winning six of seven games since the start of 2009. They're 5-0 in these games when they have more than two weeks to prepare, including 3-0 in season openers. Boise’s passing has been the key. The Broncos are averaging 270.6 pass yards per game against AP Top 25 teams since the start of the 2009 season.

The Broncos have won six straight and eight of their last nine games against BCS teams. Of those eight wins, six have been against ranked teams.

But this is a different team than it was the last four years. Joe Southwick will be Boise State’s starting quarterback. He has big shoes to fill, as he tries to replace Kellen Moore, the all-time winningest quarterback in FBS history with 50 victories.

Southwick does have some playing experience. He has played in 16 games as a backup over the last two seasons, completing 40-of-54 passes for 400 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

This is just the second time the Broncos will face a Big Ten team – they lost at Wisconsin in 1997.

Boise State’s average drive started at its own 39-yard line last season, the best starting field position in FBS. Its opponents started at their own 24, which was the best defensive field position.


Field position may be tough to come by at Spartan Stadium, where Michigan State’s 14-game home win streak is the fourth-longest active streak among FBS teams. The last time the Spartans lost at home was in 2009 against Penn State.

Boise State isn't the only team in this matchup with a new quarterback replacing a stalwart. Andrew Maxwell will be Michigan State’s starting quarterback. He will be replacing Kirk Cousins, the Spartans’ all-time leader in wins, passing yards and passing touchdowns.

In addition to losing Cousins, the Spartans also lost their top-four pass catchers (by receiving yards) from last season: B.J. Cunningham, Keshawn Martin, Keith Nichol and Brian Linthicum. Specifically the loss of Cunningham will hurt the Spartans downfield attack as Cunningham had 17 more 20-plus yard receptions than any other Spartans receiver since the start of 2010.

Michigan State is opening the season against a ranked opponent for the first time since 1998. That season, the Spartans hosted 15th-ranked Colorado State and lost 23-16.

The Spartans are ranked 13th in the preseason AP Poll. That is the highest the Spartans have been ranked in the preseason since 1979 when they were ranked 10th.

Michigan State is ranked in the preseason AP Poll for the second straight season, something that hasn’t happened since 1997-98.
1. Alabama (18 straight games) and Nebraska (12 straight) are each carrying long streaks of allowing 21 points or fewer. How impressive is that? No other FBS team has a streak longer than four games. Two other teams, Rutgers and West Virginia, have done it in every game this season. But both of those teams have played four games and their streak does not extend into last season.

2. Urban Meyer and Les Miles both started their SEC coaching careers in 2005, and Meyer is one of the few FBS coaches with a better record than Miles since that time. When you factor in the 2007 BCS title, Meyer and Mack Brown are the only two coaches who have been inarguably more successful than Miles during this stretch.

NOTE: Boise State's Chris Petersen began in 2006, so he doesn't make the list.

3. It's not often that Alabama and San Jose State are mentioned in the same sentence, but that is the case this week. The Spartans will join the Crimson Tide as the only FBS teams to have played four ranked opponents after this weekend. San Jose State travels to No. 21 Nevada this week after having already lost to ranked teams Alabama, Wisconsin and Utah.

4. Denard Robinson became just the second player with two 200-yard rushing and passing games in the same season, joining Vince Young in 2005. It was Young's final season and he led the Longhorns to the national title. Robinson's numbers through 5 games are better than Young's that season.

5. On Saturday, Georgia will attempt to avoid its first five-game, single-season losing streak since 1953. Pretty amazing considering that every other current SEC team has had at least one such losing streak since then, including some perennial powerhouses. A bit of trivia … other than Georgia, which current SEC schools have the fewest five-game, single-season losing streaks since 1953?

Answer: Auburn and Tennessee with one each.
No. 3 Boise State and No. 10 Virginia Tech lived up to the hype on Monday night. The two teams combined for 63 points and 697 yards of total offense. Despite a lopsided first quarter the game was competitive all the way until the clock ran out.

In the end, Boise State’s chance at a perfect season is still intact while Virginia Tech snaps their 5-game win streak. Here’s an inside-the-numbers look at Boise State versus Virginia Tech.

Boise State 33, Virginia Tech 30

0 - The Hokies fall to 0-22 against AP top-5 teams away from home (1-26 overall).

3 – Virginia Tech RB Ryan Williams scored 3 TD (2 Rush, 1 Rec) making it the 4th game with 3 or more TD over the last 2 seasons. That's tied for the 2nd most in the FBS. Williams now has 13 TD in his last 4 games dating back to last season.

4 - Boise State improves to 4-1 versus teams in the AP top 10 since 2000.

15 - Boise State has won 15 straight games.

17 - Boise State outscored Virginia Tech 17-0 in the 1st quarter and outgained the Hokies 76-5.

20 – Virginia Tech QB Tyrod Taylor was 2-8, 0 TD on passes OVER 20 yards (13-14, 2 TD on passes less than 20 yards).

30 - First time since Dec. 7, 2002 that Virginia Tech lost a regular-season game when scoring 30+ points (lost 56-45 to Miami).

50 - Coach Chris Petersen improves to 50-4 as coach of Boise State.

56 – Kellen Moore led a 56-yard touchdown drive capped off by a 13-yard TD pass to Austin Pettis with 1:09 remaining to seal the victory for Boise State