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Boise State Hasn't Had Success Against the East Coast
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #444, August 6, 2010
Sixth-ranked Virginia Tech's opponent for their season opener on September 6th will be #5 Boise State. The Broncos have been one of the most successful teams in the country over the past decade, dominating the WAC and going to a bowl game 10 times in the past 11 seasons.
In those 11 seasons, Boise State has ventured out of conference to play a team from a BCS league a total of 17 times. The Broncos' record in those games is 6-11. They are 4-6 against the PAC-10 and 2-0 against the Big 12. However, whenever they've played a team from the east coast and a more physical brand of football, they've struggled.
Despite common perception, Boise State is not a finesse team. They throw the ball a lot, but they are tough and physical in the trenches. They've been able to outphysical PAC-10 and Big 12 teams: Oregon, Oregon State, Oklahoma, and Iowa State. However, they haven't been able to outmuscle the east coast teams, who in general play a more physical brand of football than their west coast counterparts.
Particularly the SEC teams, who have flattened Boise State in their last three meetings. Virginia Tech will bring SEC type athletes and toughness to FedExField. That's something that the Broncos don't get an opportunity to face very often, and when they do it generally doesn't turn out particularly well.
On the other hand, this Boise State team is used to winning football games. They will come east with a confident attitude and expecting victory. Rightly so, as their rising seniors have posted a 36-4 combined record over the past three seasons.
They have also fared better against BCS conference teams in recent years. After going 2-10 against their first 12 BCS opponents since 1999, the Broncos are 4-1 in their last five games. That includes wins over Oregon in 2008 and 2009 (and the Ducks went to the Holiday Bowl and Rose Bowl in those two years), and wins over Oregon State and Oklahoma in 2006. Oregon State went 10-4 with a trip to the Sun Bowl in 2006, while the Broncos beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
Boise State's only BCS loss in that span came 24-10 against Washington in 2007. It was an upset, as Washington went just 4-9 that season. Despite that loss, it's easy to see that Boise State has upgraded their talent level over the past four years.
After going 14-0 last year, the Broncos are expected to field the most talented, deepest team in school history in 2010. Will that be enough to record their first big win against an east coast BCS team? We'll find out on September 6th.
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