Boise State vs. New Mexico: Defense Will Continue to Propel Broncos

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer ISeptember 28, 2012

BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 20:  Michael Alisa #42 of the BYU Cougars is brought down by the Boise State Broncos on the Broncos 1 yard line at Bronco Stadium on September 20, 2012 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

As tough as it was to watch No. 24 Boise State's game against BYU last week, it did reinforce the fact that the defense has been solid this season.

In the 7-6 victory, the Broncos' only score came on a 36-yard interception return by senior defensive tackle Michael Atkinson, one of three interceptions by Boise State against the Cougars.

BYU were able to complete only eight of 19 pass attempts for 61 yards (3.2 yards per attempt) with zero touchdowns. Boise State also caused two fumbles and held BYU to 3.6 yards per carry.

This was consistent with a team that held then-No. 13 Michigan State to 17 points in the season opener and limited Miami (OH) to 12 points. Through three games, the Broncos have allowed 11.7 points per game, 10th in the nation.

Boise State's biggest strength on defense this season has been against the pass. The Broncos have held opposing quarterbacks to 5.7 yards per attempt, while notching six interceptions and allowing just one touchdown pass.

The good news for New Mexico on Saturday in Albuquerque is that its strength offensively lies in its running game (5.0 yards per carry, nine rushing touchdowns). 

The bad news is, most of that damage was directed toward FCS opponent Southern University and New Mexico State, teams allowing 5.1 yards per carry and 5.0 yards per carry respectively this season. Combined, Southern and New Mexico State have allowed 15 rushing touchdowns so far.

Against then-No. 17 Texas and Texas Tech, the Lobos combined for 3.5 yards per carry and one total touchdown on the ground.

Boise State isn't bad against the rush, either. The Broncos are allowing 3.5 yards per carry this season. They did give up that huge 210-yard, two-touchdown performance to Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell. However, they have been able to severely limit their last two opponents on the ground and nobody on New Mexico compares in the slightest to Bell.

No matter how inept Boise State's offense is on Saturday in Albuquerque, you can trust its defense will lead the way to victory.


Follow <span class=