No. 18 Broncos Look To Seal WAC Title Against Pack

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Boise State's 17 seniors will be honored Saturday before the regular-season home finale against Nevada.

It most likely won't be their last game at Bronco Stadium.

The No. 18 Broncos are one win away from clinching their second straight Western Athletic Conference title and are expected to make a repeat appearance in the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise on Jan. 3.

The preseason pick to finish second in the league, Boise State (10-1, 6-0) has already clinched at least a tie in the WAC.

"Everybody thought last year's senior class was so much better than those in the past and everybody forgot about us," Boise State quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie said.

Now, people are taking notice. The Broncos still have two more regular season games, plus a bowl to top last season's finish at No. 15 in The Associated Press poll.

Boise State closes the regular season next week at Hawaii, the preseason favorite to win the WAC. But first, the Broncos have to get past Nevada (6-5, 4-3), which had a weekend off after beating Hawaii 24-14 on Nov. 15.

"I just think there are so many teams in this conference that are capable of winning the whole deal," Boise State coach Dan Hawkins said. "They beat Washington, they beat Hawaii and are a very outstanding team."

Hawkins likes to downplay the Broncos' role as favorites, although it seems to get tougher every week. Boise State won last season's game 44-7 in Reno and leads the WAC with a 42.5-point scoring average.

The Wolf Pack is sixth in the league at 25.4 points per game.

"Boise State is clearly the premier team in the conference," Nevada coach Chris Tormey said. "They're just really solid on offense. They're very explosive. They have an excellent scheme and they execute it very well."

Dinwiddie has already set a single-season record for completions with 220 on 356 passes for 3,327 yards and 24 touchdowns. He had 22 completions last week in a 31-17 win at Fresno State and passed for 273 yards and two touchdowns in the Broncos' eighth-straight victory.

"I don't know if I've ever played against a quarterback as accurate as Ryan Dinwiddie, especially on the deep ball. He just has a knack for putting the ball where he wants it," Tormey said. "They do a nice job protecting him and he makes a lot of nice plays throwing the ball deep."

Nevada is trying to recover from a three-game losing streak. After opening the season 5-2, the Wolf Pack lost consecutive games to Louisiana Tech, Rice and Fresno State before ending the skid two week ago against Hawaii.

Upsetting the Broncos could be a nice cap to the season, especially after finishing last year at 5-7.

"There's no question that Boise State is a great team. They're at the top of the conference right now and we'd like to get there someday," Tormey said. "It's just an opportunity for us to make progress and get better. We can still have a winning season."


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