No team in Division I has won more consecutive games than Boise State. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the Broncos also own the nation’s longest home win streak.
Boise State will be after its 15th straight victory overall and 21st in a row at home when BYU visits Bronco Stadium on Friday.
After posting relatively easy wins over Idaho and Oregon State in their first two games, the 21st-ranked Broncos (3-0) weren’t nearly as sharp in Saturday’s 47-31 victory at Texas-El Paso.
“We allowed too many big plays and we made too many turnovers,” Boise State coach Dan Hawkins said. “As long as we do that, a junior high team is going to be in the game with us.”
While their defense struggled for the second straight game, the Broncos again were impressive on offense, racking up 567 total yards to UTEP’s 291. Jared Zabransky was 26-of-37 for 392 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with Lawrence Bady seven times for 149 yards.
Quinton Jones and Drisan James each caught touchdown passes for Boise State, which barely held on to beat a team that has won only two games in each of the last three seasons.
“Everybody was relaxed, maybe too relaxed,” Zabransky said. “We weren’t as ready to play as we needed to be.”
Saturday’s win was the 14th in a row for the Broncos, dating to a 26-24 loss to Oregon State on Sept. 20, 2003. The only other team in the nation with a double-digit win streak is top-ranked Southern California (12).
With wins in their first two games this season, the Broncos extended the nation’s longest home win streak to 20. Boise State hasn’t lost on the blue turf of Bronco Stadium since a 41-20 defeat to Washington State on Sept. 8, 2001.
After leading the nation in scoring each of the past two seasons, Boise State could be on its way to doing it for a third straight year. The Broncos have averaged 55.0 points in their first three games, tying them with Purdue for tops in the country.
While the offense is no cause for concern for the Broncos, their defense has been shaky since holding Idaho to seven points and 211 total yards in the season opener. In the past two games, Boise State has surrendered 65 points and 760 total yards.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for BYU (1-2), which has already faced Notre Dame and Stanford and is coming off Saturday’s 42-10 loss to USC.
The Cougars were able to keep the game competitive for a while, but the Trojans’ offense took over in the second half and finished with 527 total yards, including 291 on the ground. USC had the ball almost 14 minutes longer than BYU and forced four turnovers.
Sophomore John Beck completed 18 of 34 passes for 194 yards and one touchdown while also throwing three interceptions.
“I felt like it was good for Beck to play the whole game and watch him develop,” BYU coach Gary Crowton said. “I think it’s only the second time in his career that he’s had a whole game under his belt. He’ll continue to develop and get better and better.”
Boise State routed BYU 50-12 last season in Provo in the first meeting between the teams.