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While much of the attention shone on Boise State over the years has focused on an offense that has produced stars like quarterback Kellen Moore, running backs Doug Martin and Ian Johnson and wide receivers Austin Pettis and Titus Young, the Broncos' defense has made the program elite.

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Many of those high scoring games were a result of the electric play of ex Nevada star Colin Kaepernick. But even with Kaepernick, Boise State did a good job of making life tough for the Wolf Pack offense.

Boise State linebackers coach Bob Gregory said Saturday's game would be a physical slug fest.

Yet, the Boise State defense is as good as ever. The unit is allowing just 14.4 points per game, which ranks fifth in the nation and is down from 18.7 points per game in 2011. The defense ranks eighth in yards allowed (293.3), fifth in turnovers (32) and first in passing touchdowns allowed (three). Saturday at Mackay Stadium, has even been a bit of a surprise to Broncos coach Chris Petersen.

"We expect them to play at a high level, but we lost so many guys of last year's defense, which was really strong, that you just don't know how some of the young guys will respond," Petersen said. "It's a fine line. You'd like to say you expected this, but until you throw them out there and let them play a few games, you never know. It's been a pleasant surprise."

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twice (to San Diego State and New Mexico).

BOISE STATE DEFENSE

Over the past five years, Boise State has allowed just 15.1 points per game. In that same period, Nevada has allowed 28.1 points per game. Petersen said his team's defense has been overlooked over the years.

"They just get off blocks really well," Nady said. "They don't stay blocked. They're relentless. They're well coached. They're disciplined. It's a good football team. We have to come out and play our best. We can't turn the ball over, we can't be penalized if we're going to come out on top."

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"When you score a bunch of points and do a bunch of things on offense, no matter how good your defense plays everybody is going to gravitate toward the offense," Petersen said. "But I don't think you win as many games as we've won without playing really good defense."

Wolf Pack offensive tackle Jeff Nady, who started on the 2010 team that upset Boise State, raved about the Broncos' defense, which is the best Nevada will play this season.

The Broncos lost Saucony Grid Sd

That Boise State defense will get arguably its toughest test of the season when it faces Nevada, which is the nation's only team to score least 30 points in every game this season. Boise State hasn't allowed 30 points in any game, yielding more than 20 just Saucony Liberty Pack

Still, Boise State is aware of how tough a test it will be Reebok Shoes 2018 to hold down a Nevada offense that ranks 10th in the nation in total offense (509.5) and 16th in scoring offense (38.5).

This was the year the Boise State defense was supposed to take a step backwards.

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"They're pretty good at scheming us, even when Kap was here," wide receiver Brandon Wimberly said. "To come up with a scheme that could hold him is pretty hard, but they found ways to do that. I just feel like they have a really good scheme against the Pistol offense after going against it so many times."

The one program that has consistently had some success against Boise State's defense has been Nevada, which has averaged 35.6 points against the Broncos over the past five years. That figure is somewhat inflated by the Wolf Pack's 67 points in a four overtime game in 2007, but Nevada has scored at least 33 points in four of the past five games against the Broncos.

Colorado State Crockett Gillmore is taken down by a pair of Boise State defenders during a game earlier this season. Presswire)

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´╗┐Stellar Boise State defense will provide stern test for potent Wolf Pack offense

The Boise State defense is the best Nevada will face this season. Here's a look at the Broncos' stats and where they rank nationally in 2012.

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"I told our guys it's like a heavyweight fight it's the old days, it's 15 rounds," Gregory told the Idaho Statesman. "They don't know who Muhammad Ali is, but that's what it is."

help each other. If you stop one thing, they can come back to another thing. It's a good offense. It's a very good offense."

"It's good. It's really good," Petersen said. "It's very challenging. There's no question. You get a running quarterback, which Colin was and Cody (Fajardo) is, and it's hard. The scheme is very complimentary of itself. The plays all Reebok Ventilator Black

four defensive players to the NFL in the offseason. It returned just one defensive player who had at least five career starts: cornerback Jamar Taylor. On top of that, the team has lost three starters to season ending injuries/suspensions this year.

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The Boise State defense isn't as star studded as it has been in the past, but it is technically sound, explosiveness, disciplined and deep. Ten Broncos players have recorded an interception. Thirteen have forced at least one fumble. And 14 have at least one sack.

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