After an insane 47-46 win over Houston last week, BYU has a short week to prepare to welcome Boise State to LaVell Edwards Stadium on Friday night.

While this won't be Boise State's strongest squad of the past 10 years, BYU is in for a fight against a team that it has never beaten as the Cougars are 0-3 against the Broncos. BYU fought hard against the Broncos last season in Boise, but fell 7-6 despite the defense not giving up an offensive point.

From Jay Ajayi to Demarcus Lawrence, here's everything you need to know about the Broncos.

Lafe Peavler is a sportswriter intern at the Deseret News.


The Bronco offense took a big blow last week as starting quarterback Joe Southwick broke his ankle against Nevada. Therefore, junior Grant Hedrick will get his first collegiate start against the Cougars.

Despite his inexperience, BYU can't take Hedrick lightly. After Southwick went out, Hedrick passed for 150 yards and completed more than 85 percent of his passes. He also had eight carries for 115 yards and two touchdowns to lead Boise State to victory over the Wolf Pack.

The Cougar front seven also have running back Jay Ajayi to worry about. The sophomore rushed for 222 yards and three touchdowns against Nevada last week, including a 71-yard touchdown run.

BYU can expect a heavy dose of the run from Hedrick and Ajayi and a lot of short passes as Hedrick's career long is just 35 yards. However, the Cougar defense also better be prepared for some trick plays. It is Boise State, after all.


Boise State's front seven will present a problem for Taysom Hill and the BYU offense. Redshirt freshman Ben Weaver has impressed at linebacker with 63 tackles, four of them for loss, and one sack. And the offensive line better keep track of junior defensive end Demarcus Lawrence. Lawrence has terrorized quarterbacks with 6.5 sacks on the season.

The secondary is dangerous as well. Junior cornerback Bryan Douglas leads the team with four interceptions, including one returned 62 yards for a touchdown.

The Bronco defense isn't invulnerable, as Washington and Fresno State proved by scoring 38 and 41 points, respectively. However, the offensive line will have its hands full and Hill can't afford to throw into coverage and get away with it against this squad.

Special teams

Boise State is reluctant to trust its kickers these days.

After all, Kyle Brotzman missed two critical field goals against Nevada in 2010 that kept the Broncos out of the Rose Bowl. Worse, Dan Goodale missed a 39-yard attempt against TCU that kept Boise State out of a BCS bowl again in 2011.

That same Goodale is Boise State's kicker this season.

The Broncos haven't even attempted a kick from longer than 40 yards this season. Goodale had a 34-yard kick blocked against Washington. Worse, he missed an extra point and had one blocked against Southern Miss.

Trevor Harman is a solid punter, averaging 42.3 yards per punt. However, he's even more dangerous as he completed a 30-yard pass on a punt fake against Hawaii.


Boise State head coach Chris Petersen is a man who needs no introduction.

He led the Broncos to a perfect season his first year as head coach and won a thrilling 43-42 overtime win over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Boise State has finished in the Top 10 four times since Petersen took over as head coach.

Petersen is to Boise State what LaVell Edwards is to BYU.

While this year's Broncos aren't the strongest squad that Petersen has coached, no one can underestimate Boise State while Petersen roams the sideline.


While Boise State isn't the Top 10 juggernaut that it was in recent history, the Broncos remain a dangerous foe. Despite losing their starting quarterback, the Broncos will be as tough a test any anyone else the Cougars have faced so far this season.

BYU vs. Boise State should be a close game. It'll be tough to top BYU's wild win over Houston last week, but with the Broncos in town, who knows what might happen?