We go through this every year. If the Boise St. Broncos can just beat one more BCS conference team, we'll take them for real. Or maybe you already take them for real. In SEC country, that's not universally the case, especially since Georgia shredded the Broncos last time around. And this year's big out-of-conference test, a virtual road game against the Georgia Bulldogs, has a built-in excuse should the SEC's 4-0 record against the Broncos fail: Georgia was 6-7 last year. Who can't beat Georgia?
Senior Kellen Moore is your star of the game, a Heisman Trophy runner-up who's been through this kind of thing before, leading Boise State to a key late drive against the Virginia Tech Hokies deep in VPI country last year. The two questions for the Bronco offense: how well will new offensive coordinator Brent Pease replicate the attack constructed by the departed Bryan Harsin, who left for Texas, and how will Moore fare without his top two targets from last year, Titus Young and Austin Pettis, who combined for more than half of the team's 2010 receiving yards?
The two big questions for Georgia are ... well, Georgia has lots of questions. Will converted linebacker Richard Samuel and true freshman Isaiah Crowell, along with an offensive line rocked by both injury and transfers, make for a running game? Can Tavarres King and Marlon Brown step out of A.J. Green's shadow? Between Kwame Geathers and John Jenkins -- and that's 700 pounds of humanity, so there's very little room between -- do the Dawgs have a true nose tackle for their second-year 3-4 scheme?
But the one question that matters more than any other: can Boise State beat a traditional SEC power in the capital of SEC country? OK, two questions. And, if they do, would that plus an undefeated season be enough to put them in line for a title shot?
Game date, time: 8 pm ET, Saturday, Sept. 3
Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
TV channel: ESPN
Spread: Boise State by 3.5
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