For Fresno State, the week in review is also a preview of the biggest game in the Mountain West Conference to this point. The Bulldogs will play a major role in it, not as stooges as they have in the past to Boise State teams that routinely have flattened them, but as an adversary to a team that while not its old self is 4-1 and riding a four-game winning streak.
The Broncos got there by winning 40-14 last week at Southern Mississippi, which would suggest things are falling into place for a young team and a program that is 77-7 over the past six-plus seasons under coach Chris Petersen and the highest scoring bowl subdivision team since 2000.
But are they really?
In the victory at Southern Miss, the Broncos' first four touchdowns came off turnovers, their scoring drives covering 11, 35, 44 and 27 yards as they bolted to a 30-0 third-quarter lead.
Kudos for the turnovers and all, but reviewing that 26-point victory over the 0-5 Golden Eagles only points to potential problems, particularly with an offense that has struggled against better opponents -- and that list should not include winless Southern Miss.
Boise State faced just one third down in those four touchdown drives -- a third-and-1 from the Southern Miss 26-yard line. The Golden Eagles stuffed a rush on that play for no gain, but the Boise State drive continued on a face mask penalty.
For the game, the Broncos converted only 18.2% (2 of 11) of their third-down plays against a Southern Miss defense ranked 115th of 120 bowl subdivision teams in third-down defense, having allowed opponents to convert 51% (35 of 68) of those plays into first downs.
Boise State also had to punt seven times -- as many punts as the Golden Eagles had forced against Nebraska (one), Western Kentucky (two) and Louisville (four) combined. And of those seven drives, four were three-and-outs for the Broncos and on two more they ran just four plays.
There's more ...
Boise State's leading rusher was D.J. Harper with 47 yards on 13 plays, and the Broncos rushed for 109 yards on 33 plays against a Southern Miss defense that went into the game allowing 222 yards per game rushing and ranked 109th in the bowl subdivision.
Boise State had 310 yards of offense against a defense that went in ranked 78th, allowing 422 yards per game. Broncos quarterbacks Joe Southwick and Grant Hedrick passed for 201 yards and had a more-than-solid passing efficiency rating of 145.95, but it came against a unit that went in ranked 118th in passing efficiency defense allowing a rating of 163.55.
And it looked no better on the flip side.
Southern Miss surpassed its high in total offense by 100 yards -- a team ranked 119th going in with an average of 274 yards per game managed to gain 424 against the Broncos. The Golden Eagles' best had been 324 yards against an East Carolina team allowing 410 per game.
The Broncos also allowed Southern Miss a season high in passing yards (243) and first downs (21), and Boise State had only four tackles for a loss, the fewest the Golden Eagles have allowed this season. East Carolina had 12 tackles for a loss against them, and the Pirates average only 5.2 per game.
Some of that may be due to playing a second road game in a row -- the Broncos played at New Mexico the previous week -- or to an early 10 a.m. kickoff on Boise time (MDT).
Or that might just be Boise State this season. The Broncos lost a lot of experience with quarterback Kellen Moore and others now in the NFL, and are in catch-up mode.