TOLEDO, OHIO (AP) - Boise State is well aware of how close Toledo came to knocking off Ohio State last week, just about eliminating any chance that the No. 4 Broncos will be looking past the Rockets on Friday night.
The Broncos, who didn’t play last weekend after a season-opening 35-21 win over Georgia, got a chance to watch their next opponent a little more than usual.
They came away a bit surprised and impressed after Toledo scored 15 first-quarter points and came within a play or two of upsetting their in-state rival before losing to the Buckeyes 27-22, in Columbus.
“It caught everybody on the team’s attention,” said Matt Miller, who became the first freshman receiver to start a season opener under coach Chris Petersen at Boise State. “They probably should have beat Ohio State so we’re not going to take them lightly.”
It was a nicely timed wake-up call for the Broncos (1-0) who played Toledo a year ago in Boise, and coasted to a 57-14 victory.
Boise State cornerback Jerrell Gavins said the Rockets showed they have more athletes than he expected.
“I actually thought Ohio State was going to blow them out,” he said. “I probably shouldn’t say that, but they played a pretty good game.”
Gavins insisted that the Broncos weren’t overlooking the Rockets even before their close call.
“Our preparation hasn’t changed,” he said.
The focus for the Boise State defense will likely be on Toledo receiver Eric Page who caught 12 passes for 145 yards last week and also threw for a two-point conversion.
The Rockets (1-1) like to hit the small and shifty Page with short passes and let him use his speed. He turned a short catch into a 66-yard touchdown at Ohio State. He’s also scored on three kickoff returns in his first two seasons.
Page thinks he can score any time he gets the ball.
“If you don’t have that approach,” he said, “you don’t have the right mindset.”
Gavins said it’s different covering a smaller receiver than a bigger wideout.
“It changes a lot,” he said. “Me being smaller, I can relate to him. I’m just as fast as he is, I’m just as quick as he is, so I have to just be a little more patient when I’m sticking him.”