- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 19, 2012

THURSDAY

Brigham Young (2-1) vs. No. 24 Boise State (1-1), 9 p.m. EDT (ESPN)

Line: Boise St by 7 1/2.

Series: Boise State leads 2-0

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Boise State is ranked again after handling Miami, Ohio, last Saturday for its first win of the season. Quarterback Joe Southwick found his groove in the second half and Boise State’s offense looked excellent after a rough night in the opener against Michigan State. The Cougars are looking to bounce back after a tough and chaotic loss to Utah in Salt Lake City, a defeat that dropped BYU from the rankings.

KEY MATCHUP

Boise State RB D.J. Harper against vs. the Cougars’ defense. Harper is coming off a career-high 162 yards and four touchdowns last week. But the Cougars currently rank sixth in the nation in run defense, allowing an average of 53 yards per game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Brigham Young: QB Riley Nelson. Nelson is a dual threat with his legs and arm. So far this season, he’s completed 60 percent of his passes, thrown five touchdowns and is second on the team with 108 rushing yards.

Boise State: Southwick. The redshirt junior is making his third start after taking over for Kellen Moore. The results so far have been mixed. Southwick struggled in an opening loss at Michigan State, but got the offense rolling in the second half last week when he completed 24 of 31 for 304 yards and two touchdowns.

FACTS & FIGURES

BYU is ninth in total defense nationally, allowing just 241 yards per game and stingy when it comes to allowing points, with an average of 14.3 points per game. … The two schools are separated by just a five-hour drive. … BYU WR Cody Hoffman has caught passes in 22 straight games. … It’s a short week for both teams, and BYU under Bronco Mendenhall is 3-1 in Thursday games after playing previously on a Saturday. … Boise State has not lost a home game in September in more than a decade, dating to a 42-20 defeat against Washington State in 2001. … The Broncos are just one of four teams that have yet to allow a quarterback sack so far this season.