PLAYERS TO WATCH:
–DE Demarcus Lawrence leads the Mountain West with 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. He also has four forced fumbles, an interception, a blocked kick and a touchdown in his first season at the major college level. His playmaking has been a key for a defense that lost its entire defensive line after last season.
–QB Joe Southwick finished the season strong, climbing to 40th in the nation in pass efficiency. In the last three games, he completed 53-of-75 passes for 624 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions. He also rushed for 25 yards in the regular-season finale, his best running performance of the season.
–RB D.J. Harper topped 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career this season with 1,065. He also has scored 16 touchdowns, 15 of them rushing. The sixth-year senior rushed for 130 yards in the regular-season finale against Nevada and posted six 100-yard games this season.
–WR Matt Miller recorded the first 100-yard game of his career against Nevada. The sophomore has more catches than any Bronco over the past two seasons but many of them are possession-type throws designed to get first downs. He has 60 catches for 679 yards and five touchdowns this season.
BOWL HISTORY: Boise State is 8-4 in bowl games and will play in the postseason for the 11th straight year. The Broncos have won their past three bowl games, beating TCU (Fiesta), Utah (MAACO) and Arizona State (MAACO).
QUOTE TO NOTE: “We answered when we needed to, and that’s what I’m really proud about the offense, to really come through. The defense has been so stellar all year, and has carried us most of the way. When we needed to answer in a championship game, (the offense) came through.” — Boise State coach Chris Petersen, on the offensive performance against Nevada.