Both TCU and Boise State were too smart to provide the other with any sort of bulletin board material more than three months before the teams clash in Boise, Idaho, on Nov. 12 for the schools' first and only Mountain West Conference meeting. The Broncos are playing in the league for the first time and the Horned Frogs leave for the Big East Conference after this season.
Broncos quarterback Kellen Moore, one of four Heisman Trophy finalists in 2010, returns for his fourth and final season as the Boise State starter. His respect for TCU, like that of his coach Chris Petersen, sounds genuine, just as TCU coach Gary Patterson and linebacker Tank Carder heaped respect on the Broncos during the league's media days in Las Vegas.
Both sides understand the media interest in a game so far down the schedule. Moore tried to put it in perspective.
"We've had those questions about our situation with TCU because there's a history, it's two programs that have had tons of success, and are both highly recognized," Moore said. "I think we're in a lot of the same conversations, same categories. It's kind of natural to say, 'Hey, let's talk about these two because they're in that boat trying to prove some people wrong."
The teams have split two bowl showdowns in the last three seasons -- TCU won 17-16 in the Poinsettia Bowl after the 2008 season and the Broncos won 17-10 in the Fiesta Bowl in 2009. Moore started both games for the Broncos and is second among the nation's active career passing leaders with 10,867 yards, 831 completions and 99 touchdowns.
"Both games essentially came down to the last possession," he said. "We'll play them in November, and it will probably be very similar."
Moore acknowledges that the Broncos have the upper hand playing at home, but he expects TCU will handle the pressure.
"I think there's a ton of respect between the two programs," Moore said. "We know how well coached they are, and I think they know how well coached we are. We know they have all the talent in the world. Obviously, it's always a benefit to play at home, but the bottom line is they do such a great job, as we've also been fortunate to do, at blocking out all those distractions. They're not a team that's going to get rattled by the Mountain West, the blue turf, and the crowd. They do such a great job of putting on the blinders, similar to us."
No Blue for you
Boise State won't be wearing blue uniforms at home for Mountain West games this season. The league, prompted by MWC coaches, made the stipulation before the Broncos joined the league. The field turf at Bronco Stadium is blue, which some coaches claim makes it hard to analyze game film of the Broncos when they're wearing blue uniforms.
Boise State coach Chris Petersen told the Idaho Statesman he "thought it was ridiculous. That's our colors. That's who we are. That's who our fans have wanted us to be since I've been at Boise State."
The Broncos can wear all the blue for nonconference and road games.
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