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POSTED: September 3, 2011 2:00 a.m.

No. 5 Boise State vs. No. 19 Georgia, 8 p.m. Saturday (ESPN)

Line: Boise State by 3½.

Series Record: Georgia leads 1-0.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Boise State has moved from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West, but the Broncos still must win this game to have any chance of cracking the BCS. Georgia is coming off its first losing season since 1996, putting coach Mark Richt on the hot seat heading into his 11th year with the Bulldogs. His team will establish the tone for its season in the first two weeks, following up the game against No. 5 Boise State with a Southeastern Conference showdown vs. 12th-ranked South Carolina.

KEY MATCHUP

Georgia QB Aaron Murray vs. Boise State defense. The third-year sophomore had a brilliant debut season (24 touchdowns, only 8 INTs) that was largely overshadowed by Georgia's losing record. He'll be facing an attacking defense that could have as many as nine senior starters.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Boise State: QB Kellen Moore. One of the leading contenders for the Heisman Trophy after topping the nation in passing efficiency last season (71 percent completions, 3,845 yards, 35 TDs, 6 INTs).

Georgia: RB Isaiah Crowell. The touted freshman quickly endeared himself to Georgia fans by using an actual bulldog to announce he was signing with the school. They'll like him even more if he bolsters a running game that's short on experience.

FACTS & FIGURES

Boise State has never beaten a Southeastern Conference team (0-4). ... The Bulldogs are playing their first regular-season game in a domed stadium since 1967, when they lost to Houston 15-14 in the Astrodome. They are familiar with the Georgia Dome, going 4-3 in postseason games at the stadium located about 75 miles from their campus. ... The Broncos have the nation's highest overall winning percentage since 1997 at .819 (145-32). ... Georgia is 41-6 against non-SEC teams during the Richt era. ... Boise State left the WAC after winning eight league championships in 10 seasons. ... Georgia is opening the season against a top-five team for the first time since an 18-17 upset of defending national champion Alabama in 1965. ... Since beating No. 5 Auburn 37-17 on the road in 2006, the Bulldogs are 0-4 against top-five teams. ... Boise State's ranking is the second highest in school history to start a season. Last year, the Broncos were No. 3 in the AP preseason poll.

 

 

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