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Top 25 Intel: No. 14 Boise State

The reason Boise State Broncos head coach Chris Petersen says his team "came out of nowhere" last year is the same reason they don't have a prayer of sneaking up on anybody in 2009. This causes the coach a bit of stress. Sneaking up used to be the BSU way.

Not anymore. The defense now gives them away. It was so dominant last year that it matched the level of the typically brilliant offense.

Teams visiting the Broncos last year -- the ones who used to get involved in shootouts on the aquamarine abyss -- instead were introduced to the general unpleasantness of "True Life: Smurf Lockdown." In this version of the cartoon, the boys in blue shank you and steal your lunch ration.

"Our defense just really stepped up last year from the outset," says Petersen, thus the coming out of nowhere. He adds, "But even if the stats didn't completely bear it out, I felt like based on the direction of things and the kids we were getting, we'd been building to a season like this for years."

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