|Starters Bryan Dougas (No. 1, knee) and Lee Hightower (No. 29, suspension) are out indefinitely.(US Presswire)|
As Boise State continues to move through its last season of Mountain West play, the Broncos have positioned themselves not only to win a conference title (their first since joining the MW) but possibly finish high enough in the BCS standings to get an at-large bid.
Those efforts will require overcoming some adversity in the secondary. On Monday, coach Chris Petersen confirmed that cornerback Bryan Douglas will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn ACL in the win at Wyoming on Saturday. Starting safety Lee Hightower has also been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. Hightower ranks sixth on the team with 31 tackles and isn't currently practicing with the team.
Nickel back Dextrell Simmons is also injured, though his status is being monitored on a "day to day or week to week" basis. Even with all the injuries in the secondary, Petersen told The Idaho Statesman that he would not burn a true freshman's redshirt for limited action.
"We're not going to waste anybody's year," Petersen said. "If we're going, we're going, and that guy's going to get good quality reps and it's going to springboard him into next year."
The Idaho Statesman's Chadd Cripe suggests that safety Chanceller James might be an answer at cornerback, along with transfer Deon'tae Florence and Dillon Lukehart. Redshirt freshman Darian Thompson replaced Hightower against Wyoming and will continue to do so as long as the suspension is in place.
One of the surprises for Boise State has been the play of its defense. The Broncos returned only a few starters from 2011's veteran-laden unit, and many expected the defense to take a step back. Instead, it ranks among the nation's best -- fifth nationally in scoring defense (13.6 points allowed per game) and 15th in total defense.
The Broncos (7-1, 4-0 Mountain West) host San Diego State on Saturday night in prime time. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Click here for a channel finder in your area.
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