Broncos defense ranks among best in takeaways

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BOISE — The Boise State defense is quickly learning that taking is better than giving.

The No. 24 Broncos (4-1, 1-0 Mountain West) are among the nation's best at forcing turnovers, and so far this season are averaging nearly one fumble or interception per quarter.

Turnovers fueled Boise State's most recent victory, a 40-14 rout at Southern Miss on Saturday. The defense recovered three fumbles and picked off two passes, helping the offense build a 24-0 lead at the half.

In five games, the Broncos have 17 takeaways, tied for second-most in the nation with No. 2 Oregon and UCLA.

Broncos defensive lineman Darren Koontz attributes the early-season thievery success to a ball-stripping mindset.

Boise State will get a challenge this week against Fresno State (4-2, 2-0), the nation's top defense for takeaways.

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