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BOISE STATE NOTEBOOK Wait almost over for Broncos

Boise State holds final full practice before Thursday’s Maaco Bowl Las Vegas

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Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 12:15 am | Updated: 12:33 pm, Thu Dec 22, 2011.

LAS VEGAS — Boise State senior tight end Kyle Efaw was hardly ready to get sentimental Tuesday despite it marking the true beginning of the end.

The Broncos’ practice was last full practice the team will have this season, and it also will be the last for a group of 21 seniors in the blue and orange. Boise State will have a walk through today at Sam Boyd Stadium while making final preparations for Thursday’s Maaco Bowl Las Vegas.

“You don’t really think about that — you’re thinking about preparing and getting ready for the game,” Efaw said. “You reflect and look back on it afterwards.”

Efaw said he’s given a bit of a thought to his post-football career, but said he still isn’t positive on what he’ll do. Others are almost certain to be drafted in the NFL, and being in a game played before Christmas and less than three weeks after the season finale has sharpened focus on Thursday’s game.

“Obviously you’re thinking past Thursday a little bit, but not too much,” senior safety George Iloka said. “… If it was a later bowl game, then you might be struggling, thinking about what you’d do after football while you’re still in football.”

With the thought of sending out the seniors with an NCAA-record 50 wins, along with fulfilling one of the two main goals — winning a bowl game — the Broncos have reported a strong week of preparation.

“We had two really good practices here — I think we’re ready,” senior nickel Hunter White said.

Boise State took in a show at the Monte Carlo on the Vegas strip Tuesday, along with Arizona State. Broncos coach Chris Petersen, along with tackle Nate Potter and defensive tackle Billy Winn, will participate in a final news conference today, with the kickoff luncheon following. A pep rally for both teams will be held tonight in downtown Las Vegas.

Iloka proud of All-American nod

Often playing with a chip on his shoulder, feeling his accomplishments have not been fully appreciated, Iloka was given a pretty big honor last week, being named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press.

“It meant a lot,” Iloka said. “It shows that they actually watch the film and not just go off the stats. If you look at the stat sheet, it’s like ‘how did he make it?’ but if you watch the film, I played it all, I did well this year.”

Iloka is second on the team with 57 tackles, but has been a solid tackler and has played well at cornerback the last two weeks.

A sweet gift suite

Boise State players picked gifts in a gift suite at the team hotel Monday night, and were plenty happy with what they raked in. Each player can choose gifts that value up to $350. Among the possible gifts in the suite were guitars, a 32-inch TV, recliners and a camcorder.

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John Wustrow

Assistant Sports Editor

John is the assistant sports editor and covers high school sports

Bruce Mason

Sports Reporter

Bruce covers College of Idaho and Northwest Nazarene athletics