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Arizona Fiesta Bowl preview: Five Boise State players to know

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A quick look at some of Boise State's most crucial players

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

The Boise State Broncos enter the Fiesta Bowl with an 11-2 record and as Mountain West Conference Champions.

With their only losses coming against Ole Miss and Air Force, Boise State has shown that they are a force to be reckoned with this season. Those are the only two games in 2014 that the Broncos have failed to score at least 28 points.

Let's take a look at five of the most crucial players to Boise State's success this season:

1. Jay Ajayi

Ajayi will look familiar to Arizona fans as he runs and looks like Ka'Deem Carey and Nick Wilson. The junior has already announced that he will forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft following the Fiesta Bowl. Having piled up 1,689 yards this season while averaging 5.2 yards per carry, Ajayi will likely be the focus of Arizona's defense on Wednesday. He's also Boise's second-leading receiver this year with 45 catches totaling 536 yards and four touchdowns to go with his 25 rushing scores. Those 29 touchdowns make him the nation's leading scorer. He's also already set a Boise State single-season record in all-purpose yardage (2,225).

2. Darian Thompson

Boise defensive coordinator Marcel Yates called Thompson the "Quarterback of the defense" out there in the safety position. The redshirt junior leads the team in interceptions (7), and is second on the team in total tackles (61). The seven interceptions equal the total number of INTs he had in his first two years. He also has five tackles for loss this season. He had just 1.5 total his first two years. Look for him to be a factor whenever Arizona decides to send the ball down the field and also on potential safety blitzes on rushing downs.

3. Kamalei Correa

Joining the first two guys mentioned on the Mountain West All-Conference First team this season is the sophomore defensive lineman from Hawaii. This year, Correa has sacked the quarterback ten times, and has racked up 17 tackles for loss. With Arizona having to use its backup center for the first half, there's a chance that Correa could do some serious damage early to the Wildcats in both the passing and running game.

4. Tanner Vallejo

While talking to defensive coordinator Yates on Sunday, he had high praise for the versatility that Vallejo has shown throughout his first two seasons  He has had to move back and forth between Mike and Sam linebacker, and the productivity has not dropped off at all with those changes. He led the Broncos in tackles (86), and trails only Correa in tackles for loss (15). He also has a pick-six this year that he took back 63 yards.

5. Grant Hedrick

While Jay Ajayi may be the most dangerous weapon that Boise State has on offense, the quarterback is no slouch himself. Hedrick is completing over 70 percent of his passes this season. He does have 13 interceptions this year, but eight of those 13 came in the games against Ole Miss and Air Force. In their 11 wins, Hedrick has a total of five INTs thrown. He has 22 TD tosses and averaged 260.5 yards per game in 2014. Wednesday will be his 19th career start.