For your day planners and social calendars ...
- When to watch: Thursday, September 20, 7:00 p.m. MT kickoff
- Where to watch: Bronco Stadium, Boise, Ida. (Capacity: 37,000)
- How to watch: Live on ESPN with Rece Davis, David Pollack, Jesse Palmer, and Samantha Steele
- What to wager: Boise State by 7.5 points
- What to wear: A blue or orange t-shirt. Forecast calls for sunny skies, high of 89, zero precipitation
- How to score tickets: The ticket black market has seats starting at $74
Drama-filled storylines in Saturday's game
Look, it's BYU!
The oft-requested, seldom-granted improved home scheduling begins this week with BYU, much to the delight of the Bronco fans who have had this game circled in Sharpie on calendars all year. ESPN thought so much of this matchup that they moved the game from Saturday to Thursday so it could get the attention it deserves. It is the only ESPN Thursday nighter that does not feature a BCS-conference team, and no, that is not a Big East joke.
Strength of schedule!
Not only will Boise State face a storied, regional, well-known team on Thursday night, they also get an opponent that is good at football. The BYU game is one of Boise State's two toughest remaining games on the schedule and possibly the last chance to show voters and TV watchers what they're made of until December 1 versus Nevada.
Low scoring games!
The strength of each of these teams is defense, so while the concept of BYU-Boise State might scream "Points!" reality figures to be more steeped in "Punts!"
Maybe I'm wrong (I often am), but Boise State and BYU are both Top 25 in scoring defense nationwide and only allow 14 points per game. So I will plan on explaining to others in my viewing party the inherent value in defensive struggles, all the while hoping for an explosion of Bronco touchdowns.
Joe Southwick is a decent human being!
One of the big storylines last week was Joe Southwick's shot at redemption and, tragically, winning over Bronco fans. Tragic because a fanbase should not turn on a quarterback so quickly. Southwick played nice with the pressure and played well on the field - well enough that the biggest fear in Thursday night's game is no longer to what degree he will screw the pooch.
New biggest issue: Field goal kicking.
Bonus: The issue goes both ways.