These Friday games are really harshing my style - my style being that of sending out the weekly roundtable topic on time. As such, we have predictions from three of the OBNUG crew and will be left to guess what the others would have predicted. I bet Kazzy would have said 42-0.
Predict the score for Boise State vs. BYU
If you had told me at the beginning of the year that Grant Hedrick would be starting quarterback vs. BYU, I would have had a mild panic attack and spent the next eight weeks eating my feelings so hard (Cheetos, as it were). But now, after seeing Hedrick and the Bronco offense steamroll Nevada? I can't wait to see him against the Cougars. He's the best!
Reality is probably somewhere in the middle. I am way more excited about Hedrick than I should be and not concerned enough about his facing a much tougher defense Friday night. Still, my brain has yet to catch up with my heart, and I predict with my brain. Boise State 35, BYU 17.
There seem to be two camps of Bronco fans. Those that say "OMG! Hedrick can run! Our offense can finally shake loose from the shackles of "early slide" Southwick and start boatracing teams" and those that say "Southwick was the starter for A REASON, and that reason was probably that he's a better QB than Hedrick".
I am in the third camp...the lukewarm fencesitter camp. I do think that this "new" offense is tailor made for someone with Hedrick's skill set, but I also think that BYU's defense - specifically their front seven - are going to give us a few peeks at ways that Southwick > Hedrick.
Now, if BYU fails to keep Grant in the pocket, then we'll get an eyeful of the one meaningful way that Hedrick > Southwick: Wheels! If Hedrick can get loose and bust off some long runs, that should open up the ground game for Ajayi and should open up some stuff downfield as well. Of course, Boise State still has to play defense too, and Taysom Hill might be a bit harder to keep in the pocket than our diminutive backup since he is as big as our linebackers. I don't think we'll see the defensive struggle we saw last year on The Blue, but I do think defense will be key. Which team can keep the opposing QB from doing what they do well? I'm not losing a ton of sleep on this one because it doesn't impact the conference race and I have no idea what to expect from Hedrick - and since I don't know what to expect...I'll just hope for the best, and the best is a W. Boise State 35, BYU 31
I'm going to keep this short and sweet, because with the season we've had, I have no business predicting anything. The absolute key to the game is Hedrick's ability to soften up the defense by completing quick, easy passes downfield. We don't need the giant 50 yard bombs (although I won't complain if we do), but we do need lots of little 7-15 yard slants. If Grant can complete some passes, and force BYU to respect his arm, the gaps will open up for him and Ajayi, and the Broncos will reign victorious. I am confident saying that this game will not come down to a fat-guy touchdown. Final score: Boise State 42, BYU 35
What do you think will be the final score of the Boise State - BYU game? Share your thoughts in the comments and with everyone you meet today.