For the first time in the history of mankind or at least as far back as my Google skills go, Boise State is an underdog in a conference game. The four-point spread is basically Vegas's way of calling this one a toss-up, but still. Boise State in a toss-up conference game? Weird. Scary. Other emotions. We sort them out in our weekly predictions.
Predict the score for Boise State vs. Fresno State
In five years of predicting the scores of Boise State games, I have never once picked Boise State to lose ... and I'm not starting now! There are oodles of reasons to be concerned about this one, and I am feeling all the oodles. Still, I believe the Broncos can win, will win, must win, might win if they can put points on the board and hold on for dear life. I hate thrillers, and this one is going to be a thriller. Broncos 45, Bulldogs 42.
As many have expressed, this game feels a lot like Hawaii '07. A young, inexperienced secondary takes on a senior, experienced and prolific quarterback. Do we have the horses on offense to outscore Fresno? Yes. Can we make enough stops along the way to give our offense a break? Yes. Will these things happen? Part of me says no, the same part that fears another DeMarcus Lawrence suspension is on the horizon. The other part says yes, yes we do.
We own Fresno and Derek Carr, but I can't shake that Hawaii '07 feeling. Here's another thought: Would we rather lose this one and potentially have the upper hand in MWC title game rematch?
This year, it'll be closer than most previous meetings. Boise State 49, Fresno State 42
After serving my self-imposed two week suspension following my assertion that we would blow out UW, I am back at predicting the Broncos fate. Kiss of death? I sure hope not.
This game could be a whole lot like that 2007 game. The one against Nevada, not Hawai'i. That 69-67 4OT game. I see a Bronco Win 76-73 in 4OT and Joe Southwick breaks the MWC record for passing yards in a game. You better not make plans for Friday night.
I'm wary of Fresno State every year, which is kind of funny since we usually steamroll them. HOWEVER, this year scares me for real legitimate reasons. The first, being that Boise State's defense has been breaking in SEVEN new starters and their growing pains have at times been...well, painful. The second is the biggie - Fresno is playing at home with a senior-laden offense; an offense that does certain things well that align with the things we, as a defense, don't do so well. Also, given that it's Derek Carr's last chance to avenge his big bro AND they get a freebie bye week to prepare for the Broncos gives this game a bit of a "now or never" sort of feel for the Bulldogs. Still, all the hand-wringing I've ever done over Fresno State has been for naught and I'll be darned if I'm going to predict a Bronco loss. Still, this one should be tight. Boise State 34, Fresno State 31.
In the battle of the milk jug, or old milken bucket, or milk boot (anyone remember what is the milk trophy?), Boise State has played the role of Milk Master for much of the last decade. I like Fresno, I like their love/hate/respect/fear/jealous relationship with the Broncos. I like the fact that Derek Carr is a stand up guy who if he had come to Boise State I wouldn't have minded cheering for. I admire their grape growing and cultivating prowess, and I admire that they are a wonderful foil to the Boise State rise to dominance.
As myself, and others, pointed out to Drew in numerous ways, Fresno State didn't really get an entire week extra to prepare, they only got a few additional hours (167 to be exact). Plus, does anyone really think they were preparing for Colorado anyway? At the end of the day, I think the balmy conditions of last week have prepared the Broncos in part for the environment that they will be going into. And as long as Jay brings his kosher dills, the Bulldogs will have a hard time stopping the run. Look for the tight ends to get more involved in this game, in fact I predict that the tight ends will catch more balls in the Fresno game than they have caught the rest of the year combined. Broncos come away with a second half win 42-21 (that's right, almost the same score as Air Force).
I'm dreading this game. Losing to a Carr would be up there with losing to Kaepernick, however the Nevada loss stings a little less after Kaepernick became a successful NFL QB. Well that is until I think about how he is one and Kellen is not...yet. But I digress...
I do think that Boise State has a chance to win this game even if Fresno had the week off last week. It wasn't the same as a bye week since Fresno still had to prepare for Colorado and didn't get two weeks to prepare for Boise State. I think Ajayi will have another field day and the Boise State offense will be able to move the ball. The issue could be with our defense. I'm expecting our secondary to step up big this week and play well but I still think it could be somewhat of an offensive shootout. I'll go with 35-31 Boise State.
Will you take the Brian Murphy way out and predict a win for Fresno and a moral victory for the Broncos? Or will you do us proud and wear your homer heart on your sleeve? Your destiny awaits in the comments.