First off, apologies for the picture of Taylor Tharp (mid-interception, probably). We just wanted to remind ourselves of why we can expect things to be different on the road against a BCS team this season. Sigh. That's better. Now onto our prediction.
You are probably used by now to seeing score predictions that look ripped out of the pages of the Arena Football agate, so it might be somewhat of a surprise to see our rather muted guesstimate. Here's the logic: Both defenses will take away the pass, leading to a grind-it-out, quickly-played slugfest of a ballgame and, hence, a low score.
Makes sense, right? Maybe in a Gregg-Easterbrook-meets-Aaron-Shatz kind of way? Well, we are nothing if not contrarians, so we don't mind being in the minority on this one.
Seriously, though, we do stand behind what we think. Oregon's patchwork quarterbacks shouldn't be able to attack a Boise State secondary that has yet to show any holes through the first two weeks of the season. Besides, why throw the ball when the Broncos have yet to show they are fully recovered from the run-gouging nightmare they endured at the end of last season. The Ducks don't have the 4th-leading rush offense in the country for nothing.
The Broncos, on the other hand, have favored the pass in their first two games. Whether it was to get Kellen Moore comfortable or just to jump ahead early, the strategy might need to change going against a Duck secondary that has three potential all-Pac-10 players as starters. If the Ducks are vulnerable, it would be in the front seven, and Boise State should have a good chance to put its running back stable to use.
Will the game come down to special teams? Possibly. Oregon was rescued by a punt return TD last week, and Boise State has won games on special teams dating back to the Division I-AA era. Whoever makes a play here might come away with the victory.
Titus Young, we're looking at you.
Here are some more things we see happening:
- Kellen Moore throws his first interception.
- The first quarter score is 0-0 and David Augusto has a slight panic attack.
- Nate Potter false starts at least twice.
- Derrell Acrey pulls a Willis Reed and bails out a beleaguered Bronco "D" in the second half.
- Some Bronco fan tries to start the "Boise....State!" cheer and gets drowned out by a chorus of boos.
- Brad Elkin shanks a punt.
- Jeremiah Johnson leaves the game with an injury, courtesy of Jeron Johnson.
- Watching the game on BroncoVision drives more than one fan to put his/her fist through a computer monitor.
Let us know your final score thoughts in the new comments section below. The one closest to the final score does not win a pizza. Sorry. We do not have the Statesman's budget.