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Opponent preview: Vandals in for a world of hurt

OBNUG’s game previews are written by reader-turned-contributor Stephen Grettenberg. Because not every article should contain pinings for Marty Tadman.

Boise State vs. Idaho

Idaho was saved from having no WAC wins by upsetting injury-ridden New Mexico State a few weeks ago. It seems unlikely to be enough to keep Idaho from the cellar of the WAC and one of the lowest ranked teams in the nation. Should Idaho drop back down a division so Montana State can beat up on it instead of Boise State? Will Akey keep his job another season? I ask these questions because there is little doubt of the outcome of this game. Idaho can’t begin to keep up with the Boise State offense and should have no chance of keeping the game remotely close.

Idaho on Offense:

Nathan Enderle is basically a 50% passer with 12 interceptions and 17 TDs. His leading receiver is TE Eddie Williams, whose 687 yards receiving is greater than the three next receivers combined. Eddie Williams is also the fourth leading rusher, with 100 yards on just 9 carries.

The Idaho running game is inconsistent, with a stable of running backs led by Deonte Jackson (129 rushes for 594 yards) and Princeton McCarty (62 rushes for 434 yards). 160 of Princeton Mcarty’s yards came against perenially depleted New Mexico State.

Enderle is susceptible to being sacked, and will be as likely to find George Iloka as a wide receiver deep after a few of them. So the Bronco defense just needs to pin its ears back and let it rip. Oh, and watch for the short routes as Eddie Williams tries to shake free.

Idaho on Defense

Idaho is dead last in the WAC in total defense and scoring defense. They seem especially vulnerable to the run. I was trying to see just how bad the defense is. According to the SI preview of the game, Idaho is 275th in the nation for defense. Let that sink in – there are only 119 teams in the Bowl Division. That means they are a lot worse than most college teams in the nation – hell, there are high schools that could move the ball on this defense.

I’ve said it before, but I’d really love to see a big running day out of Boise State. If they can’t do it against Idaho, they just plain can’t do it.

The Game:

I’ve heard a lot less trash talk. Idaho knows better. Boise State really is in a dogfight to get an ounce of recognition. Primarily because teams like this hurt Boise State even when they beat them by some score like 50-0 due to "strength of schedule". Clobber the poor things anyway.

The pick:

Boise State by at least thirty points.