BYU games have not been great experiences for the Broncos the past two years.
Year: the previous. Boise State gets walloped in Provo, 37-20, as Chris Petersen smolders on the sideline while letting his mind wander to big important questions like, "Where is the best coffee in the greater Seattle area?"
Year: the one before last. Boise State squeaks by, 7-6, in a game with zero points from the Boise State offense and seven points from Michael Atkinson (he kicked the extra point, right?).
And here comes BYU again - and for the next several years, too - looking to make life difficult for us Bronco fans. Well, joke's on them! Boise State is on the very outskirts of any big bowl possibilities, and the BYU game is a non-conference game with no bearing whatsoever on conference championship races. Ha! Even a 7-6 snoozefest won't break my spirit this year (but please, no 7-6 snoozefest, unless the 7 comes from a Kamalei Correa fumble recovery where he pitches it to Antoine Turner for the touchdown).
The big deal for this game is that there will be no Taysom Hill for BYU and that since there's been on Taysom Hill (out with a leg, as Jim Nantz would say) BYU has lost three straight. There are still 21 or so of the same guys on the team who went 4-0 to start the year, including big wins over Texas, UCONN, Houston, and Virginia. They're plenty dangerous, minus their most dangerous part.
The next big deal is that Boise State is rounding into shape nicely, with some solid play on both sides of the ball, some confidence from close wins, and some rest and good vibes from two wins over hated rivals in the past three weeks.
Speaking of hated rivals, Nevada beat BYU last week, 42-35. If you're one for taking solace from the results against common opponents, then there's some optimism for you.
Time: Friday (today) at 7:00 p.m. MT
Place: Albertsons Stadium
Odds: Boise State is a 7-point favorite
Keys to victory
1. Score more points than the other team. It worked last week!
2. Win the turnover battle.
3. Keep the BYU offense away from the momentum. Put it on a shelf they can't reach. Lock it in a cabinet. Bury it in the back yard then forget where you buried it then let future civilizations dig it up centuries from now. Offenses missing key playmakers (read: Taysom Hill) are often filled by excitable backups looking to make an impression, and they can often make up for any drop-off in skill with a little burgeoning confidence and goodwill. No confidence allowed! Goodwill is closed!
4. Stay on schedule. This is one of my least favorite football cliches because it sounds like something you'd hear from a life coach. I prefer the wordier and non-alliterative Don't Have Any 3rd And Longs. This has a carryover effect to sub-points A and B: A) don't have penalties and B) don't allow negative plays like sacks or tackles-for-loss or saying something mean behind someone's back.
Boise State 24, BYU 14
Enjoy the game, friends.