- Time: Saturday, 8:15 p.m. MT
- Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
- Weather: 30 degrees, Partly Cloudy
- Odds: Boise State by 30
- TV: ESPNU
- Radio: KBOI 670 AM
- Commentators: Mike "Drop" Corey and David "The Spanish Hyphen" Diaz-Infante
1. Triple the FUN
Saturday will represent the first time the Broncos will have to face the triple-option offense this year normally this would be a "band-aid" game insomuch as we'd want to rip it off quickly and be done with it, but NOOOOOO, the scheduling gods gifted the Broncos with two straight weeks of the stuff. In case you missed it, Boise State didn't fare so well against the unholy offense a season ago, but that doesn't mean we didn't learn our lesson. Let's be honest, if we hold the Lobos under 500 rushing yards, that's at least a tiny victory, right? RIGHT? /has a lucid flashback to Alburquerque 2014
2. Thanks but no thanks
New Mexico did Boise State a solid during the bye week and knocked off Utah State—clearing a path for the Broncos to once again play for the MWC title. However, one of the 3 remaining teams that stand in the Broncos way happens to be those same Aggie-slaying Lobos. We appreciate it fellas, but now we gotta destroy you. This sure is awkward.
3. What about Bob?
Bob Davie notched the first big win of his tenure in Albuquerque and we're certain he'd like another scalp for his scalp wall (above his living room fireplace and next to the velvet Elvis paintings—very tasteful). Davie hasn't been great at New Mexico...but he hasn't been "Locksley bad" by a long shot. As of today, the squad is just one win from bowl eligibility—somewhere they haven't been since 2007. Boise State would love to delay the Lobos from browsing Expedia for travel deals.
Boise State - Won 2
New Mexico- Won 1
Best name on their roster
Freshman WR Q' Drennan. Gotta say, the apostrophe seems somewhat unnecessary.
Best player picture on their roster
The ever-jovial junior O-lineman Garrett Adcock
Players to watch
You know when a kid ate your lunch on the school field trip? Even if it was an accident (it totally was NOT, Derek!), you always kept an eye on that kid. Well, Lobo running back Gipson ate the Broncos' lunch last year in Alburquerque several times over, rushing for 205 yards and 3 scores. Even if he doesn't have the ball (or my bag of Nutter Butter Bites, DEREK), TACKLE THIS MAN!
Jordan, the Lobos' sophomore QB, is not the biggest passing threat in the world...triple option QBs rarely are—BUT, he's the team's second leading rusher and is at least a competent passer for the times when UNM shocks the world and throws the ball. Jordan threw for just 122 yards against the Broncos a year ago and rushed for another 53, but he kept plays alive long enough that it allowed Gipson to rip off an 80 yard TD run on the following play. Tackle this man as well (once Gipson has been neutralized).
Like I said...the Lobos don't pass much but if I were a Gamblin' man (#DoYouSeeWhatIDidThere) I'd say this junior WR will be the target if they do. Gamblin is the team's leading receiver with 374 yards (basically two good games by Thomas Sperbeck) and 2 TDs, and despite his modest height—5'10" will take advantage of box-stacking Ds. Tackle this man...once or twice.
The junior LB was an All-MWC first teamer on defense a season ago and he hasn't done much to dissuade voters from honoring him again in 2015. Cox has 67 tackles to his name so far this season as well as 3.5 sacks. Not too shabby.
Speaking of sacks, another member of the Lobo linebacking corps is having a banner year getting after the QB and his name happens to be Maurice Daniels. Daniels currently is tied for fourth in the conference in sacks with 6 to his credit. There's no bigger sack target in the conference right now than freshman Bronco QB Brett Rypien, so we'll see how this game of cat-and-mouse plays out.
Players NOT to watch
Boise State will not have to face All-MWC lineman LaMar Bratton on The Blue™ as he was nice enough to run out of eligibility at the end of the 2014 season. Furthermore, honorable mention all-conference performers David Guthrie (DB) and Jamal Price (OL) have moved on, diploma in hand.
Keys to victory
- Bend but don't break. Let's be honest...the triple-option is no picnic for the defense and it's not a thrill-a-minute for spectators either. The Lobos are going to get some yards...perhaps several of them, but the Bronco defense can't abandon their game plan and must press on. This week above all others points are a much more precious gem to the defense than yardage. Guard those gems.
- Air it out. Brett Rypien is the best quarterback in the conference. Thomas Sperbeck may be the best WR right now. Those two (and a few others) will need to attack the Lobo secondary and put points on the board quickly. Nothing takes a running team out of their gameplan quicker than being down several scores. Frankly, I'd prefer they were out of their element early.
- Takeaways. The Broncos have to stay on the plus side of the turnover battle this week but interceptions will be harder to come by. If the Broncos can make the Lobos put the ball on the ground and flip the field a time or two, it will do wonders for momentum and scoring opportunities. Oh, and it goes without saying that the Broncos should avoid turning the ball over offensively. Hyperventilating fans isn't going to make that stadium any warmer on Saturday night.
- Score more points. Tactic has worked two weeks running. /involuntary flinch at mention of word "running"
Broncos 38, Lobos 20