- Time: Friday, 7pm MT
- Location: University Stadium, Albuquerque, NM
- Weather at kickoff: 65°, partly cloudy
- Odds: Boise State by 17
- TV: CBS Sports Network
- Radio: KBOI 670 AM
- Commentators: Carter "Blackbird" Blackburn, Aaron "The Shaved Bear" Taylor, Jenny "Dude, you're getting a" Dell
1. Oh god, this again?
Boise State will once again find itself playing against the offense that was created by Satan—the triple option. UNM has lost to a crappy Rutgers team and in-state rival New Mexico State, but no matter—Boise State has a way of playing triple-options teams like they're the '72 Dolphins and lost to both option teams a year ago...back to back. Of course, Boise State has a new DC so we're all just hoping that it was Yates's blind spot and not an institutional messin' of the bed against the triple-option.
2. Look at this photograph
No, not that one...this one
That's Bob Davie and the Lobo crew after their 31-24 victory on The Blue last season. Hey, if it rankles you...it should—as it should our players, but to the victor go the spoils and the upset belonged to UNM last season. Not that our team needs any extra motivation, but this shouldn't sit well. Don't expect a Bronco photo op on the Lobos field if we win, however...we're sorta supposed to.
3. Who is this is?
UNM is 2-2 going into Friday's matchup, with a hard-fought win over SJSU and South Dakota State under their belts and losses to Rutgers and NMSU on their CV as well. Their two wins were by a combined 34 points (thanks to South Dakota State) and their two losses were a combined 10 points. This team hasn't really taken it to an FBS team this year, nor have they really fallen flat, but that 4 game slate isn't widely considered to be murderer's row. The Broncos will be the Lobos toughest test of the year and it's not even all that close.
4. Bob Davie doesn't have a forehead...he has a fivehead
Boise State - Won 6
New Mexico - Won 1
Best names on their roster
Freshman WR Q' Drennan. You using that apostrophe, bro?
Best player picture on their roster
Mario Yakoo should sue senior DL Johnny Williams for copyright infringement.
Players to watch
Jordan is technically the #2 QB on the Lobos depth chart, but he will likely get the start on Friday due to some technical difficulties with Austin Apodaca's collarbone. Jordan played a little bit against the Broncos last season, but was somewhat instrumental in giving the Broncos a scare in 2014 as a freshman. Jordan probably isn't as polished a passer as Apodaca, but do you really need to be polished in the triple option? Wait for the D to overpursue and then toss it to a wide open tight end. Please don't let this happen.
The senior RB may or not be ready for action on Friday night as he tweaked a hammy against SJSU. If he is ready to go, however...he's a home-run threat that's averaging 12.9 yards/carry on the year. They can also sneak this guy out of the backfield and catch DBs napping...like they did a year ago against the Broncos, for a 42 yard gain. George is getting upset.
The senior LB is, at times, a one-man show on the Lobo D. He's led the Lobos in tackles every year he's been on campus—even after suffering an ACL injury at the end of 2014. He has 21 tackles this season, which brings his career total to 333 stops. With that many tackles to his name, I'm guessing the 2015 honorable mention All-MWC honoree doesn't let go once he's got a hold of you...well not "you", but the ball carrier.
The senior D-lineman had 8.5 tackles-for-loss a season ago en route to an honorable mention All-MWC nod. He already has 24 tackles and a sack to his credit this season and will make sledding a bit tougher for Jeremy McNichols inside.
Players NOT to watch
As you've heard/read, the Lobos might be without Apodaca and Gipson on Friday night, but one player we all desperately wish was suiting up for New Mexico this weekend is safety Markel Byrd. Byrd made the key goal line stop on Austin Cottrell last season at Albertson Stadium that sealed the upset for the Lobos, but died in a car accident in December. The Statesman's Michael Katz wrote an excellent piece about what Byrd meant to the Lobo football family earlier this week. Be sure to give it a look.
Keys to victory
- Discipline. The triple-option is not complex...but it does take discipline to stop. We haven't possessed said discipline the last two seasons against New Mexico...and if we don't show it now, I don't know if we ever will.
- Limit turnovers. The Broncos actually did make a marked improvement in their handling of the triple-option in their second season under Marcel Yates...but offensively struggled mightily in the redzone and had four costly turnovers that kept us out of the win column. Take care of the ball, gents.
- Don't panic. Sometimes the triple-option takes a little time to figure out...sometimes the team will score very quickly. The Broncos can't panic if the Lobos come out and get a cheap early score or are churning up yards on the ground. This Lobo team has taken big leads early this season only to see them evaporate. Play your game, Broncos and weather the inevitable storm.
- DON'T LOSE. 4-0 baby...tell me it doesn't work.
Boise State 47, New Mexico 24