- Time: Saturday, 8:15pm MT
- Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
- Weather at kickoff: 65°, clear
- Odds: Boise State by 20
- TV: ESPN2
- Radio: KBOI 670 AM
- Commentators: Roy "Fumblin" Philpott, Tom "The Piper's Son" Ramsey, and Alex "Trebek" Corddry
The Broncos usually don't need much motivation once conference play begins...but after being embarrassed by the Aggies last season in Logan, the pre-game pep talks will be plentiful. You may have repressed this memory, but last October, the Aggies dropped 52 points on the Broncos after forcing 8 (EIGHT)(!) turnovers. Boise State was without Jeremy McNichols in that contest and decided to leave energy on the bus as well as Utah State willed themselves to an impressive victory—their first over the Broncos since 1997. Revenge on The Blue would be sweet.
2. Mixed bag
After knocking off the 21st ranked Broncos last season, the Aggies went on to lose 5 of their last 7 and they're already a game back in the Mountain division this year after losing to Air Force a week ago. You just don't know what you'll get when you play this Aggie team—and unfortunately, when you play the Broncos of late. Both teams need a win here and it will come down to who wants it more. Last season, the Aggies did.
3. Masters of none
Utah State seems to get what they need out of their offensive stars this season. If the running game doesn't get going, the passing attack seems to and vice versa, but after starting the year 2-2 are they getting enough production? Currently, Utah State ranks 53rd in the country in rushing offense and 85th in passing offense...good for 75th in overall offensive production. That'll probably need to improve if the Aggies want to win in Boise...or, y'know they could just force EIGHT TURNOVERS.
4. Aggie Pooh
Boise State - Won 5
Utah State - Lost 1
Knowledge is power.
Best names on their roster
Senior CB Jentz Painter and Freshman WR Chad Artist should've both been born during the Italian Renaissance.
Best player picture on their roster
Senior LB Brock Carmen subscribes to the belief that if you can grow a mustache, you should. I agree.
Players to watch
The junior QB doesn't do one thing exceptionally, but he does a lot of things well. Myers was honorable-mention All-MWC last season and is off to a fair start in 2016. Last week, Myers had his best passing game of the year—throwing for 360 yards and a TD against Air Force. A true dual-threat...Myers can tuck and run as good as any QB in the league and can keep pass plays alive with his escapability. He's rushed/scrambled for over 300 yards the last two seasons. Chuckie Keeton-lite.
This guy would probably be second in line for the running back nod, but it appears that starter Devante Mays will not be ready for action this weekend. Lindsey might be a step down...but he's still dangerous with as many rushing TDs (3) as Mays. Lindsey is someone to account for in the passing game as well and has already hauled in 9 passes this year in 4 games.
The Aggies have two big-player receivers on their roster, but Tarver is the biggest in more ways than one. The 6'3" sophomore had a whale of a game against Air Force (9 catches for 143 yards) and seems to be hitting his stride. The Bronco defensive backs would do well to match that stride.
The junior CB was honorable-mention All-MWC a season ago and collected one of the interceptions against the Broncos in Logan last year. The 5'10" DB was recently made aware of Thomas Sperbeck's torrid pace, and I'm sure would like to do something about that.
Players NOT to watch
These guys surely would have made the players to watch list if they hadn't been bitten by the injury bug...and their absence may be something the Broncos can exploit on Saturday night.
First, RB Devante Mays suffered an MCL sprain and a bone bruise in the loss to Air Force. This is probably good news for Aggie fans as that sort of thing doesn't require surgery nor will it end his season...but unless he's a either Weapon X or Chuck Norris, I'd say that would preclude him from playing this weekend.
Second, safety Dallin Leavitt (a BYU transfer) had already racked up 29 tackles and 2 INTs this year before succumbing to an ankle injury. I suppose the junior could rebound...but Harsin was skeptical of his availability for this weekend's tilt.
Keys to victory
- For the love of God...do not turn the ball over. I didn't think the Broncos could outdo their 7 turnover meltdown at Air Foce in 2014...but matched that turnover total in ONE HALF last season in Logan. It was the kind of cosmic event that you just have to laugh about later (after the tears have dried up). The Broncos have lost the turnover battle in their last two games, yet still emerged victorious, I'd say they need to quit tempting fate.
- Halftime adjustments. Again, in both previous contests the Broncos sort of squandered big and/or comfortable leads to make my Rolaids supply run dangerously low. If the Broncos can jump on the Aggies early, I'd love to see them finish. You probably would too.
Hit the QB. Myers is a slippery fella and may want to get to the edge to extend plays or move the chains. Our defense needs to make him think twice about such endeavors.
- DON'T LOSE. 80% of the time, it works every time.
Boise State 41, Utah State 17