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Cavalier attitude: Boise State vs Virginia game preview

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Connecticut v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Game facts

  • Time: Friday, September 22, 6pm (MT)
  • Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
  • Weather at kickoff: 55°, partly cloudy (wear a jacket—member’s only to be exact)
  • Odds: BSU by 11.5
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Radio: KBOI 670 AM
  • Commentators: Adam “Idi” Amin, Dusty “Bottoms” Dvoracek, and Molly “McButter” McGrath

Other facts

1. Bucking Bronco

When a Bronco meets a Bronco things are certain to get interesting, and that’s generally been the case when Boise State tangles with Bronco Mendenhall. UVA’s third year head coach was someone we saw plenty of when he was skulking the sidelines for BYU and whatever your personal feelings toward the man (like the first name, personally), his teams always seem to play hard and what more can you ask for (besides limitless wealth/power)?

2. A first time for everything

Boise State will face an ACC team at home for the first time in school history on Friday night. Who would want to miss such a historic occasion?

3. You must Ryp it

Brett Rypien's first-ever road start came against Virginia...and he handled it masterfully. 321 yards and 3 TDs (No INTs) later, Broncos fans were positively giddy about the Rypien-era...and while it's had some bumps along the way...the offense just doesn't have the same punch without him. IF he's able to go on Friday night (and the O-line doesn't get him killed), I think UVA could be a great "get well" game for the junior signal-caller.

4. Sad!

Streaks

Boise State - Won 1

UVA - Won 1

Strokes (Diff’rent)

Best name on their roster

Survey says: Junior RB Olamide Zaccheaus (a wee little man was he)

Best player picture on their roster

O-lineman Gerrik Vollmer claims to be from Germany, but if he’s not an undercover KGB agent, I’ll eat my hat.

Players to watch

Kurt Benkert

The senior signal-caller has been fantastic so far this season and will provide the Bronco secondary with the best test they've had since Luke Falk/that other guy. Through 3 games, Benkert has nearly hit the 1,000-yard mark and has thrown 7 TDs to just 1 INT. Maybe more importantly, he's completing nearly 68% of his passes and has some momentum going from a 455-yard day against UConn last weekend.

Olamide Zaccheaus

Zaccheaus currently leads the Cavaliers with 250 receiving yards and 2 receiving TDs, and has been Benkert's favorite target so far. Teammate Doni Dowling has the higher YPC average and is nipping at his heels with 236 yards of his own, but it's definitely Zacchaeus that gets more looks from the QB, which either shows that he and Benkert are besties...or that he's the guy that's best at getting open.

Quin Blanding

The senior free-safety has landed on an All-America team three straight seasons, and has been an All-ACC first-teamer for two straight. This season, he's already landed on the Thorpe and Nagurski Award watch lists, as well as the Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list. Not hard to see why the former 5-star recruit is a guy to run away from—he's already got 33 tackles on the season and has never had a season where he tallied less than 100 stops. Yowza.

Jordan Ellis

The junior tailback is the Cavaliers' top rusher so far this season, averaging 73 yards per contest. At 5'10" 215 lbs, he's a bit of a bowling-ball—so the Broncos will need to be wrapping up. Speaking of wrapping up...did I mention it'll be 55° at kickoff?

Micah Kiser

The senior ILB was a FWAA All-America second-team selection a year ago, and All-ACC first-team (the ACC has some decent schools in it) after tallying 134 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and an INT. Dude already has 36 tackles and FIVE sacks through 3 games this year, so why not take a little rest, Micah?

Players NOT to watch

Punter Nicholas Conte has moved on...and that’s probably good since he was an All-ACC first-teamer a season ago.

Keys to victory

  • Run the rock. UVA has been pretty adept at stopping the pass this season (165 yards/game), but are giving up more on the ground than they’d probably like (162 yards/game). Boise State needs to come up with some solutions to their run game woes in a hurry to exploit this relative Cav weakness.
  • Get those turnovers. UVA has been stingy with the ball so far this season, and the Broncos will need to create as many opportunities for the offense possible. Get those picks and fumbles, boys.
  • Win the field position battle. Broncos haven’t shown a consistent ability to sustain drives this season...and the reasons are numerous. If the Broncos defense and special teams can shorten the field for the offense and make UVA have to march the length of the field in return, it will do wonders for the Broncos chances in this one.
  • Don't lose. Seriously. Don’t.

Score prediction

This does not look like an easy game at all, unfortunately. This offense needs to get right in a hurry or it’ll be trouble

Boise State 31, UVA 24