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Return with goners: Boise State vs BYU game preview

BYU v Wisconsin Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Game facts

  • Time: Saturday, November 3, 8:30pm (MT)
  • Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
  • Weather at kickoff: 50°, party cloudy
  • Odds: Boise State by 13
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Radio: KBOI 670 AM
  • Commentators: Kevin “Encyclopedia“ Brown, Andre “Silver” Ware, and Alex “Rob” Corddry

Other facts

1. Traitor Joes

As far as I’m concerned, there are 3 major traitors that I will acknowledge—Benedict Arnold, the Verizon guy, and Zach Wilson. Wilson was a staple on the sidelines of almost every Bronco home game last year and left the Broncos in a lurch when he decommitted days before the early signing day...leading the coaching staff to once again have to travel to Florida for a replacement. Guys de-commit all the time, sure...but in the 11th hour to a hated rival? Not cool, bro. Not cool.

2. Punch drunk

Anybody remember the Cougars being a tad “punchy” against the Broncos (and whomever else they could get in fist range)? Yeah, me too. This year’s team has their own motivations for wanting this win, but the older guys on the roster probably want to still win one for Chanceller James’s “upper thigh”.

3. Rypien up the record books

If Brett Rypien can get to 250 yards in this game (I think he can), he’ll become the Mountain West’s all-time passing yardage leader. The current record is held by a surprising name—San Diego State’s Ryan they didn’t ALWAYS just run the rock. Get it, Ryp.

4. BYU folk think they can rap. It’s a thing and it’s been one for a long time.


Boise State - Won 3

BYU - Lost 1

Geeks (with Freaks)

Best name(s) on their roster

Have to resist the urge to pull the Squally Canada card, but I’m more drawn to long snapper Matt Foley, who last I heard lived in a van down by the river.

Best picture on their roster

Freshman(!) defensive lineman Motekiai Langi is a true mountain of a man (6’7” 385 lbs) and should be recognized and respected as an absolute unit.

Players to watch

Zach Wilson, QB

Bronco fans MIGHT be familiar with this freshman signal-caller out of Draper, Utah…many believed he’d be wearing a slightly different shade of blue this season—with a dash of orange. Wilson was a long-time Boise State commit before going wobbly right around the time the Broncos were prepping for their bowl game (BYU didn’t make a bowl game last season). It left the coaching staff in quite the lurch and probably turned them off QBs named “Wilson” forever. Former Elite 11 and one-time Hail Mary thrower Tanner Mangum just isn’t getting it done in the post Ty Detmer era, so the true frosh has been called to try to salvage the season. Yer with us or yer again’ us. Get him, Jabril and Curtis.

Squally Canada, RB

ANOTHER former Bronco commit?! Are Amigos falling from the sky? Canada committed to Chris Petersen and stayed committed for a spell, only to de-commit after he found Pete’s “no visits” policy a bit restricting. He ended up heading to Pullman and then somehow found himself in Provo…lured by the siren song of…uh…Sconecutter? Canada hasn’t really gotten the Cougar ground attack off the ground, but he has the speed to go the distance if we allow him a seam. Let’s not.

Corbin Kaufusi, DE

There are roughly one billion Kaufusis that have played for, or are playing at BYU. You probably remember his brother Bronson, who played for the Cougs and now plays for the Jets and you’ll also remember that the Kaufusis don’t exactly run small. Corbin is 6’9” so I definitely think they’ll have him guarding Zach Haney.

Sione Takitaki, LB

The senior LB has 176 tackles and 15.5 sacks to his name in his career and 57 of those stops have come this year. He’s a hard-nosed backer that isn’t likely to let you out of his grips if you land in them, so…if he’s to the left…choose the right.

Mo Langi, DT

I don’t know what this kid can do, frankly…but it’ll be hard to NOT see him, so I’m at least interested what happens when he gets all 385 lbs. moving in one direction. It might be humorous or terrifying—humorfying, if you will.

Players NOT to watch

Fred Warner is gone. That’s pretty good, right?

Keys to victory

  • Bombs away. Rypien ostensibly would like to get that MWC passing record against a rival and a former MWC power. I just want to see John Hightower run by some more dudes.
  • Use space. Teams haven’t found much luck running up the middle against the Cougars, but Boise State has a speed advantage on the outside. Get our playmakers in space and let the Cougs chase.
  • Win the field-position battle. This could turn into a defensive battle, so the Broncos can’t get in a hole.
  • Don’t let up. Last time the Cougars came to Boise, the Broncos parlayed a big lead into a nail-biting finish. We shouldn’t do that again.
  • Don’t lose. Three in a row, baby.

Score prediction

Boise State 38, BYU 17