- Time: Saturday, September 1, 4pm (MT)
- Location: Veteran’s Memorial Stadium, Troy, AL
- Weather at kickoff: 84°, all the humidity
- Odds: Boise State by 10.5
- TV: ESPNEWS
- Radio: KBOI 670 AM
- Commentators: Dave “Cranston” LaMont, Ray “Ban” Bentley
1. Silvers surfed on
Quarterback Brandon Silvers threw for 10,677 yards and 71 TDs during his time at Troy and is sort of their Kellen Moore (they even have similar hair). Replacing him won’t be easy, but then again, he did throw for just 139 yards with no TDs and a pick against BSU in last year’s opener...so maybe they CAN do better.
2. What can Brown do for you
Troy coach Neal Brown is the reigning Sun Belt Coach of the Year after back-to-back 10(+) win seasons. That will make him a hot coaching commodity if he keeps it up, but I doubt he gets any offers before Saturday unless someone else in the Big Ten decides to get placed on administrative leave.
3. Tiger Beat
The Trojans lost last year’s home opener to the Broncos and dropped a strange one to South Alabama, but other than that, were perfect. Their marquee win from last season remains their 3 point victory over LSU at Death Valley, which was the week before they only mustered 8 points at home against the very so-so (4-8) South Alabama squad. Without that blip, Troy would have very likely been ranked to finish the season, so sleeping on this squad is not an option. Try sleeping on a bed, couch, or futon.
4. Sun Belted
Boise State has NEVER lost to a Sun Belt team. Seriously, they are 7-0 all-time and that includes on the road at Idaho (avoided staph infection) and 2016’s opener against Louisiana. It would be downright rude to start losing now.
5. Troll game strong
Boise State - Won 2
Troy - Won 7
Best name on their roster
Junior OLB Tron Folsom works for ENCOM in the offseason.
Best name on the coaching staff
Best player picture on their roster
Junior offensive lineman Bobby Klemm is also the world’s largest leprechaun.
Players to watch
Marcus Jones, DB
Jones was named the Sun Belt freshman of the year after 2017, but not necessarily for his defensive statistics (which weren’t bad, I might add). Nah, the now-soph only returned THREE kickoffs for touchdowns in 2017 and ended up with 4 non-offensive TDs as he also housed an interception against Arkansas State (a Jamar Taylor-esque 100-yard scamper). Jones tallied 49 tackles in 2017 and looks like he’s just getting warmed up. Kicking or throwing to him isn’t super advisable. If you want to say you beat an All-American...well, the Broncos can do that with a win on Saturday.
Hunter Reese, LB
The senior “Bandit” (pretty sure that’s the Troy version of the STUD) was an all-conference first teamer for his 2017 efforts and now the senior is looking to build on that strong campaign. Reese had 35 tackles last season and close to half (14) of them were for-loss. He also had 6.5 sacks and an INT. The Hunter has become the...well, he’s still a hunter. Nevermind.
Blace Brown, CB
The senior corner was also a Sun Belt first-teamer last season after leading the team with 5 INTs (11th nationally). One of those picks was against Boise State...you know, the one that was returned for a TD. He tore his ACL at the end of last season, so we’ll see if he can relocate his 2017 form—if he does, be wary.
Deondre Douglas, WR
The senior was named to two straight Sun Belt second teams for his offense and last season hauled in 48 receptions for 628 yards and 4 scores. He’s the best returning WR Troy has, in terms of production, by at least 200 yards.
We’re still not quite sure who’ll be replacing Brandon Silvers, but it’s likely to be Kaleb Barker or Sawyer Smith. Barker was the primary backup to Silvers last season and Smith played in 6 games as a true frosh (he redshirted last year). Barker is a senior and Smith is a redshirt sophomore and while it remains to be seen if either can fill Brandon Silvers’ shoes, the quarterback is usually a position of some interest. Hey, maybe we’ll know today who’s getting the nod.
Update: We do. Troy just announced—it’s Barker.
Players NOT to watch
QB Brandon Silvers and RB Jordan Chunn are NOT back (although neither did much against the Broncos last season). 2017 Sun Belt first teamer OL Steven Rowzee has also graduated and moved on with his life.
Keys to victory
- Hang on to the ball. Troy finished just two spots behind the Broncos in total defense last season (the Broncos were 22nd, you do the math) and were basically tied with the Broncos in turnovers gained (26). One reason the game between these two teams was close last season was because of a pick-six. Let’s be a bit more stingy with the ball this go ‘round.
- Harass the QB. The Trojans will be breaking in a new lead signal-caller, so Boise State can force him into making some rookie mistakes by getting one of our STUDS in his face or having one or several of our tackles push some dudes into the pocket. Of course, we’ve got the secondary to capitalize if he does rush some mistakes, so yeah...do this.
- Win field position battle. Always and forever, but this also includes not kicking to Marcus Jones, who has a pesky habit of returning kickoffs for scores.
- Jump on ‘em. Troy doesn’t look to have a host of offense this year, but they can drag the Broncos into a defensive slugfest. If the Broncos can get some points on the board early, the Trojans might just get desperate. ‘
- Hydrate. It’s a tad overstated that it’s hot AND humid in the south, but cramps can be a guy’s worst enemy in these climes. Maybe everyone just wear a Camelbak under their pads.
- Don’t lose. This worked all 11 times the Broncos tried it last season.
Boise State 28, Troy 10