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Quaranteam: Utah State at Boise State Game Preview

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NCAA Football: Boise State at Utah State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Game facts

  • Time: Saturday, Oct. 24 5PM
  • Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
  • Weather at kickoff: 44° partly cloudy
  • Odds: Boise by 17
  • TV: FS1
  • Radio: KBOI 670 AM
  • Commentators: Kevin “Ella” Fitzgerald and Robert “The Cure” Smith

Other facts

1. Opt-ics

Earlier this month, Utah State’s rubber coach Gary Andersen told reporters that Utah State players that opted out were not “with us” and that it was “not an option”. Of course, this ignited a comical string of gun powder that Andersen tried to blow out before it reached that little shed where Elmer Fudd kept all the TNT. Andersen went on the radio to “clarify” his comments and underscored that what he meant to say was basically the exact opposite of what he had said. I hate when that happens.

2. Noa pologies

Boise State linebacker Zeke Noa hasn’t played since last September, when he suffered all the injuries against Air Force (got that dub tho). Well, Noa likely gets to make his triumphant return this weekend but might be slightly less stoked that he’ll have to tackle his kin. Little brother Elelyon Noa is a true frosh for the Aggies and could possibly start off his career on The Blue against his big bro. Reminder to Zeke...brothers don’t shake hands—brothers gotta hug! Hug him right to the ground.

3. No fans, no problem?

Having no fans in Albertsons Stadium is going to be very strange indeed (the Aggies will be allowing about 6k fans for their home games) and hopefully that number will creep up (at least slightly) as the season wears on, but it’ll be an empty house Saturday evening to kick off the bizarro 2020 season and a fast start would do wonders for the Broncos as they face Air Force and BYU in subsequent weeks. Will the blue mystique keep The Blue a tricky place to play or is Bronco Nation the real key here? Can we fire up the Frankenflinger just the same? We’ll soon find out.

4. That’s just hurtful

Streaks

Boise State - Lost 1

Utah State - Lost 1

Stonks

Best name on their roster

Junior O-lineman Chandler Dolphin can’t quite stay out of the fishing nets

Best picture on their roster

Not gonna lie—I dig the Jason Mantzoukas/Dude Where’s My Car? vibe of senior TE Moses Manu

Players to watch

Jason Shelley, QB

Jordan Love didn’t get that W over the Broncos, but he was still a dangerous gunslinger in the Aggie backfield the last couple of seasons and despite his less-than-stellar TD/INT ratio last season, the Green Bay Packers thought he might just be the future of their franchise and took him in the first round. That’s not always the easiest position to replace, especially if you’ve got even perceived first round talent there and the Aggies were put further behind the eight-ball when would-be replacement Henry Colombi followed Matt Wells to Texas Tech. Enter junior Jason Shelly, a grad-transfer from nearby Utah who was named the game 1 starter on Monday. For the record, he would have been my choice as well, as he has 5 career starts under his belt with the Utes and has the dual-threat ability to be rather annoying for the Broncos to corral with their new-look D-line.

Savon Scarver, KR

Officially, the senior is a wide receiver, but the name he’s made for himself has largely been on special teams where he has FIVE career kick return TDs (3 of which were endzone to endzone). He was a first-team All-MWC kick returner a season ago (even though Boise State’s Avery Williams won STPOTY honors) and was named a third-team All-American by Athlon ahead of this season. Look, I hope the Broncos have plenty of kickoff opportunities on Saturday evening...I just hope they aren’t directly (or indirectly) to this fella.

Shaq Bond, S

The senior DB was an honorable-mention All-MWC pick last season after leading the team in INTs (3) and finishing fourth on the squad in defensive stops (83). The 5’10” safety has some sticky hands (and not from stealing some of WInnie the Poohs “HUNNY”). Mind your Ps and Qs with this dude in the defensive backfield.

Jaylen Warren, RB

The senior-to-be is a real bowling ball at 5’8” 215 lbs and had a solid junior season in Logan (his first as an Aggie after transferring from Snow College). Warren racked up 569 yards last season with the Aggies, but did so on just 112 touches...a tidy 5.1 yard/carry average. Bronco defense needs to get these guys behind the chains or he’s well capable of moving ‘em.

Players NOT to watch

Utah State lost a HOST of 2019 All-MWC picks...among them first-teamers Dominik Eberle (PK) and David Woodward (LB). Of course, they also lost starting QB Jordan Love, backup QB Henry Colombi, and their top wideout in Saiosi Mariner. Oof.

Keys to victory

  • Protect ya neck and by ‘neck’ I mean Hank Bachmeier. We saw a lot of great things from our true frosh QB last season...enough to get really excited about the future of this Bronco offense...but if you weren’t at least a tad concerned by all the monster hits Hillbilly Hank was absorbing—you are an uncaring monster. The Broncos have to give Hank more time to cook and much less time picking turf pellets out of his teeth.
  • Establish the run. Now-soph RB George Holani extended Boise State’s 1k rushing streak a season ago, but if you recall...a lot of the damage he did to get there was against Utah State, whom he rushed for a season-high 178 yards against. The Broncos are down a backup with the departure of Robert Mahone, and JC-transfer Taequan Tyler is injured, so it’d be great if Holani could just put on the cape again this season and vanquish the Aggies.
  • Turn ‘em over. Turnovers haven’t been coming fast and loose since we got rid of the Turnover Throne. We don’t need another gimmick...just more picks.
  • Don’t lose. 1-0 mentality this week will make the team actually 1-0

Score prediction

Broncos cover amidst a sea of cardboard

Boise State 31, Utah State 13