- Time: October 9th, 1:30 PM
- Location: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
- Weather at kickoff: 49°, rainy
- Odds: BYU by 5.5
- TV: ABC
- Radio: 670 KBOI
- Commentators: Dave “Cabbage” Pasch, Dusty “Devo” Dvoracek, and Tom “Loogie” Luginbill
1. Shifting fortunes
Win or lose...the BYU game each year is usually a close contest and a slobberknocker all around (or perhaps groin puncher)...that is, until last season when the severely gimpy Boise State team decided to do BYU a solid and help give their undefeated season a SOS bump. This was a mistake. The Broncos...down to their 4th and 5th string QBs after the first series, let the Cougars defile Albertsons Stadium (that was mercifully empty) to the tune of a 51-17 smackdown. I don’t know if the Broncos currently have the offense OR defense for immediate comeuppance, but hey...it’d be nice, right?
2. Series scoreboard
The Broncos are 7-4 against the Cougars all-time, but have dropped 2 straight in the series. Who knows if the rivalry will continue when BYU heads to the Big 12, but IF the Broncos lose on Saturday, let the series scoreboard soothe your soul for a spell.
3. Trench warfare
There’s really no sense in whistling past the graveyard anymore...Boise State has been...well, beatable in the trenches this season and I’m not just talking about the oft-maligned offensive line. It’s time to face facts...there is no band-aid that can be put on the Boise State O-line...they just aren’t very good, and for the foreseeable future, will continue to be, so if you think a healthy Holani is the key to the running woes or wish that Hank was a tad more mobile...doesn’t matter all that much, this line isn’t improving (at least drastically) this season. Could we perhaps get better at snapping the ball? Let’s hope.
The D-line hasn’t got much push either and leaving things to our linebackers to mop up is an exercise in “yikes”. Of course, the D-line lost their best interior lineman to a “personal matter” before the season began, and have several guys in the “not quite cleared” camp. They may gain respectability before the O-line, but both are baaaad matchups in this one. Brace yourselves.
4. Don’t let this be your pride, Broncos
Boise State - Lost 1 :(
BYU - Won 7
Best name on their roster
If playing for BYU is cool, consider him
Best picture on their roster
I don’t know, man...you have to click through each individual name on their roster to see their picture and they have a staggering number of guys with no picture whatsoever, so blame their site...I ain’t got time for all that.
Players to watch
BYU is having the type of QB issues that we had last season against...BYU, but they MIGHT just have their original starter—Jaren Hall—ready for this one. Frankly, it doesn’t matter who they start under center...he’ll have a lot of time to throw and probably won’t need to anyway
Tyler Allgeier, RB
The 5’11” 220 lb former linebacker is averaging 5.6 yards per carry this year (ahh, salad days) and leveled up against USU last weekend to the tune of 218 rushing yards and 3 TDs (a 9.9 yard/carry average). The Broncos have been allowing big gains and big days from running backs all year, so there’s your target...LESS than 218 yards and you beat Utah State again!
Neil Pau’u, WR
Pau’u’s stats really aren’t that jaw-dropping: 281 yards and 4 TDs...but he’s 6’4” and very good at moving the chains if the Cougars can’t pick up the first down through running the ball (they usually can). He’s a tough matchup.
Malik Moore, DB
Moore isn’t even close to the top of the Cougar tacklers list, with just 11 to his name...but he leads the team in another key stat: interceptions. If the Broncos are going to give the ball away freely this week, it’s going to be a long afternoon.
Ben Bywater, LB
The current tackling leader in the Cougar clubhouse with 33 stops. He’s 6’3” 230 lbs. and can cover the field sideline to sideline.
Players NOT to watch
Well, there is a certain QB that we definitely won’t see on Saturday...a certain headband-wearing, Boise State-decommitting, SE-grinning, Jets-starting kid.
Keys to victory
- Throw, throw again. The Broncos can’t run the ball. It’s just a fact at this point, and BYU may have the stoutest “front seven” we’ve faced this year, so unless they all catch typhoid, I’d say to put this dream to rest...find a way to scheme our talented receivers open and roll the dice.
- Takeaway party. Boise State WAS averaging 3 takeaways per game until flipping the script and gifting the Wolf Pack 3 of their own (versus zero for the Broncos). The Broncos CANNOT lose the turnover battle vs BYU and have any hope of pulling the upset.
- Pressure the QB. Whomever the Cougars will trot out at QB this weekend will likely have the benefit of a rather clean pocket to operate from. The Broncos have to find some way of making it a tad more crowded.
- Don’t lose. 3 straight to BYU would ruin my weekend.
I’ve really been avoiding this one as I’m pained by the thoughts swimming in my head right now. I have a sterling reputation of picking the Broncos straight up, but I must choose between heart and head; therefore...