- Time: Saturday November 20th, 7 PM
- Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
- Weather at kickoff: 39° partly cloudy
- Odds: Boise State by 27.5 (!)
- TV: FS1
- Radio: 670 KBOI
- Commentators: Alex “Fausto” Faust, Petros “Pappy” Papadakis
1. Senior moment
Although a handful may choose to return, the Broncos will nonetheless be honoring 24 seniors tomorrow evening and we salute them all for their hard work and dedication. The short-timers are: Caleb Biggers, Daniel Cantrell, Damon Cole, Octavius Evans, Will Farrar, Cyrus Habibi-Likio, Donte Harrington, Shane Irwin, Tyreque Jones, Kekaula Kaniho, Aisa Kelemete, Davis Koetter, Ezekiel Noa, Divine Obichere, John Ojukwu, Uzo Osuji, Kurt Rafdal, Jack Sears, Jake Stetz, Khalil Shakir, Andrew Van Buren, Joel Velazquez, Tyler Visser, and Riley Whimpey.
2. Consistency is key
Speaking of those seniors...this is the 23rd straight (!) Bronco class that will leave the school with at least one conference title. This year’s senior class earned their last title in 2019, but there were a few here for that 2017 run as well (‘member Kekaula Kaniho’s pick in that year’s Vegas Bowl against Oregon? I ‘member)
3. DC Fiiiiight
Tomorrow’s matchup will be a battle of two former Pac-12 defensive coordinators, as UNM coach Danny Gonzales...formerly Arizona State’s DC will take on Andy Avalos...late of Oregon DC fame. Of course, another familiar face will be scowling from the sideline (or possibly the booth) as former San Diego State headman Rocky Long made the interesting decision to leave the Aztecs HC spot for a UNM coordinator spot. He must like green chilis.
4. Time wounds all heels
Boise State - Won 3
New Mexico - Lost 2
Best name(s) on their roster
Zarak Scruggs Jr. is a wide receiver after my own heart.
Best picture on their roster
The black eye...the sorta mullet. Yep, Connor Witthoft tight end status is CONFIRMED.
Players to watch
Aaron Dumas, RB
No offense, but UNM doesn’t have much of one. If they do chew up some yardage though, this is the guy that will most likely do it. The frosh from El Paso has been having a very solid year and is currently averaging over 5 yards per carry. He saved his best game for his last game, when he rushed for over 140 yards against Fresno State. He’ll be the “key stop” for the Bronco defense and they’ll need to limit his touches by making sure UNM drives are short-lived.
Isaiah Chavez, QB
Journeyman QB Terry Wilson (Oregon, Kentucky) started the season for the Lobos and brought mixed results before Chavez took the reins in October. Chavez has only attempted 22 passes in the 4 games he’s taken snaps. Like I said...Dumas is going to be the key here. One thing that Chavez does have going for him is that he generally completes the passes he attempts, but I’d guess that’s because defenses are so keyed up on the run that they STUNNED that the ball is in the air.
Luke Wysong, WR
The Lobos probably won’t take to the skies that often, but when they do there’s a good chance that Mr. Wysong will be involved. He currently leads the team with 224 receiving yards on 24 receptions but has been unable to find the endzone. Just how little do the Lobos throw the rock? Well, Wysong is the Lobos’ leading receiver and he has roughly as many receiving yards as our backup running back (CHL). Watch him, nonetheless.
Jerrick Reed II, S
Reed is somewhat small in stature, but big on heart...as he leads the team in stops with 73. He also has an INT to his name this season, so he obviously knows how to “Reed” offenses.
Tavian Combs, S
The other Lobo safety. This one leads the team in INTs...so at least they have that going for them.
Players NOT to watch
We’re unlikely to see Terry Wilson, as previously stated. Sadly, we also won’t be seeing Bob Davie’s massive forehead anymore (that’s okay, you can still see it from space)
Keys to victory
- Control the clock. UNM will be bringing Rocky Long’s 3-3-5 to town as well as a would-be punishing ground game. If they can somehow grab a lead, they may not want to let go. The Broncos need to strike first and control the clock the rest of the way.
- Take it away, D. The Broncos have done quite well when taking the ball away this year and Demitri Washington’s late INT against Wyoming went a long way to closing that game out. The Broncos need to get more touches by giving UNM fewer of them.
- Finish in the red zone. We all love Jonah Dalmas and Andrew Van Buren is pretty hard to stop from 3-4 yards out, but the Broncos should figure out their red zone scheme this weekend since a somewhat larger game is looming where those trips will be at a premium.
- Don’t lose. THREE in a row using this tactic. That’s a hell of an endorsement.
Vegas is giving the Broncos a lot of points in this one but they haven’t been great against the spread (especially at home). I see a comfortable senior night win, but maybe just shy of that giant betting line.
Boise State 35, UNM 10