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Cache money: Boise State at Utah State Game Preview

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 20 Frisco Bowl - Utah State v Kent State Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Game facts

  • Time: Saturday, Sept 25th, 10AM (MT)
  • Location: Maverik Stadium, Logan, UT
  • Weather at kickoff: 56°, sunny
  • Odds: Boise State by 9.5
  • TV: CBS
  • Radio: KBOI 670 AM
  • Commentators: Rich “Viennese” Waltz, Aaron “Sandwiches” Taylor, and Sherree “Brrrr” Burress

Other facts

1. We’re going streaking

Boise State has won an impressive 21-straight conference openers dating back to 1999 and since they started the season with a 1-2 record, I think extending that streak would probably go a long way in restoring some of the frayed nerves and damaged drywall in Bronco Nation.

2. Rise and shine

The Broncos are usually creatures of the night, but have a rare chance to shine on network television in an Eastern Time Zone showcase game. Sorry to the folks that have soccer games or Farmer’s Markets to get to...ball waits for no man.

3. Still haunted

The Broncos have won in their last two trips to Logan, and haven’t dropped a game to the Aggies since 2015, but oh what a loss in 2015. The Broncos rolled into Logan with a fresh-faced teen at QB (Brett Rypien) and rolled out of town with 52-26 L after posting EIGHT turnovers. I’m STILL geeking out about it!

4. (Chalmers voice) Skin-ner!

Streaks

Boise State - Lost 1 :(

Utah State - Won 3

Zekes

Best name on their roster

Still partial to OL Chandler Dolphin, but WR Nyny Davis is growing on me.

Best picture on their roster

Punter Stephen Kotsanlee has a certain “informant for underground stolen car ring” vibe

Players to watch

Justin Rice, LB

How old is this freaking kid? After spending 4 seasons at Fresno State (where he was first-team All-MWC selection in 2019), he transferred to Arkansas State where he again garnered first-team all-conference honors (2020) and now is fixing to double dip on All-MWC awards on his third stop: Logan, Utah. Through 3 games with the Aggies, Rice has 30 total tackles (4 for loss), a forced fumble, and 3 INTs. Who knows what he’s capable of in his next 3 seasons of college ball!

Logan Bonner, QB

The junior signal-caller has been solid in his 3 starts thus far. He’s currently sitting on a 7/3 TD/INT ratio and has connected on a respectable 64% of his pass attempts. He’s not as much of a QB run threat as the Broncos have seen in their two losses, but he also doesn’t take many sacks (just 2 in 3 games). Maybe most impressive, he’s helped get four different Aggies over 100 receiving yards on the year.

Deven Thompkins, WR

Thompkins is going OFF right now and has gone for over 170 receiving yards in the last two contests. I think we can all agree that Boise State’s Khalil Shakir is the bee’s knees, but through 3 games...this shifty li’l wideout is ahead of Shakir’s pace by over 100 yards (454 to 335) and also has an extra TD under his belt. This is the fella to cover.

Calvin Tyler, RB

The Aggies aren’t putting up silly rushing numbers but of course, they are far better in that specific metric than us, so I guess I can’t say anything, RIGHT?! Tyler leads the USU squad with 4 rushing TDs and is averaging a tidy 6.1 YPC average. Sigh. Please tackle him.

Savon Scarver, WR

With Avery Williams gone, Scarver is probably the best returner in the league. Kick it well over his head if you know what’s good for ya.

Players NOT to watch

Aggies weren’t great a season ago, but anyone that approached “good” returns...except maybe O-lineman Karter Shaw, who was an Honorable Mention All-MWC pick a season ago. Yay us!

Keys to victory

  • DON’T run the ball. Trying reverse psychology this week.
  • Keep turning them over. The Broncos have 9 takeaways through 3 games, which is pretty darn impressive. If they can keep up that clip, they’ll put themselves in the best position to win.
  • Tighten up. Aggie running back Calvin Tyler might not be in the same realm as Isaiah Bowser or Jaylen Warren (who had career games against the Broncos) but he’s plenty capable of moving the chains and the Broncos rush defense has been preeeetty bad. Plug those gaps...wrap up.
  • Don’t lose. Last week this worked right up until the moment it didn’t.

Score prediction

Oh boy, my confidence is a bit shaken but conference play is a different animal. Broncos still get it done.

Boise State 35, Utah State 26