- Time: September 3rd, 2022
- Location: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR
- Weather at kickoff: 74° partly cloudy
- Odds: Oregon State by 2.5
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: 670 KBOI
- Commentators: Beth “Mower” Mowins, Kirk “Morpheus” Morrison, and Stormy “Storm Shadow” Buonantony
1. Battle of the “mehs”
Boise State and Oregon State “boasted” identical 7-5 regular season records last season although I can let you guess who was happier about their record (Beavs were 2-5 the previous year). The Beavers finished their season with a bowl loss to MWC Champ Utah State while the Broncos were forced to opt-out of their scheduled Arizona Bowl appearance vs Central Michigan. Both teams want to wash that taste out of their mouths (tastes a little like vinaigrette).
2. Home warriors, road worriers
Oregon State did their best Jekyll and Hyde impersonation at home and on the road last season. They held serve at home with a perfect 6-0 record...even defeating eventual Pac-12 champ Utah in Corvallis. On the road, those beaver teeth were much gummier...posting a 1-5 record away. Will Reser have the same mystique this season with capacity throttled due to construction? I guess we’ll find out.
3. Playing for a tie
Well, in the series anyway. The Broncos and Beavers have played 9 times in their histories and currently, the Beavers hold the edge 5-4 (yeah, we still have to count the game with the fumble no-call). The Broncos enter game number 10 with a chance to even the board. Hey, if the Pac-12 implodes they’ll have lots more opportunities to make things right!
Boise State - Lost 1 :)
Oregon State - Lost 2
Best name on their roster
I have a certain affinity for the WASPy Atticus Sappington, but ultimately sophomore WR Makiya Tongue took home the prize.
Best picture on their roster
I already admired(?) the stache game of punter Luke Loechner in my Oregon State roast, so I decided to give some love to LB Mathias Malaki-Donaldson’s impressive head of hair.
Players to watch
Chance Nolan, QB
The junior QB has started 15 games for the Beavers and this week was named the game one starter for the Beavs. The 6’3” slinger is a stout fella and can run a bit as well (286 yards last season). In 2021, he tossed 19 TDs and had the second highest passer rating int he Pac-12. Tarlas, Washington, Hogans, Bagnah, Wright, etc...seize him!
Tre’Shaun Harrison, WR
Harrison was the Beavers’ second-leading receiver last season behind the graduated Trevon Bradford and was recently named preseason Honorable Mention All-Pac12. He had 29 receptions last season for 401 yards (a tidy 13.8 YPC) and scored 3 TDs. They’ll use him out of the backfield a bit too. If the name sounds familiar...well, the Broncos have played him before (sorta). He was on the Florida State roster in 2019 when the legend of Hurricane Hank was born. Where’d that dude go?
Omar Speights, LB
To no one’s chagrin, the Beavers graduated their top tackler Avery Roberts last year, but the guy that was nipping at his heels, Omar Speights, is back in action for OSU. A season ago, the 6’1” 233 lb junior ‘backer made 87 tackles and registered two picks and call me crazy, but I think he’d like to improve upon those in ‘22.
Luke Musgrave, TE
The 6’6” senior is big in stature and big on the stat sheet. Last season, he was 3rd on the team in receiving yards and 2nd among returning players with 304 yards and a TD. Personally, I wouldn’t let this guy catch the ball.
Yeah, all of ‘em. A couple of days ago PFF.com ranked Oregon State’s O-line as the 10th best in CFB heading into the season. Why, you ask? Well, in 2021 they had a 96.6 run-blocking grade and an 89.9 overall grade—second and fourth in the country among Power Five teams...and 3 of the starters from that very line return. Boise State’s vaunted new-look D-line will get an immediate test.
Players NOT to watch
Top tackler Avery Roberts is gone as well as top receiver Trevon Bradford AND top rusher B.J. Baylor.
Keys to victory
- Improved linebacker play. Boise State should have a really good and deep D-line and secondary, much like last year...but the relative weakness of the defense was the linebacking unit, which was short on speed and didn’t cover the flats particularly well. I’d think Oregon State will try to exploit that. Hopefully, we won’t let them.
- Takeaway party. The Broncos were solid on takeaways last season and gaining extra touches for our offense would be a welcome sight...especially considering the Beavers points/game was higher than ours in ‘21. Gotta close that gap somehow.
- Finish in the red zone. No more stalling for this offense, please. They seem to start hot but fade as the game wears on. This can’t continue or I fear Tim Plough may be looking at getting the “bum’s rush”
- Don’t lose. I know, I know...it’s a new year, but old habits die hard.
I really don’t have a good read on this one. Beavs are tough at home and Broncos lost their best offensive weapon. Still, scoring on the Broncos shouldn’t be easy, so I’ll go with the following:
Boise State 24, Oregon State 14