Boise State 2013 Football Schedule Breakdown (Part 2)
We are a third of the way through the season, and while Boise State isn’t quite where we would like to see them (now at 3-2), there are plenty of things to be excited about as the Broncos enter the middle of conference play. After their 60-7 drubbing of Southern Mississippi last night, we are going into a bye week which leads into our most important divisional game against the Utah State Aggies. Below I break down the next three games of the Boise State season and talk a bit about what I look forward to in each matchup.
At Utah State: 10/12/13
Utah State, led by Junior Quarterback Chuckie Keeton, is still looking for their signature win as a program. Falling short against in state rival Utah and against a falling Southern California has worked to fire this team up and makes them a huge threat to the Broncos who make the trip to Logan. The Broncos are still the favorite to win the Mountain Division, leading them seemingly on a collision course to a rematch against Fresno State in the first Mountain West Championship game. Not if Utah State has anything to say about it however. The Aggies have looked very good in both of their losses this season, and even better in their wins. The Broncos however still could be the biggest challenge they have faced this season, as the Aggies miss out on Fresno and Nevada from the Western Division. If the Aggies do pull the upset against the Broncos they will have a direct route to the Mountain West Championship, with five straight very winnable conference games. This is a must win game for Boise State, who are looking to claim their second MWC Championship (their first outright).
The most compelling factor of this game will be how well the Boise State defense can match up against Keeton. BSU traditionally doesn’t fare well against mobile Quarterbacks, however the Broncos will have plenty of time to rest up and prepare for the game coming out of a bye week. Next week the Aggies get BYU at home, which is a huge rivalry for Utah State. If the Aggies are able to beat BYU at home they will bring a lot of momentum into their matchup with Boise.
Bold Prediction: Boise State 34, Utah State 31
Vs. Nevada: 10/19/13
Ah Nevada. Speaking of mobile Quarterbacks, what about Cody Fajardo? This will be the second straight week in a row that Boise plays against a mobile QB, with still one more left to play the following week with a trip to Brigham Young. While this isn’t quite the Nevada team who has given Boise trouble in the past, Fajardo will be able to put up some yards against the Broncos. Luckily, this game is in Bronco Stadium, which should provide a very hostile environment for the visiting Wolfpack. While they looked very lackluster against UCLA and against Florida State (without Fajardo, mind you), they have looked strong in their other games, rallying against Air Force and dominating UC Davis and Hawaii.
In the end, the Boise Defense should be able to contain Fajardo enough to get the win, though it may be closer than many Bronco fans would like. But what is a rivalry game without a bit of intrigue? If we blew out opponents every week, football wouldn’t be any fun. Southwick steps up once again and has a huge game, Ajayi and Baltazar split carries and control the time of possession.
Bold Prediction: Boise State 27, Nevada 21
At Brigham Young: 10/25/13
This year’s BYU team confuses me when I look at them on paper. They blow out Texas at home, putting up more rushing yards than they have ever allowed before, but they come up short against a decent Utah team and a weak Virginia team. The Cougars get the advantage of playing at home, however I think that people are looking too much at that win against the Longhorns. Texas is a solid team, however they have showed their true colors when they play quality competition, such as BYU and Ole Miss.
Once again the Broncos are up against a mobile QB, however I don’t quite think Taysom Hill is quite as talented as Keeton and Fajardo. I see this game mirroring last years game a bit, and being a very low scoring battle. In the end, Boise State slips by BYU on the road, concluding the toughest three game stretch of the season. It should be fairly smooth sailing from here on out, entering the final stretch of conference play.
Bold Prediction: Boise State 20, Brigham Young 17 in Overtime
If Boise State wins this stretch of games (even if they don’t get by BYU), it should be a straight shot for a rematch with Fresno. How do you think the Broncos will fare in this stretch? What is the most intriguing matchup for you? Let me know in the comments!