After a gut-wrenching loss to the Wyoming Cowboys, Bryan Harsin faces the tough task of rallying the Boise State Broncos from the disappointment felt last Saturday. Fortunately for the Broncos, this weekend offers a return home to the familiar blue turf as well as an opponent that provides the opportunity to get back on track in the San Jose State Spartans.
The Broncos were knocked from the ranks of the undefeated last weekend in Wyoming and, as such, now find themselves out of the “New Year’s Six” bowl games conversation. Because of this, the Boise State Broncos face the opportunity to rebound from a game in which their season’s aspirations became a relative impossibility. One major key for the Broncos in practice this week and leading into the game on Friday is to find a way to play inspired football after a disappointing loss. The Broncos can allow the loss to completely derail their season or they can use the loss to fuel their preparation and desire to win. Ultimately, this responsibility lies with Bryan Harsin and his coaching staff as well as the Bronco players to prepare and compete in front of an excited home crowd on Friday.
The San Jose State Spartans offense will challenge the Bronco defense much more than their record projects. For starters, the upset-minded Spartans have not committed a turnover in their past three games. This statistic is particularly interesting because the Spartan offense relies heavily on the big play.
Coming into this weekend, the Spartans have spread the wealth, with nine different players scoring at least one touchdown of thirty-five yards or more. The key here for the Broncos is to avoid trying to do too much on the defensive side of the ball. The Boise State defense should easily be able to “out-athlete” the Spartan offense in order to keep the big plays (and the points) to a minimum.
Bronco fans can expect this matchup to offer a heavy dose of Jeremy McNichols who has been touted as one of the most complete backs in the country. However, the biggest key for the Bronco offense this weekend is for sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien to get back on track. Rypien had thrown for a touchdown in every game this season until the loss at Wyoming in which he threw for no touchdowns and had an interception to boot.
Look for Rypien to lean heavily on his two primary wideouts Thomas Sperbeck and Cedrick Wilson in this game and the Bronco passing game should show some life against a San Jose State team that is allowing an average of 35 points a game this season.
All in all, the Boise State Broncos have a great opportunity this weekend to rebound from a tough loss. Bronco fans still have a lot to be excited about with this team and the Blue Turf Boys should put on a show Friday night that is more indicative of who this team is.