BSU-SDSU is always a fun week in the Mountain West. There is a good chance that Rocky Long will say something about mystique that riles up Bronco nation. Regardless, the Aztecs will be looking for revenge after Boise State destroyed their undefeated season and knocked them out of the top 25. Here are some key things to watch for in this rare, afternoon showdown:
Location: Albertson’s Stadium (Boise, Idaho)
Time: 1:30 PM MT
How to watch: ESPNU
Which team is healthier?
Both teams have had significant injuries. The Aztecs are going to be without their starting quarterback and their starting running back. Agnew has looked like a capable replacement for Chapman at the quarterback position. The running back position is a bigger question mark for the Aztecs; Washington has been a dynamic play maker, and that kind of production is difficult to replace.
For the Broncos, they will likely be without some key cogs on the defense. David Moa and Tyler Horton both sat out the Wyoming game, and STUD Jabril Frazier suffered an injury at the end of the second quarter that resulted in him sitting the second half. If all three of these players are missing, that would mean the Broncos are without all of their starting seniors.
Can the offensive line continue to improve?
The debacle in Stillwater still looms over the Bronco offensive line. The Wyoming game was better. However, the Broncos continued to struggle running the ball, and Rypien took more hits than the coaches prefer. Boise State needs to make a statement in the running game and give their quarterback time to work magic.
Can the Broncos prevent big plays?
Outside of two plays, the Broncos were stout on defense against Wyoming. However, those two plays resulted in touchdowns of more than 70 yards. San Diego State is limited on offense and should struggle to move the ball. If the Broncos can force the Aztecs to earn every yard, they should be able to come away with a victory.
Can the Broncos be consistent on special teams?
It seems like the Broncos learned a few things from Oklahoma State, namely how to block punts. But there are still some things that the Broncos need to clean up on special teams. Boise State had two holding calls on punt returns and a missed field goal against Wyoming. They may not be able to get away with those kind of mistakes against the Aztecs.
One major takeaway from last year’s game against San Diego State was the Broncos discipline. They did not make any major mistakes and made some dynamic plays on defense and special teams. Since the opening game, the Broncos have had limited success creating turnovers. That needs to change.
Vegas Line: Boise State -15
My prediction: The Broncos defense will have another dominant showing against a limited offense, and Rypien goes for 300 yards yet again. Broncos 38-Aztecs 13