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First Responder Bowl Preview: Boise State vs. Boston College

The Broncos head to Texas to take on Boston College

NCAA Football: Mountain West Championship-Fresno State at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

After a frustrating loss in the Mountain West Championship game, Boise State heads to Texas to take on Boston College in a rematch of the 2005 MPC Computers Bowl (my first bowl game as a student). There are a lot of question marks for both teams entering this game; let’s take a look at what the Broncos need to do to come away with the victory.

When: December 26th, 11:30 AM Mountain Time

Where: Dallas, Texas (Cotton Bowl Stadium)

How to watch: ESPN

Who will rush for more yards?

The most intriguing part of this bowl game is the fact that two pro-prospects will be running the ball. For the Broncos, you have Alexander Mattison, who has 1415 yards rushing and is likely competing in his last collegiate game. For Boston College, you have AJ Dillon who has 1108 yards rushing on the season. The team with the more effective running game is likely to come out on top. If this is Mattison’s last game, will he have an Ajayi moment or a McNichols moment?

Will Brett Rypien leave on a high note?

There is no arguing that Brett Rypien is one of the greatest players to ever wear blue and orange, but he has had a polarizing career. Rypien came to Boise with sky high expectations and New Year’s Six dreams; he won a ton of games, but did not meet his ultimate goal. Will Rypien leave the Broncos wanting more, or will the fans be ready to move on after the bowl game?

Will the Broncos leave in one piece?

As someone who has followed the Bronco program for 15 years, I can’t recall anything like this. Boise State has been plagued by injuries as much as any team in the country. As nice as it would be to get a win, the Broncos need to get healthy entering spring ball.

Can the defense continue to put together solid performances?

What Andy Avalos has done this season is nothing short of amazing. The Broncos have dealt with injuries to some of their best players. The line will be challenged by the Boston College running game, and the defensive backs will be challenged by their speed and size.

Will the Broncos be motivated?

I tend to think people over-analyze these types of things. I think the Broncos will enter this game determined to end the season on a high note against a Power 5 opponent. Hopefully, the Broncos learned from the Cactus Bowl two years ago (another game where they were hobbled the day after Christmas). Regardless, this should not factor into the outcome of the game.

Vegas Line: Boise State -3

My Prediction:

The Broncos are the better football team, but better football teams do not always win bowl games. It is almost impossible to know who will suit up for the Broncos or if any players for either of the teams will sit out to pursue their pro careers. With that being said, I think talent and skill win out more often than not. Boise State 31-Boston College 21