The Broncos head to San Jose to take on an improved Spartan squad in a Saturday night showdown. The game will be filled with plenty of questions for both teams; the Broncos look to right the ship, and the Spartans are out to prove they are a bowl team. This week, I have a guest previewing the game with me. Ron Faulk is a former Boise State offensive lineman who played for the Broncos in 1984 and 1985.
Location: San Jose, California (CEFCU Stadium)
Date/Time: Saturday 8:30 MT
Television: CBS Sports
Head-to-Head: The Broncos have won all 13 matchups against San Jose State.
Will Hank be ready to go, or will the Broncos roll with Chase Cord?
Zach: The Bachmeier doubters were silenced after the loss to BSU. If this team is going to compete for a Mountain West title, they will need a healthy Bachmeier to sling the ball around the field. The Broncos might be able to win this game without Hank, but it would be nice to have him return to form before they take on Wyoming. It is also worth keeping your eye on the health of starting running back Robert Mahone, who left the game against BYU with an unspecified injury. If Mahone can’t go, Holani should be able to carry the load.
Ron: I believe that Hank will be ready to go. Him being a California kid, his excitement level will be high which will help him forget all about his injury. With many family and friends in attendance, look for Hank to have a big night. With that being said, I still believe in Cord should he have to play. I believe that Harsin will make sure to get him into the game at some point to ensure that his confidence is restored should we need him during the final stretch of the season. We will be in capable hands no matter which running back plays, so look for a strong ground game against San Jose’s porous run defense. San Jose has shown some recent spark this season but will not be able to match the talent level of Boise State.
Can the Bronco defense return to form?
Zach: The defense had a bit of a disappointing performance against a BYU squad that has struggled on offense this season. Boise State’s defense made some undisciplined mistakes and allowed the Cougars to capitalize on some trick plays. The secondary will need to play better against a potent passing attack in San Jose State. Keep an eye on Spartan receiver Tre Walker. If the Broncos can keep Walker in check, it will make things difficult on the San Jose State offense.
Ron: The Bronco defense will indeed return to form against the Spartans. Look for the defense to have a dominant performance bolstered by the fact that so many Boise State kids are from California. I know from experience that playing in California adds an extra step for BSU players with so many of their family and friends attending this game. The BYU game was an aberration for the BSU defense, so look for them to redeem themselves with an outstanding performance Saturday night against the Spartans. BSU will jump out to a lead forcing San Jose to abandon their run game and depend heavily on passing, which will fall right into the hands of Curtis and the BSU defense.
Will the Broncos have the dominant performance that they are capable of?
Zach: San Jose State is an improved football squad and has one of the best offenses Boise State will see this season. However, Boise State is better at nearly every position and should be able to win this game with relative ease. But, one thing that has been consistent during the Harsin era is the inability to finish games. Will that be the case again on Saturday?
Ron: Look for a dominant performance from Boise State. I anticipate a complete game on both sides of the ball. The bye week will have been used to resolve any and all lingering issues the offense had. The defense will be rested and prepared, and the weather will be conducive for a perfect night of dominant football from our Boise State Broncos.
Vegas Line: Boise State -17
Zach: I think the Broncos will come out slow, but finish the game strong. Josh Love will fall short of the 300 yard mark and will be outplayed by the Boise State quarterback(s). Running back George Holani will have the best game of his young career. Boise State 42-San Jose State 21
Ron: I have confidence that the Broncos will get off to a fast start while clicking on all cylinders. This will cause the Spartans to be one dimensional throwing the ball. This will play right into the ever aggressive play of Boise State’s pass rush. Chase and Curtis will have big games on defense. Look for the Broncos’ run game to also excel while Hank balances things out with a big night throwing the ball. Boise State 45 - San Jose State 14