They can’t all be pretty, and this one certainly wasn’t. Coming off a bye, the Broncos were rested and relatively healthy, but there was plenty of rust, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Boise State did manage to come away with a 38-13 victory, but there are plenty of issues to iron out, as the Broncos will face a tough task with Hawaii coming to town Saturday night. Let’s revisit my keys to the game and see how they turned out for the Broncos.
Will the Broncos be close to full strength?
John Ojukwu returned to action, and Boise State had its full arsenal of offensive lineman for the first time since the first half of the Florida State game. Also, DeAndre Pierce was in uniform for the first time since the Florida State game. Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin said after the game that Pierce could have played, but they held him out for precautionary reasons. Harsin made it clear that Pierce would be in the lineup against Hawaii.
Will this be the game where it all clicks?
Nope. Other than garbage time, the defense played lights out. They did an excellent job of limiting a potent, UNLV rushing attack. The offense continued to have the same issues they have had the entire season. The offense racked up over 500 yards of total offense and had few issues moving the ball. However, many of those drives did not result in points. I want to make it clear that this game was never in doubt or even close. It should have been an absolute blowout, and it wasn’t. The Broncos played their most undisciplined game of the year, and it resulted in 130 penalty yards. Boise State will need to clean that up before they host Hawaii.
Will there be a bye week slump?
Yes and no. The punting game continued to be an issue, and the Broncos had the most penalty yards they have had in more than two decades. I’m not sure I would call it a slump, but this team has plenty of room for growth.
Can Boise State make a statement?
Not really. This game should have been more like 56-7. However, penalties and missed opportunities in opponent territory kept this from being an absolute blowout.
Will this be the last time BSU faces Tony Sanchez?
If it isn’t, I would be shocked. But, maybe they give him a year in the new stadium.
Vegas Line: Boise State -21.5
The line was actually closer to 24 at kickoff. As ugly as it was, the Broncos somehow managed to cover. It didn’t feel like they would for the majority of the second half.
My Prediction: I predicted a 45-10 victory for the Broncos and the final score was 38-13. Boise State managed to cover the spread, but left plenty of points on the field.
Be sure to stay tuned this week. We will have a special Boise State-Hawaii collaboration preview.