The Broncos will play host to a team that has given them fits in recent years, as the Falcons will land on “The Blue.” This game will be the first conference game of the year for both teams and will be third consecutive home game for Boise State.
Time: 7:00 MT
Location: Boise, Idaho (Albertsons Stadium)
Will the defense come out strong?
I asked this question last week, and I am going to keep asking this question until the Broncos have a solid, four quarter performance on defense. If Air Force grinds out an early lead, Boise State could be in trouble. The Falcons have a grind it out approach that wears down the opponent. Boise State needs to get some quick stops early in the game so the offense can build some early momentum. If the Broncos win the toss, they should elect to receive and try to get out to an early lead.
Will the triple option once again haunt the Broncos?
The Broncos have improved against the triple option in recent years, but with a new defensive coordinator and some key injuries, the Broncos will have to be on top of their game. Air Force is going to get the yards on the ground, but Hammond is a capable passer as he showed against Colorado. Boise State needs to remain disciplined in their assignments and be aware of the play action. They also need to do a better job of making the first tackle.
Can a revamped offensive line protect Bachmeier?
When news broke that left tackle Ezra Cleveland was on the sideline in a walking boot prior to the Portland State game, Bronco Nation collectively sighed. Cleveland is one of the best tackles in the game and is a significant loss for the Broncos. Cleveland and right tackle Ojukwu aren’t likely to play against Air Force. Boise State will need to adapt their offensive approach and come up with some passes that get the ball out of Bachmeier’s hands quicker. It is also possible that we might see a little bit more of Chase Cord.
Will Chase Cord continue to see the field?
Many Boise State fans were overreacting on Twitter, stating that Hank Bachmeier needs to be benched. I couldn’t disagree more. Bachmeier has been everything and more you could hope for in a true freshman. With that being said, he has plenty to work on. I have always been a proponent of Cord getting some snaps; he has earned them. But benching Bachmeier is ludicrous.
How limited are the Broncos?
The injury bug has hit the Broncos hard. They will likely be without two starting offensive tackles. The player to keep an eye on is DeAndre Pierce; he has missed the past two weeks. Pierce is one of the best tacklers the team has and would be a massive lift to the team if he could play.
Are the Broncos for real?
I think this game will teach us a lot about what kind of team the 2019 Broncos are. If they are a legitimate threat to win the conference and possibly play in a NY6 game, they should be able to beat this Air Force team. If they lose this game, the fans will need to pump their brakes on their expectations and prepare for an 8-4 type season.
Vegas Line: Boise State -8.5
My Prediction: I think the Broncos are going to be pumped for this game. They are unveiling new black uniforms, and the atmosphere should be electric at Albertsons Stadium. With that being said, Air Force almost always causes issues for Boise State. I think this game is going to be a close one all the way into the fourth quarter where the Broncos finally build a two score lead, but the Falcons will get a late score to cover the spread. Boise State 34-Air Force 28
Here are some other things to keep an eye on Friday night: