BOISE STATE VS COLORADO STATE
Location: Boise, Idaho (Albertsons Stadium)
Date/Time: Saturday, October 29th at 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)
Television: Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
Streaming: Fox Sports app
Radio: Bronco Radio Network and KBOI/KTIK
Head-to-Head: Boise State is perfect in this series with an 11-0 record. Last year, the Broncos bested Colorado State in Fort Collins 28-19.
- Will the dependable depth of the running backs step up and fill the void?
The last two weeks have raised some eyebrows in regards to the health of both George Holani and Ashton Jeanty. Leading up to the Air Force game, Holani was in pads and had a helmet onsite, but he was never called upon to enter the game. There was no official announcement before or after the game. In the second half of the same game, true freshman standout Ashton Jeanty was nowhere to be seen, not even on the sideline. Again, there was nothing official that was announced by the team, but there is speculation that Jeanty may have suffered a concussion.
Assuming that both backs are out this weekend, the trio of Elelyon Noa, Tyler Crowe and former wide receiver Kaden Dudley will have to step up to the plate. Noa looked quite comfortable in Colorado Springs and has the experience to limit any massive drop-off. We know that Crowe is a hard runner and will scrap for every blade of grass that he can find. Dudley is a wild card as he has nice burst, but not a ton of in-game reps. This situation would have been amplified tenfold if the Broncos had a pocket passer under center, but with Taylen Green, they should be able to patch together a solid outing as a collective group.
2. Will Dirk Koetter continue to expand the passing game?
With all the situational factors going into this week, this seems like a great time to let Green handle some more responsibility in the air. Glimpses of big play material shined last week, exemplified by a 44-yard catch that Eric McAlister snagged. It was apparent that much of the Bronco faithful wanted Green to keep the rock more in last week’s win. However, with the schedule up ahead and where he is at in his development, requiring Green to make reads that include utilizing the rest of the offense rather than his legs is vital in his progression as a quarterback and not just a freakish athlete.
The entire receiving corps has been quiet this season as Koetter has placed emphasis on controlling the ground game, and it worked. Boise State got through the three-game stretch that was going to define their season. With two games remaining that make you pause (BYU and Wyoming), letting Green sling it this week while having the result not hang in the balance is the optimal version of learning on the job.
3. How dominant will the defense be despite losing EDGE rusher George Tarlas?
The Rams rank 127th out of 131 FBS teams in total offense with only New Mexico State, New Mexico, UMass and Iowa behind them. Considering how the Broncos have stifled relatively decent offenses this year, they have a prime opportunity to put up video game-like numbers.
Not all is sunshine and rainbows though as Weber State transfer George Tarlas announced he is out for the remainder of the season with a hip injury. Tarlas was having a great year as he was second on the team in sacks with four and fought his way to the quarterback on every snap. His charisma and leadership was visible on the field with his passion exciting the fans in attendance. Unfortunately, this marks the end of Tarlas’ career as he is not eligible for a medical redshirt. Hopefully, he is able to make a full recovery and be 100% in time for the NFL scouting season to be in full swing.
To be frank, this should be one of the easier games left on the Broncos’ schedule. Colorado State’s only two wins this season have come against fellow Mountain West cellar-dwellers Nevada and Hawaii.
The injuries to Holani, Jeanty and Tarlas all sting, but this team has shown that there is a next man up mentality. Whether it’s young players or experienced veterans, the Broncos will work through this set of obstacles and find their way on top.
The spread, courtesy of DraftKings, currently stands at 27.5 in favor of Boise State. The Broncos have been rolling these past three games and I don’t see it stopping this week. Boise State not only wins, but covers the spread as well.
Boise State 35 - Colorado State 3