BOISE STATE (8-3) VS UTAH STATE (6-5)
Location: Boise, Idaho (Albertsons Stadium)
Date/Time: Friday, November 25th at 10:00 a.m. (Mountain Time)
Streaming: CBS sports app
Radio: KBOI 670 AM / 93.1 FM
Head-to-Head: All-time, Boise State leads the series 21-5. Since the turn of the century, the Broncos have only lost once in 17 games. That was back in 2015 when Jordan Love and the Aggies routed Boise State 52-26 in Logan.
1. Will Andy Avalos play the long game and shorten his starter’s total time on the field?
This is a good problem for Avalos to have. Boise State took care of business in Laramie and now has to decide whether risking potential injury before the Mountain West championship game is worth it. It’s a decision that can’t be rooted in factual evidence that is proven. More often than not, hindsight at the end of the game causes uproar within a fanbase. Boise State will need all hands on deck when Fresno State comes to town December 3rd. To me, I believe the Broncos should bench their injury-prone starters and, as soon as the score is out of reach for either team, take the 1st teamers out.
The goal is a conference title.
There should be no reason that the Broncos aren’t at full strength December 3rd.
2. Can the Bronco defense get back on its feet and limit Aggie RB Calvin Tyler Jr.?
The biggest hiccup in last week’s win against Wyoming was the absurd running stats given up to Titus Swen. The Cowboy racked up 212 yards on 19 carries, equivalent to a gaudy 11.2 yards-per-carry. On the season, the Broncos still rank inside the top-30 in rush defense, averaging 122.5 yards-per-game. For the Aggies, Tyler has 978 rushing yards on the year (one more than George Holani) and has eclipsed 100 yards on the ground six times this year. Of those six games, Utah State won five with their only loss being to BYU.
Injuries on the defensive line have hampered the run defense, not to mention the loss of Ezekiel Noa. Spencer Danielson and company were able to overcome their defensive woes on the ground last week, but Utah State’s passing attack is not as inept as the one Wyoming presented. In each of the last two games, Aggie QB Cooper Legas has passed for over 230 yards. He was also the man running the show in the Aggies’ LA Bowl win against Oregon State in 2021.
It has been said again and again, and it still rings true that the Broncos need the defense to show the ferocity that was on display in the first half of the season.
3. Will Boise State fans come out and support the 29 players who may be honored for Senior Day?
It’s no secret that playing in the morning on Black Friday is not the most ideal of start times. However, Andy Avalos didn’t seem overly concerned with the attendance numbers, citing that shopping is now primarily done online and that supporting their Broncos in the final home game of the regular season should be a priority. Fans should come out and not only support those in the blue and orange, but applaud the likes of JL Skinner, Ezekiel Noa, Tyreque Jones and Scott Matlock for the last time on The Blue during the regular season. Put the 20% discount aside on that new popcorn maker and make this Senior Day one to remember.
Boise State has had one heck of a season, bouncing from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. Considering what this program was staring at back in September, an undefeated conference record would be tremendous. The potential of getting back to a ten-win season is now a reality with three games left to find two wins.
Andy Avalos grew up this season and made some of the toughest decisions he has had to face thus far.
He is now reaping the rewards.
Boise State doesn’t look ahead to their date with Fresno State. They will have one of their best performances of the year.
According to DraftKings, Boise State is currently favored by 17. I say the Broncos win and cover.
Boise State 41 - Utah State 17