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Boise State vs BYU: Three Questions, Prediction

Motivation for both squads is high with Saturday’s game being the last in the series for the foreseeable future.

NCAA Football: Boise State at Brigham Young Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports


Location: Boise, Idaho (Albertsons Stadium)

Date/Time: Saturday, November 5th at 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)

Television: Fox Sports 2 (FS2)

Streaming: Fox Sports app

Radio: Bronco Radio Network and KBOI/KTIK

Head-to-Head: Boise State is 8-4 all-time against the Cougars and came out of Provo last year with a win over a top ten BYU team 26-17.

Three Questions

  1. Will Taylen Green build off of last week’s performance?

The Broncos had a relatively easy time moving the ball up and down the field against Colorado State. It’s not a shock that the running attack lived up to its billing with Ashton Jeanty and George Holani back, but the aerial assault that was put on display was surprising. Green has improved each week he has started and continues to look more comfortable in the pocket. That progression shined on The Blue a week ago as he passed for 305 yards, two touchdowns and had a completion rate of 80 percent on 30 attempts.

BYU’s defense is adequate in the passing game, ranking top 50 in the nation in passing yards allowed per game (216.8 yds). However, their ability to stop the run is subpar, clocking in at 121st in rushing yards allowed per game (205.7 yds). Despite allowing AAC member East Carolina to rack up over 200 yards on the ground last week, the Cougars will have bodies in the trenches looking to stifle any movement on the ground. Taylen Green doesn’t need to have the eye-popping numbers for Boise State to win this game, but he will need to keep the turnovers to a minimum and utilize both his arm and legs to keep BYU honest.

2. Does BYU show up and buck their four-game losing skid?

There is an interesting and unusual dynamic heading into Saturday’s matchup. BYU struggled during September, unable to find a win against Notre Dame, Arkansas, Liberty and East Carolina. The preseason expectations of a double-digit win season and a possible New Year’s Six bowl appearance have evaporated. This doesn’t change the fact that this is a rivalry game that is bolded, underlined and highlighted in the offseason. An image in BYU’s football facility displays three teams that should be beaten.


Utah State.

And Boise State.

We saw what happened last year when the Broncos, 2-3 at the time, marched into LaVell Edwards Stadium and upset an undefeated BYU team ranked inside the top ten. It’s a cliché when spectators say “Throw their records out the window.”, but, with these two, this game is isolated and behaves as something much bigger. Add in the history and aura of this matchup, this final meeting will have some extra juice to it.

3. Can the Boise State pass rush get to BYU quarterback Jaren Hall?

Similar to Taylen Green’s performance against the Rams, the Bronco defensive rush was able to have a field day in the backfield despite not having Scott Matlock. Two players stepped up, Divine Obichere and Cortez Hogans, by not only filling the void, but causing a nightmarish outing for the Ram offensive line. You’re not going to sack Hall very often due to his elusiveness, but he can be forced into duress if pressure is in his face. Frankly, Boise State and BYU have the same concerns regarding both Taylen Green and Jaren Hall. They can improvise and take off running. Both defenses will look to contain and keep each quarterback within the pocket.

The Broncos have registered 13 sacks over the course of their four-game winning streak. If Matlock is back and Obichere can have half the impact he did last week, Andy Avalos’ squad should have the upper-hand.


If this were any other team and in any other circumstance, I would take Boise State to win and cover with a sizable amount of confidence.


BYU will keep this game tight until the end and have Bronco fans questioning if the Cougars will break their hearts once again.

There is a certain magic on The Blue when these two play.

The goal line stand of Zach Wilson.

The Canadian Bacon touchdown.

The hand of David Moa colliding with a game-winning field goal attempt.

Boise State finds a way to win and send the BYU Cougars to the Big 12 with a loss in hand. DraftKings currently has the Broncos favored by eight, but I see the Cougars covering.

The Mountain West avoids a sweep against BYU.

Final score.

Boise State 24 - BYU 20