BOISE STATE AT NEW MEXICO
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico (University Stadium)
Date/Time: Friday, September 9th at 7:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)
Television: CBS Sports Network (CBSSN)
Streaming: CBS Sports App
Radio: Bronco Radio Network and KBOI/KTIK
Head-to-Head: Boise State leads the series 11-1 with their only loss coming in 2015 when the Lobos stole one on The Blue 31-24.
- Who gets the most snaps at quarterback?
The events that took place in Corvallis are what every fanbase fears going into a big-time matchup. All the expectations on your veteran signal caller and in the first 20 minutes, he gives the ball up three times. Beyond the turnovers, Hank Bachmeier looked uneasy in the pocket and couldn’t find any footing. Most times, this doesn’t result in any major change as you assume that your leader will eventually find his groove. However, coming out of commercial break, head coach Andy Avalos in conjunction with offensive coordinator Tim Plough, made the decision to put in redshirt freshman Taylen Green.
While this change didn’t impact whether Boise State won or loss against Oregon State, it does cause uncertainty moving forward. In the weekly press conference session, Avalos mentioned how this week was a chance for Bachmeier to prove that he can bounce back in practice. At the same time, it was noted that Green is sharing reps equally with the ones and getting a fair shake as well. Yes, the depth chart technically says Bachmeier is still the starter and that Green is the backup, but that is meaningless at this point.
Whoever takes charge on Friday will leave with a win in all likelihood and with a good statistical outing. I don’t see this offense utilizing a Rypien-Cozart system where both get on the field consistently and do what they do best. This is about how you approach this season and those in the future. Do you give Green a season to work out the kinks as he runs like a madman on opposing defenses or do you acknowledge what Bachmeier has done in the past and let him retain the reins for one last year? I will say that I would prefer to see the coaching staff make a decision after Friday’s game to give either quarterback clarity on what they want to do going forward as an individual.
2. Will the running attack improve after only gaining 25 yards with Ashton Jeanty and George Holani?
After all the talk that the offensive line had improved with returning experience and incoming talent, they were plenty of missed blocking assignments that led to more runs for negative yards than positive. Not having right guard Ben Dooley didn’t help, but redshirt freshman Mason Randolph held his own and looks to have a bright future ahead of him. Beyond that, the offensive line was pushed around by the Beavers and they didn’t have an answer.
The lack of creative playcalling on the ground was very concerning. From what we heard in fall camp press conferences, a focus was going to be getting Holani in space and letting him use his cutting ability to create plays.
That did not happen.
Instead, multiple drives included Holani running up the middle and being met by multiple Beaver defensive lineman. It’s bad when your starting running back nearly quadruples their running yards via catching the ball. A situation in the red zone also caused confusion among viewers. Highly-touted running back Ashton Jeanty, a true freshman, was given the ball on a sweep and promptly fumbled the ball within the OSU five. The fact that Holani wasn’t given that touch after protecting him in fall camp was head-scratching to say the least. It was reported after the conclusion of the game that running back coach Keith Bhonapha said that Holani needed a rest and was dealing with cramps.
It won’t be easy to scheme against a Rocky Long-led defense, but in regards to personnel, Boise State should be able to enforce their will and create gaps for their stable to run through. That, and Tim Plough should have the opportunity to open up the playbook to allow his playmakers to make plays.
3. Can the defensive line find its way into the backfield?
Defensively, the anomaly that stood out to me was that Boise State registered zero sacks in Corvallis. While Oregon State’s offensive line is projected to be one of the better units in the PAC-12, not getting to the quarterback once is troublesome. Transfer George Tarlas didn’t account for a single tackle and a similar sentiment can be shared for the rest of the group. Defensive coordinator Spencer Danielson pointed out that the goal for each game is to make ten tackles and sack the quarterback three times. That benchmark was not cleared last week, but this is the type of opponent and scenario where using their physical advantages should lend a hand in producing better results. The New Mexico offensive line has a mix of veterans and youth, but the Broncos will need to show what they are capable of.
I thought that the Broncos would lose last week, but the way in which it happened was not on my bingo card. One would have to think that the Broncos are hungry to get last week’s bad taste out of their mouth. Having a game on ESPN slip away and all the naysayers coming out of the woodwork to amplify the decline of Boise State is what this program has tended to thrive on in the past.
Being counted out and having to prove themselves.
The Blue-Collar mentality.
Despite what happens at the quarterback position, the rest of the offense should have more opportunities to break the game open early. With Rocky Long running the Lobo defense, it won’t be easy, but it is a good challenge to overcome. New Mexico prioritizes the run game for their offense to be effective. Boise State allowed 178 rush yards against Oregon State as the Beavers stood their ground. However, the Lobos are not the Beavers, and Boise State will fill those gaps with Bronco defenders flying towards the ball.
The spread on DraftKings is listed at 17 in favor of the Broncos. I wouldn’t touch the spread as there is so much uncertainty going into this game. Motivation will be monumental as the Broncos look to start Mountain West play 1-0.
After starting back-to-back seasons with season-opening losses, the Broncos will regroup as they did last year and get their first win of the 2022 campaign. Taylen Green will make another spectacular play and force the coaches to make a difficult decision before their home-opener next week against UT-Martin.
Boise State 24 - New Mexico 7