BOISE STATE VS SAN JOSE STATE
Location: Boise, Idaho (Albertsons Stadium)
Date/Time: Saturday, October 7th at 6:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)
Television: CBS Sports Network (CBSSN)
Streaming: CBS Sports App
Radio: KBOI 670 AM/KBOI 93.1 FM (Bronco Radio Network)
Head-to-Head: Boise State leads the all-time series 14-1. However, the Spartans have current bragging rights as they bested the Broncos in their last meeting, the 2020 Mountain West Conference championship game.
Tale of the Tape
- For Boise State, the quarterback position has hogged the spotlight over the last week. Head coach Andy Avalos has made it clear that both Taylen Green and Maddux Madsen will get snaps Saturday night. What’s not clear is how much this situation will be like when Jaylon Henderson and Hank Bachmeier or Montell Cozart and Brett Rypien shared QB1 duties in 2019 and 2017.
- The Broncos can always rely on running back Ashton Jeanty, but last week showed that being able to run the ball time and time again can only get you so far (unless your a triple option offense). George Holani is not expected to make his return this week, so Jambres Dubar will have to step up and play second fiddle once again.
- For the receiving corps, they looked much improved during the first quarter-and-a-half in Memphis. However, they went relatively silent for much of the remaining three quarters. Only when Madsen was thrown under center with the Tigers up double digits did the receivers begin to look comfortable.
- One of the few bright spots from last week was the emergence of tight end Matt Lauter. The backup to Riley Smith didn’t flinch in his heightened role, snagging three catches, one of which was a 59-yard reception that energized the Bronco sideline.
- With two signal-callers being the proposed gameplan against the Spartans, the offensive line will have to be on their toes as Green and Madsen are two entirely different players. While the personnel up front have looked better by leaps and bounds in 2023, how much of that can be attributed to Taylen Green’s ability to escape the pocket and extend plays?
We will have a better idea come Sunday morning.
- On the other side, San Jose State has one of, if not, the best quarterback in the conference via Chevan Cordeiro. Despite their lowly 1-4 record, the Spartans had two of their losses come by way of USC and Oregon State. Head coach Brent Brennan has turned this program around and made them a respectable Mountain West opponent that can make you pay if you overlook them.
- At running back, the Spartans have a pair of guys that they heavily rely on, Kairee Robinson and Quali Conley. The two have combined for 504 yards and eight touchdowns, all while averaging 6.3 yards-per-carry.
- If you look at the individual receiving stats for the Spartan wideouts, the name at the top of the list may ring a bell.
Nick Nash (234 yds, 3 TDs) started his career in San Jose as the starting quarterback, but was soon replaced by Nick Starkel and Cordeiro.
Interestingly, the longest pass play for San Jose State this season has only gone for 39 yards. Charles Ross, Dominick Mazotti and Malikhi Miller have rounded out the sizable production with over 100 receiving yards for all three players.
- The Bronco defense is bending, but unlike other seasons, it is now breaking when opponents find their way into the redzone. For this team to be successful, the defensive line needs to find a way to create some pressure within the pocket. If not, Cordeiro will be able to pick apart the Boise State secondary.
- DJ Schramm missed last week’s game in Memphis, forcing Marco Notarainni and Andrew Simpson to take on added responsibility. To be frank, the linebacker corps has been the best position unit on the defensive side of the ball.
- In the secondary, it is the same story as it was in week one. Though, to their credit, they did look better during the early stages of last week’s game.
- True freshman Ty Benefield has been picked once again to lead the Broncos out with the Dan Paul Hammer. I mentioned this a few recaps ago, but make sure you know his name in the coming years.
- The San Jose State defense has been subpar when defending the running game, something that the Broncos need to take advantage of in order to control the tempo. Allowing 216 yards-per-game, Ashton Jeanty has the opportunity to have one of his best performances of the year.
- Turnovers have been hard to come by for the Spartans, only forcing four turnovers in 2023. The Broncos have been fortunate with their turnover luck this year on The Blue.
- Last week was the first major hiccup for the Bronco special teams unit this season. A blocked Jonah Dalmas field goal was returned for a game-changing touchdown that turned the tide away from Boise State.
- Neither of San Jose State’s kicker or punter have any gawdy numbers to scare Bronco fans. But, the return game for the Spartans has yielded some nice results. Matthew Coleman has taken one punt back to the house and Isaac Jernagin has a long of 77 yards over the course of eight kickoff returns.
- For Boise State, they hope to get back at least a few key pieces that were absent last week. DJ Schramm, Riley Smith, Alexander Teubner, George Holani, Ben Dooley, Chase Penry and Cole Wright are all players that have an uncertain status prior to kickoff.
- For San Jose State, they have three players out (TE Jackson Canaan, RB Jakob Galloway and WR Justin Lockhart), but each of the three are determined to be out for an extended amount of time.
Why San Jose State Will Win
The Spartan defense is able to take advantage of Boise State’s 2 QB system and limit any continuity. Ashton Jeanty and Jambres Dubar can only do so much to carry the Bronco offense and the wide receivers, while they have shown signs of life in recent weeks, still aren’t producing at a consistent clip.
Also, Chevan Cordeiro and his receivers are able to do what Memphis did. That is, eventually beat the Broncos over the top and force the Boise State defense to become more spread out.
Why Boise State Will Win
With a sold-out crowd on hand, Ashton Jeanty is able to set the tone on the ground early on. In a perfect world, Taylen Green has a fast start through the air and is able to silence any rumblings of a permanent QB controversy. Eric McAlister continues to cement himself as WR #1 and Prince Strachan makes a more consistent impression when put into the game.
Spread: Boise State -9.5 (-110), San Jose State +9.5 (-110)
Total: 57.5 points (-110 odds for both the over and under)
Straight Up Money Line: Boise State -345, San Jose State +275
I see this game being herky-jerky as the offense tries to find the balance it wants with Green and Madsen.
However, it shouldn’t be understated how Bronco Nation stepped up this week by making this game a sell-out.
Ashton Jeanty carries the day and eclipses 200 yards rushing and 250 all-purpose yards.