New Mexico Lobos at Boise State Broncos
Saturday November 11th, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. Mountain Time.
Albertson’s Stadium in Boise, ID
The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1. On the radio waves, the Lobo Sports Radio Network will have the call. The flagship station is 96.3 FM/770 AM KKOB in Albuquerque.
Boise State owns a 12-1 series edge. Last year the Broncos took care of business with a 31-14 win in Albuquerque.
The New Mexico Lobos will try to keep their slim post season hopes alive when they visit a struggling Boise State squad, also hanging on by a thread to postseason aspirations.
UNM is coming off a 56-14 loss to UNLV last Saturday night, which dropped their record to the brink of postseason elimination at 3-6 overall and 1-4 in the MWC.
Boise State is also trying to rebound from a loss last week, as they fell at Fresno State by a 37-30 final score. The Broncos are now 4-5 overall and 3-2 in MWC play.
Let’s face it, this season has been yet another disappointment for the UNM Lobos, and now they are on the edge of failing to qualify for yet another postseason. The team is so inconsistent that one doesn’t really know which team will be showing up from week to week.
Against San Jose State, the Lobos were great in the first half, and MIA in the second half. Against Hawai’i the following week, the Lobos could do no wrong. Then they went to Nevada to face off with a team that hadn’t had but one win in the last 17 games and UNM was the one who looked like a team having lost 16 of their last 17. Then, they were crushed by a UNLV team that turned it around quicker than UNM has.
Now, the Lobos will visit a Boise State team that isn’t the Boise State that we’re accustomed to seeing but can still prove to be a team that the Lobos cannot beat.
The Broncos still boast the second-best offense in the Mountain West, averaging 434.4 yards per game this season. With the Lobos allowing 409 yards and 35 points per game this season, this is a recipe for a huge offensive production night for Boise State.
The Broncos loved to rely on the do it all back in Ashton Jeanty. However, Jeanty was injured against Wyoming a few weeks ago and sat out the Fresno State game. If he doesn’t go again this Saturday, that will be a huge loss again for the Broncos as Jeanty leads the team in both rushing and receiving.
If Jeanty doesn’t go, the Broncos will rely on George Holani, who had 140 total yards from scrimmage against the Bulldogs last week and had a rushing touchdown as well. Against UNM last season, Holani had 81 yards of offense and caught a touchdown.
At quarterback, the Broncos will be turning to freshman Maddux Madsen to start over Taylen Green, although Green is expected to see some action during the game as well.
Madsen saw a ton of action against Fresno State, going 22-of-42 for 258 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Madsen also added 61 yards on nine carries and a touchdown on the ground.
Whomever starts at QB will be looking for a new top receiver to throw to as well because Eric McAlister announced this week that he left the program and has entered the transfer portal. McAlister had 47 catches for 873 yards and five touchdowns this season, including eight catches for 81 yards against Fresno State. Aside from Jeanty, that leaves Stefan Cobbs as the leading receiver with 23 catches on the year.
Cobbs had one catch last week for 13 yards and was also held catch-less against UNM last year.
Wherever Boise State gets their production from, they are taking on a terrible Lobos defense that tends to give up big plays to anyone they face this season. Do not be surprised if Boise’s offense looks good and may give the Broncos fans false hope this late into the season.
The Broncos defense is giving up 394 yards and 28 points per game so far this season. So, one might think that this will turn into a shootout.
Dylan Hopkins should be able to find some room to throw as Boise State’s defense gives up 280 yards a game through the air and have allowed over 300 yards passing in three of their last four games. If Hopkins has time, he should easily find some opportunities to find open receivers.
The Broncos gave up 132 yards on the ground to Malik Sherrod last week, so there could also be chances for Jacory Croskey-Merritt to find space in the Broncos defense.
As of this writing, the over/under is at 60 on DraftKings Sportsbook, with Boise State a 26.5-point favorite. I am not surprised at all by the 60, in fact I would be taking the over if it got to 65. These are two offenses that are squaring off with struggling defenses, which should spell points galore.
However, I’m not sure what to make of the 26.5-point spread as the Lobos have been inconsistent big time this season and Boise State has questions on offense. I think it will be a little closer than that, but who knows what kind of Lobo team will be in Boise.
I like Boise State winning, 41-24. Based upon the Lobos defense unable to stop giving up the big play, and even with Madsen being a freshman, he has playing experience and has been solid. Holani also filled in nicely last week when Jeanty was injured, which could spell trouble for a Lobo defense that is still reeling.