Photo via Pam Davis

Boise State/Utah State; Preview and Prediction

What We Know

Thus far the Broncos’ players and coaches have put together an incredible season. Offensively, although having an experienced blocking and receiving corps, the quarterbacks and running backs came into the season with scant experience.

It is for that reason it has been difficult to predict them with certainty.

There is one thing known; what the quarterbacks and running backs lack in experience the rest of the offense have filled in; namely the offensive line and receivers.

With that in mind let’s look at Saturday’s game with Utah State.

A Utah State Offense With A Lack Of Love?

Utah State’s offensive line is young yet mature; most have two or three years in the program.

Jordan Love is their quarterback; big body big arm. He’s good. However, he left the game after a little more than three quarters in the win over Wyoming.

He has struggled this season; tossing 13 TDs and 14 interceptions.

Backup Henry Columbi may get the start. If he is plan B that still may spell problems for the Broncos. Although his stats are few, they do reveal one thing; he is accurate.

The Aggies’ running attack is better than average and can be explosive. Indeed, they are capable of mounting an attack that can grind out positive yards.

Gerold Bright has 670 yards on the year averaging just over five yards an attempt. Jaylen Warren has 482 yards on the season with five and a half yards an attempt.

Utah State Defense; Unremarkable But Adequate

Defensively they have some pretty good guys. Linebacker David Woodward appears the best with 93 tackles and four forced fumbles but he’s not playing. As a team, they yield a little more than 26 points a game.

Utah State Weakness

Utah State’s only conference loss was to Air Force. They had a non-conference loss to BYU. What appears to be the key in those defeats was the time of possession.

It would appear the key to a Boise State win is to play a ball-control type of offensive attack.

Key To A Win

In the Broncos’ last outing, against a weaker New Mexico, they had the opportunity to try a balanced running attack. Four running backs were used as well as a number sweeps by wide receivers.

The key to a good running attack is at least five yards on the first carry. That can be difficult especially when the other team likely will anticipate a run.

A short passing game and sideline passes can use up as much time as a running play.

Developing such a two-pronged strategy keeps an over anticipating defense honest.

Tough Game

Utah State is tough. They beat San Diego State and Wyoming—teams that give the Broncos a good game year after year. If not for the fact they played a tougher schedule than the Broncos they might very well be ranked. Their other two losses this season have been to Wake Forest and to number one ranked LSU.

This will be Boise State’s toughest opponent.

However, with the exception of LSU, Boise State is Utah State’s toughest opponent.

This above all games will show what kind of team the Broncos are. In my opinion, they are a team that simply wins.

Broncos control time of possession, they win.

Broncos 31 other guys 20.


About Kenton Lewis

Kenton lives in Boise. He is the former publisher of the Boise State sports site, Smurf Turf; writing exclusively about Broncos football and basketball. He is also a novelist and short story writer.

Check Also

Monday Morning Coffee Cup Coach; Boise State Over Air Force

Maybe in the grand scheme of things Boise State was never meant to stop the …