Fear and paranoia abound right now, and there are plenty of enough things to be worried about without random clowns walking around. Even fans of the undefeated Broncos should be somewhat nervous coming into this Thursday’s showdown with BYU.
Halloween is coming a bit early this year, and BYU certainly would like to give Bronco Nation a trick rather than the treat.
It’s very easy to look at BYU’s record and just dismiss them outright. 4-3 isn’t anything to write home about and despite looking pedestrian in stretches, Boise has been dominant in their wins (average score 35 to 19).
However allow me a cliché because it is quite fitting: “looks can be deceiving.”
BYU’s schedule is one that Bronco fans dream of—six of their first seven games were played against power 5 opponents.
The three games they lost were to Utah (20-19), UCLA (17-14), and West Virginia (35-32). In case you weren’t doing the math, BYU lost those games by a total of seven points. Seven. Playing the what-if game, it’s entirely possible if a ball had bounced their way or a call go in their favor, they could be coming into this game ranked. They are good team despite how their record appears.
In case you weren’t doing the math, BYU lost those games by a total of seven points. Seven. Playing the what-if game, it’s entirely possible if a ball had bounced their way or a call go in their favor, they could be coming into this game ranked. They are good team despite how their record appears.
They have also beat some quality opponents as well. Two weeks ago they blew out Michigan State 31-14 and just last week they beat SEC member Mississippi State 28-21.
While both of those teams aren’t at the top of their conferences at the moment, beating two power five schools in a row coming into this week’s matchup is sure to give them confidence. BYU also outlasted a very good Toledo team in a 55 to 53 point affair to start their three-game win streak.
BYU also has an extra day of preparation since they played on Friday. While seemingly insignificant, in the college football landscape any sort of advantage is going to go a long way. They likely got to watch the Boise State game live. They also have an extra day of rest and recuperation, which could be the most important aspect of all.
Especially as banged up as some key players are for Boise. There were a handful of times in the Colorado State game Brett Rypien was seen limping, linebacker Tanner Vallejo has missed time to injury (among others), and wide receiver Cedrick Wilson was oddly missing for the majority of the CSU game.
The Cougars are also going to bring some talent to town on both sides of the ball. It seems like a lifetime Quarterback Taysom Hill will finally complete his senior season after a string of injuries have extended his college career.
Sadly, the injuries have seemed to limit his mobility but he should be amped to play in his home state. Also, defensive back Kai Nacua leads the country with intercepts (five) will be looking to add to his total.
Luckily this game is at home. Unfortunately, the smurf-turf isn’t the fortress it once was. Since joining the Mountain West Boise State has lost to several teams at home including, Air Force, New Mexico, TCU, and San Diego State. While still an advantage, Boise now can give money-line betters pause at home.
I think the scariest thing of all, however, is that this is statistically Boise State’s most losable game left on the schedule. Losing to BYU wouldn’t be a good loss either because of their record. A loss would likely drop BSU down the rankings list and behind the next automatic-bid contender Western Michigan.
It would take Boise State out of the driver’s seat for a NY6 bowl. Right now they control their own destiny as Houston appears to have been locked out of an AAC conference championship (a requirement for the auto-bid) and Boise State has more favor with the voters than Western Michigan.
A loss however, would leave Boise State in the passenger seat—potentially unranked and hoping for Western Michigan to lose.
There’s boogey men everywhere, Bronco Nation.
We still have another dreaded option team looming at the end of the season, Wyoming is looking much improved this year and would love to take their first Bronco blood (0-10 all-time), and—considering we get past these hurdles—there’s still a conference championship to take care of.
However, those are Twilight vampires compared to BYU, who is full-blown Dracula. All this being said, I’m not a pessimist.
I believe Boise State is going to win on Thursday, though I’m still sleeping with my head under the covers until Friday.