Gameday Basics, Boise State vs. Air Force
This game has caused issues for the Broncos
Will the Falcon Triple Option Attack once again flummox the Broncos
Disclaimer: While this article is a ‘neutral conference article’ on Mountain West Wire, I am a Boise State graduate.
No Mountain West school has been able to stand toe to toe with the Boise State Broncos on the football gridiron since they joined the conference in 2011 like the Air Force Falcons have. Air Force’s triple-option offensive attack has given Boise State all kinds of trouble and the Falcons have had various heroes step up on the defensive side to make enough plays to gain multiple victories over the Broncos.
The Broncos and Falcons are knotted at three games a piece in six matchups that have all taken place in the last 7 years. The Falcons had won three straight games over the Broncos from 2014 to 2016 before Boise State was able to score a blowout win last year on the Blue Turf in Idaho to snap the Air Force winning streak. This year the rivals will meet at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
Date: Saturday, October 27, 2018
Where: Colorado Springs, CO
When: 5:00 PM MST
Spread: Boise State -9 (via Vegas Insiders)
Weather: 65° F, partly cloudy with no chance of rain (via weather.com)ss
How to Watch: CBS Sports Network
Stream: FuboTV, get a free seven-day trial
All-Time Record: Tied 3-3
Last Meeting: Boise State 44, Air Force 19 on November 18, 2017 in Boise, Idaho
ESPN FPI Win Predictor: Boise State 77%
Boise State Update
After a fast start to the year amid national buzz, the Broncos ran into trouble against Oklahoma State. After falling to 2-1, the Broncos rallied to 3-1 in their first 4 conference games to move to 5-2 for the year. With two losses, Boise State is a bit under the radar as the three teams in the Mountain West with one loss (Utah State, Fresno State, and San Diego State) are soaking up much of the limelight. Still, the Broncos may be the most talented team in the conference and will look for a complete victory over the Falcons before entering the toughest stretch of their schedule.
Air Force Update
Air Force has had success over Boise State culminating with their third straight victory in 2016 that also saw the Falcons winning 10 games. The Falcons, however, have slid back last season, finishing 5-7 in 2017 and stand at 3-4 for this year’s campaign.
The Falcons stumbled out of the gates losing their first four conference games but did notch a big victory over a fellow service academy, the Navy Midshipmen, and are coming off a victory over UNLV. A victory over Boise State would dramatically change the direction of this Air Force season.
Broncos to Watch
Brett Rypien, Senior Quarterback
Rypien had a monster game versus Air Force last season, racking up 300 yards and 3 touchdowns at 73% completion percentage. The senior hit a lull against San Diego State and Nevada a few weeks ago but rebounded with 4 touchdowns and 308 yards last week versus Colorado State.
Alexander Mattison, Junior Running Back
Mattison has been steady but not spectacular as many as hoped this season. With 501 yards at 3.9 yards per carry and seven touchdowns over seven games, Mattison may have an increased rushing load if Air Force is able to dirty up the game and turn it into a slug fest.
John Hightower, Junior Wide Receiver
The junior college transfer has become a breakout star for the Bronco offense. Hightower has 306 receiving yards and 163 rushing yards with 5 touchdowns. Hightower’s ability to be a dual threat weapon has given the Bronco’s offense a new dimension.
Jabril Frazier, Senior Defensive End
Stopping the triple option offense will take leadership and that will fall upon the senior captain of the defensive line. Last season Frazier had 5 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble to limit Air Force to 19 points. Frazier has had strong 2018 season with 18 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
Riley Whimpey, Sophomore Linebacker
One of the keys to the Broncos victory last season was the emergence of middle linebacker Leighton Vander Esch to lead the Boise State defense. With Vander Esch departed after being picked in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft, Whimpey will have to pick up some of the slack. Whimpey has 22 tackles and a sack in the last three games.