Boise State vs. Fresno State: Keys To A Victory
What do the Broncos need to do to be victorious over the Bulldogs on Saturday?
Huge game this weekend.
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This week there’s no question whether the Bronco’s opponent this week is a rival. They’ve battled each other since 1977 and share the same conference twice. There is even a trophy given out to the winners of each regular season battle. The Milk Can return to Fresno last season for the first time since 2013, but the Broncos ended up with a more coveted trophy for the Mountain West Conference crown. Last year’s meeting was in Fresno, while this year’s contest is in Boise. The Bulldogs haven’t won in Boise since 1984, likely the last time they were favored to win in Albertsons Stadium. Fresno State comes to Boise in 2018 as a three-point favorite.
Fresno State deserves they are getting by the experts in Vegas (pay attention Playoff Committee) and should be favored coming into the matchup on Friday. While the Bulldogs have not played the toughest schedule, they have for the most part, dominated it. Fresno comes into this matchup undefeated in conference and with just one loss on the year. The Broncos have only lost two contests on the year, but have had significantly more close calls. Boise State owns the overall series 14-6 and 14-3 since 2001. Both teams boast top 50 offenses and defenses, Boise State is 20th and 42nd respectively, while Fresno State is 46th and 14th.
Let’s take a look on the keys to a Boise State Victory.
Key #1: Continued Offensive Line Improvement
This is a standing key for victory and will continue to be until the Broncos can prove that their offensive line is more reliable than the results from the San Diego State and Oklahoma State games. The offensive line has shown steady improvement, although it did struggle to contain Corbin Kafusi last week and produced a meager 113 yards rushing on 37 attempts.
Despite the less than perfect numbers, they did produce when it counted, paving the way for Alexander Mattison to reach the end zone twice, including a 4th and goal push over the left side of the line. Fresno State allows an average of just 128.8 rushing yards per game and only four total rushing touchdowns all year.
Fortunately for the Broncos and Brett Rypien, the Bulldogs are tied for 88th in the country in total sacks with 87 and 1.78 per game. If the offensive line can keep Rypien clean and provide running lanes for Mattison, the Broncos will have a real chance of taking back the Milk Can Friday night.