Boise State vs. Fresno State: Keys To A Broncos Victory

Boise State vs. Fresno State: Keys To A Broncos Victory

Boise State

Boise State vs. Fresno State: Keys To A Broncos Victory


Key #2: Limit & Produce Big Plays

In one meeting Boise State allowed an 81-yard touchdown pass and in another they came up with a 59-yard catch that led to a go-ahead touchdown. As we all know, the Broncos lost the first game and won the second. Boise State could really use a defensive or special teams boost on Friday. A timely turnover or Rypien coming up with a long pass could be enough to turn the tide in this game.

Fresno State has not shown many weaknesses this season, but they did show they can be susceptible to long passes at times, especially during the Hawaii game earlier this year. If Boise State can remain disciplined and limit Fresno’s big play ability, while at the same time connecting on a few big plays of their own, it will go a long ways towards victory on the Blue Friday.  

Key #3:  Next Man Up

While it is the time of the year when nearly every college football team is banged up, Boise State has been hit especially hard by the injury bug. Last week 8 players were either out or severally limited, including 5 starters, on the defense alone. 6 additional players were sidelined from the offensive and special teams units, including 4 starters.

While the Broncos hope to get a few of their walking wounded back, especially dynamic playmaker John Hightower, the reality is that they will have to rely mostly upon the depth they have built up from recruiting. This is especially true on the defensive line and with the linebackers. Backup nose guard and true freshman Scale Igiehon is a prime example of stepping up to the plate when your team needs you.

Not only did Igiehon have a crucial 3rd down sack that led to a Broncos touchdown, but he was also one of the defenders in on the sack of BYU quarterback Zach Wilson on the final play of the game. Ezekiel Noa is anticipated to replace Riley Whimpey (Boise State’s leading tackler) after Whimpey left the BYU game with what turned out to be a torn ACL. Noa showed promise in the Air Force with 3 solo tackles, including a tackle for loss, in limited playing time. The Young Guns for the Broncos will have to embrace the Next Men Up Mentality for the Broncos to pull off the victory in Bronco Stadium this week. 


ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) gives the Broncos just a 45.3% chance to beat the Bulldogs on Friday night. On a Friday night 17 years ago, a team that played football on Blue Astroturf came into Fresno and shocked the 8th ranked Fresno State Bulldogs 35-30. It might seem like a long shot to some, but I feel like the Broncos can once again pull the upset. Boise State 27 FSU 24

Raja’s Take: Fresno State has a better offense than Boise State. Fresno State has a better defense than Boise State. Boise State is saddled with injuries and has limped by the last few games while Fresno State has been rolling to dominant victories recently.

So why am I picking the Boise State Broncos to win the most anticipated game of the MWC conference? Because I’m an unabashed Bronco Homer but there’s more to it than just that. Boise State will be far the hardest opponent that Fresno State will play this year and the Bulldogs are on the road on a short week.

The Blue Turf has been a house of horrors for Fresno State, who have never defeated the Broncos in Idaho. But when you have an intense rivalry game such as this you can toss out all the stats and injury reports and expect craziness. Both teams will throw the kitchen sink at each and I’m giving the edge to the Broncos because when the situation is the hottest and all the chips are on the table, Boise State and Head Coach Bryan Harsin (former BSU QB and OC) are proven winners where the Bulldogs and Head Coach Jeff Tedford have not been so successful. No score prediction but expect a wild exciting game with Boise State coming out on top.



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