2018 Mountain West Title Game: Keys For A Fresno State Win Over Boise State

2018 Mountain West Title Game: Keys For A Fresno State Win Over Boise State

Boise State

2018 Mountain West Title Game: Keys For A Fresno State Win Over Boise State


2018 Mountain West Title Game: Keys For A Fresno State Win Over Boise State

Can the Bulldogs get revenge?

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This one is for all the marbles. One game, so much on the line, that dreaded Blue Turf, so many storylines. Fresno State vs Boise State for the Mountain West Conference Championship.

Keys to a Bulldogs Victory

1. Hold the Lead

Third quarter a few weeks back, up 17-3, Bulldogs were feeling good. What seemed like moments later, Boise State was up 24-17 and the Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs to essentially end the game. The “Chain Gang” gave Boise State a first down in perhaps the most questionable measurement of all time to end it all.

Alexander Mattison wore down the Bulldogs defense single-handedly, and Fresno State was sent home in tragic fashion. Not this time. With the best defense in school history, a ton of upperclassmen on that side of the ball, and that terrible, awful, bitter taste still in their mouths, that can’t happen again. Get a lead early, let your defense take control, and finish the game out strong.

2. Pass the Ball

If there’s one mismatch in this game, it might be the Bulldogs passing game versus the Broncos secondary. McMaryion needs to get the ball back to KeeSean Johnson and Jamire Jordan. However, the x-factor here might be tight end Jared Rice. With so much emphasis on the talented receivers in red, Rice will likely draw a linebacker in coverage, and McMaryion needs to make reads of the defense and exploit the matchups.

McMaryion has been extremely accurate all season long, and Johnson is playing one of his last games in a Bulldogs uniform, will many scouts likely watching in person or on television. Throw the ball, attack downfield, score some points.

3. The Blue Turf

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. It’s 2011, Fresno State takes on Northern Illinois in the Humanitarian Bowl. I was there as part of the Bulldog Marching Band, performing on the Blue Turf, and it was scary to me. The Bulldogs lost 50 something to 10, as Jordan Lynch torched the Dogs and we went home disappointed.

The point of story is this: that Blue Turf is deadly to the Bulldogs,  An Achilles Heel you might say. Can this be the year they beat Boise in Boise? Can the Bulldogs come back to Fresno with the MWC crown and arguably the biggest win in franchise history? Nothing would be sweeter than winning the title on that Blue Turf.

Jeff Tedford has turned this program around like no other. One win two seasons ago, now back-to-back 10-win seasons, a potentially an MWC crown and an outside shot of a New Years Six Bowl game. The fourth matchup in just over a year, two outstanding coaches, two senior quarterbacks, and two grind-it-out football teams.

This game will be an absolute show, and a perfect shot for Fresno State to get back to conference supremacy. McMaryion will throw a pair of touchdowns, the Bulldogs defense will force a pair of turnovers, but Boise State will do their usual show on that dreaded Blue Turf. After all is said and done, the Bulldogs come back to the Valley with the MWC title and that sweet taste of victory on the Blue Turf.

Fresno State 31, Boise State 27.


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