Boise State vs. Utah State: Keys For A Broncos Victory
How Boise State can defeat Utah State
Broncos are looking to even their record
After a tough loss to Oklahoma State in Boise last week, the Broncos are traveling to Logan to take on Utah State. The Aggies come into the game in much better shape with a 3-0 record, and Boise State is looking to avoid their third loss this early in the season.
Utah State comes in with the second-best offense in the Mountain West this year, led by Junior transfer QB Logan Bonner (Arkansas State) and RB Calvin Tyler Jr.(Oregon State). The Broncos, who are still looking for their first individual 100-yard rusher, want to get George Holani back to his 2019 form. Bronco QB Hank Bachmeier (281-yards/game passing) and WR Khalil Shakir (16.8-yard/reception) have done what they can to provide big plays for the offense.
WEEK 4: Boise State Broncos (1-2) vs. Utah State Aggies (3-0)
WHEN: Saturday, September 25th, 2021 – 10:00 AM MT/9:00 AM PT
WHERE: Maverik Stadium; Logan, Utah (25,100)
STREAMING: FuboTV – Get a 7-day free trial
RADIO: Utah State radio broadcast on 1280 the zone (1280 AM), 1280thezone.com / Tunein.com
SERIES RECORD: Boise State leads the series, 20-5. In the last meeting on October 24, 2020, the Broncos beat the Aggies, 42-13, in Boise.
LAST WEEK: Utah State defeated Air Force at home, 49-45, while Boise State lost to Oklahoma State at home, 21-20.
ODDS (via ESPN): Boise State -9
SP+ PROJECTION: Boise State by 14.4
FEI PROJECTION: Boise State by 8.4
Keys to a Boise State Victory
Carry First Half Offense to The Second Half
Bronco fans have wanted Boise State’s offense to be consistently effective in the first half of games for a couple of years now. The Broncos have finally been able to do that this season, coming out of the blocks for 85 first-half points. Unfortunately, Boise State hasn’t been able to keep the pace up for the second half. Mostly hampered by abysmal 3rd quarters, the offense has only mustered 20 second-half points over three games, with the longest scoring drive only covering 38 yards. The leading cause of this will be covered shortly.
— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) September 23, 2021
Play Second Half Defense in The First Half
In a flip of the script, the Bronco defense has made great halftime adjustments and kept offenses in check in the second half. To this point, the defense has only allowed 22 points to UCF while shutting out UTEP and Oklahoma State. Where the Broncos have struggled is giving up rushing yards, and points in the first half, allowing 48 points.
Better line play from both sides.
The defensive line has struggled with getting pressure on the quarterback and stopping the run. With the exception of UTEP, where the defense only allowed 104 rushing yards for the entire game, the Broncos have given up 255 and 246 yards on the ground.
Now, rush defense isn’t the entire fault of the D-line. The linebacker core has struggled to fill gaps and has been slow to flow on runs outside. The lone bright side has been JL Skinner has been able to get more involved and has been absolutely crushing opponents. Honestly, that is a pretty bleak “bright side.” With only six sacks on the season, the down lineman have struggled with pressure on the quarterback as well.
Offensively, after having 1000-yard individual rushers in 11 of the last 12 seasons, Boise State is on pace for 936 team rushing yards this season. Through three games, the Broncos have gained a total of 234-yards on the ground. The only conference team to do worse has been Nevada. Pass pro has continued to be a struggle as well. While Hank Bachmeier isn’t getting sacked as much as previous seasons, he is still continually under pressure and is rarely able to throw from a clean pocket.
Boise State is favored by 9 points in most places giving the impression that they will be able to take care of business. I am a bit more skeptical considering Utah State has been able to move the ball well this season, and Boise State hasn’t consistently done much of anything. I think the Broncos will win by getting out to an early lead by either forcing a turnover or by having a big return, but I don’t think they will cover.
Boise State 27 Utah State 26