Boise State vs. BYU: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction
Can the Broncos upset the No. 10 team in the country?
Broncos travel to face a rival
WEEK 6: Boise State (2-3) at No. 10 BYU (5-0)
WHEN: Saturday, October 9th — 3:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: Provo, Utah; LaVell Edwards Stadium
STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes FS2, by following this link.
SERIES RECORD: Boise State leads 7-4
LAST WEEK: Boise State fell to Nevada 41-31 and BYU defeated Utah State 34-20.
ODDS: BYU -6
SP+ PROJECTION: BYU by 6
FEI PROJECTION: BYU by 5.3
This rivalry game between BYU and Boise State has a lot on the line for both teams. The Cougars are a top-10 team looking to stay that way with a win over a brand name like Boise State.
On the flip side, the Broncos are looking to avoid sinking lower below .500 than they have in years as a loss would drop them to an unprecedented 2-4.
Geared 🆙 for Game 6️▪️◽️▪️ pic.twitter.com/7a5LcrAR2n
— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) October 7, 2021
There are plenty of storylines about this game that could severely impact the outcome. Let’s start with BYU and its quarterback situation. The Cougars starter Jaren Hall got injured during the Arizona State game and did not play vs. South Florida or Utah State.
Hall was coy when asked about his status this week when he was on KSL NewsRadio:
“It’s the same thing day by day,” Hall said. “But I feel pretty confident that I’ll be ready to go this week and just continue to work with the training staff to kind of resolve the issues that I’m kind of dealing with right now.”
That seems quite positive that Hall will be back in action, however, when his offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick spoke to the media, it was a different and not really a believable story when asked about who was getting the most reps.
Aaron Roderick: “Well, as of right now, nobody’s been ruled out. Jacob (Conover), Jaren (Hall), Baylor (Romney), Sol-Jay (Maiava-Peters) are all out there getting reps just like always. We have a pretty good system here of getting everybody reps. But yeah, so far, nobody’s been ruled out. I will say, Jaren is closer than Baylor right now. They haven’t told me that anybody can’t play.
There is no way fourth-string quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters is going to play this weekend, so he can be ruled out. It seems that Roderick is just trying to keep Boise State guessing as to who will start.
To be honest, it may not really matter who starts for BYU if they are to defeat Boise State it starts with the running game of Tyler Allgeier who is cruising past opponents.
If it is Hall or Romney, then BYU will be a more traditional passing team but if it is Conover then expect a heavy dose of running the ball.
The name of the game is Boise State trying to stop Allgeier who is averaging 5.6 yards per play and has seven touchdowns. The Broncos are allowing 4.47 yards per play which is 108th in the country and they have given up at least 230 rushing yards in three of five games.
Where the Broncos struggle on the ground game is on first down in which they are allowing 5.28 yards per carry and also in runs during the first quarter where teams are running for 6.02 yards per carry early in the game. It should be noted that those first quarter numbers do include the awful performance against Oklahoma State where Jaylen Warren who had a 75 yard run in the first frame vs. the Broncos.
Boise State needs to start off strong on defense and not allow Allgeier to run wild and make the quarterback pass more often than not.
Slowing down the running game will go a long way for Boise State to win this game but the Broncos have been inconsistent in that area.
Boise State has its own issues running the ball as well. George Holani is banged up again and no other running back has stepped up to take over his spot when he is not healthy.
The offensive line issues do not help as the Broncos were using their fourth different starting lineup last week and a third-string center. There is only so much these backups can do and the depth is a real issue for Boise State. Head coach Andy Avalos says that the offensive line is going to be crucial in recruiting.
This is not all on the new head coach because the offensive line hasn’t been good over the past few years, so add in poor play and injuries then things look really bad for the Broncos.
If they can’t run the ball then they rely on Hank Bachmeier to throw about 50 times just to keep Boise State in the game. Yet, they can’t protect him and Bachmeier is taking hit after hit. On the year, he has been sacked 13 times and hit and hurried many more times.
Headed to Provo 🔜
— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) October 5, 2021
The offensive line is the key for this game. Bachmeier as a quarterback is arguably better than what BYU can throw out there. Hall is good and mobile but not the thrower that Bachmeier is. Keep him up right and have some sort of a ground attack and the Broncos could make a game of it vs. BYU.
According to Pro Football Focus via the Idaho Statesman, quarterback Hank Bachmeier has been pressured on 45.4% of his dropback attempts, fifth-most in the country. Nearly every other pass attempt he gets hit, that is not sustainable.
It is very simple to say but the game of football is won in the trenches and Boise State doesn’t have it all that much and when it is good it is inconsistent at best.
For the Broncos to get the upset, they need to protect Bachmeier, find a running game of their own, and slow down BYU’s ground attack. Doing all three likely will be necessary to get the win.