Boise State vs UT-Martin: Game Preview, Hot to Watch, Odds, Prediction
Broncos facing an FCS foe
Boise State looking for its second win
WEEK 3: Boise State Broncos (1-1) vs. UT-Martin Skyhawks (1-1)
WHEN: Saturday, September 17 — 2:00 PM MT/1:00 PM PT
WHERE: Albertson Stadium, Boise, ID
WEATHER: Mostly cloudy, chance of thunderstorms, high of 71
STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of FuboTV, which includes FS1
SERIES RECORD: Boise State won the only meeting between the two teams in 2013, 63-14, in Albertson Stadium.
LAST WEEK: Boise State won on the road against New Mexico, 31-14, while UT-Martin lost 35-30 at Missouri State.
WEBSITES: BroncoSports.com, the official Boise State athletics website | utmsports.com, the official UT-Martin athletics website
ODDS: Boise State -21
Week 3 Mountain West Football: Scoreboard, TV Schedule, Odds, Picks
Boise State opens their home schedule looking for their 21st consecutive home opening victory. The Broncos got off to a 1-0 start in conference play with their 31-14 win at New Mexico last week. There were a lot of positives after the game as the Broncos seemed to have corrected some issues that had crept up in the week 1 loss against Oregon State. The defense looked much better, and Hank Bachmeier was able to find the endzone three times, leading the way in the victory.
The Skyhawks of Tennessee-Martin, who are ranked 18th in the FCS coaches poll, lost at Missouri State (Ranked 6th in FCS) in a 35-30 shootout. With one of the best scoring offenses in the FCS, its similarity to Utah State’s should help the Broncos keep them in check. With what we saw last week we saw Nevada lose to Incarnate Word, and Utah State lose to Weber State; there is no doubt that the Broncos will not be looking past the Skyhawks.
Keys to Victory
Key #1: Get Holani Rolling
This week is as good of time as any to get running back George Holani sorted out. Holani is averaging just 2.3 yards a carry and there has not been a lot of space for him to work. He has the talent to make guys miss and to get yards after contact, but there just isn’t the opportunity for either of those on some of his carries. True freshman Ashton Jeanty has faired better with 5.5 yards per carry, so there is hope that Holani can get back on track of the 1,000 yard rusher from his freshman year.
Key #2: Don’t Fall Into the Trap
So far this year, San Jose State almost lost to Portland State, Nevada lost to Incarnate Word (8th FCS), and Utah State lost to Weber State (13th FCS), so there is no doubt the Broncos will have the same amount of focus that they do for an FBS opponent. The last thing the Broncos need after a rough season last year is to lose at home to an FCS school.
Key #3: Open up the playbook
Last week the Broncos ran a reverse, which is the closest to the trickery that helped Boise State pull off upsets and be a must-see game. Under OC Tim Plough, the Broncos have lacked that excitement and the big plays that put a lot of stress on opposing teams. Trick plays also slow down pass rushes and run reads, which helps an offensive line that hasn’t looked good this year.
This won’t be a 60-0 game. Boise State still has a lot of questions with their offensive line and run game that needs to be figured out for the Broncos to pull off a victory like that. Boise State has also been incredibly inconsistent that even guaranteeing a win is also off the table. It still is difficult to see the Broncos losing this game at home with the defense playing, as well as they have the last game and a half. Boise State will win their 21st home opener and cover the -21 spread.
Final Score: Boise State 42, UT-Martin 13