Boise State vs. Fresno State: Broncos Keys, Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds
Rivalries square off
Both teams now look different
WEEK 3: Boise State Broncos (3-2) vs. Fresno State (1-3)
WHEN: Saturday, October 8th — 7:45 PM MT/6:45 PM PT
WHERE: Albertson Stadium, Boise, ID
WEATHER: Mostly clear, temp in the mid-60s at kickoff
STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes FS1
SERIES RECORD: Boise State leads the series 16-7, winning 3 of the last 4, including 40-14 last year in Fresno.
LAST WEEK: Boise State won at home against San Diego State, 35-13, while Fresno State lost at UConn, 19-14.
ODDS: Boise State -7.5
Two teams with extremely high expectations come into this year’s battle for the Milk Can with disappointing records. Boise State (3-2) and Fresno State (1-3) both have lost to Oregon State and have a surprising loss against a team where they were heavily favored.
After the turmoil following the Bronco’s loss to UTEP, and the slow start offensively against San Diego State, many folks were starting to call for more firings. What a difference half-time can make. Boise State rocked the Aztecs 35-0 in the second half with their adjustments. The defense shut down the SDSU offense so severely that they let go of their offensive coordinator. Offensively Taylen Green ran at will, which opened up space for George Holani and Ashton Jeanty, and the three combined for all five of Boise State’s touchdowns.
Fresno State comes in off a three-game losing streak, including a 19-14 loss at hapless UConn last week. Without quarterback Jake Heaner and offensive lineman Dontae Bull, the Bulldogs have their work cut out to get running back Jordan Mims going against a tough Bronco defense.
Keys To a Boise State Victory
Strive for Balance:
The offense moved the ball exceptionally well on the ground last week and in week one when Taylen Green came into the game. His versatility keeps defenses on their toes and makes it hard for them to key on one player. That being said, the Broncos still need to be able to keep defenses honest by completing passes down the field. Green is averaging just 5.3 yards on his 24 completions this season. If the Broncos can add a little more verticality to their game, it would open up the running lane for additional success.
Get Jeanty More Involved:
Yes, the last key was not to run the ball as much but to have a weapon like Ashton Jeanty on the field, potentially at the same time as Green and running back George Holani, would put a considerable amount of stress on the defense. With eight catches for 79 yards on the year, he has proven versatile out of the backfield, and while Holani is still the clear lead back, Jeanty can help wear down defenses and help Holani stay fresh throughout the game.
Keep defense Rolling:
Led this season by senior linebacker DJ Schramm, the Bronco’s defense has been able to dominate in the three victories for Boise State this season. The defense averages 130 yards per game in those while allowing 396 in their two losses. One of the more impressive aspects of their success in those outings is that they have been doing it without creating a lot of turnovers, with only two over their three victories. With the Bulldogs without their starting quarterback and down a lineman, the Broncos have an excellent opportunity to apply pressure and key a bit more on Jordan Mims.
These have routinely home very poorly. Fresno State is in bad shape with injuries, while Boise State is showing some great life under new OC Dirk Koetter. Defensively, the Broncos can hold any offense if their own can keep them out of trouble. If Boise State’s offense can regularly put together solid drives, the defense will suffocate the Bulldogs. It will be a closer game than last week for the Broncos, but they will keep the Milk Can and cover the spread.
Boise State 34, Fresno State 23