The second weekend of the 2015 college football season features a second marquee Saturday night (10:15 pm ET) matchup with the 20th ranked Boise St. Broncos (1-0) of the Mountain West conference traveling to Provo, UT to take on the host BYU Cougars (1-0). The Broncos won 55-30 in Boise last season over the Cougars as quarterback Grant Hedrick threw for 410 yards and 4 TDs as BSU put up 637 yards of total offense on the BYU defense.
The Broncos opened their season with a hard-fought 16-13 win over Washington at home last week. If they want to make their case as a candidate for the final four teams to be included in the college football playoff, then the Broncos need a convincing win in this game since their remaining schedule is less than impressive. The Boise St. defense was impressive last week, not allowing Washington to score a TD, and sophomore quarterback Ryan Finley is still a question mark in only his second start after replacing Hedrick this season.
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The Cougars defeated Nebraska last week in Lincoln on a last-second Hail-Mary touchdown pass from freshman Tanner Magnum to Mitch Matthews to pull out a 33-28 win over the Huskers. Magnum will replace dynamic quarterback Taysom Hill under center for the Cougars for the remainder of the season after Hill suffered a Linsfranc injury last week against Nebraska. Magnum has a strong arm and certainly proved that he can move the ball through the air last week, but he is not nearly the runner that Hill is so the game planning for opposing teams is going to be much more simplified.
Boise St. vs. BYU Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Boise St. Broncos -2.5
@ BYU Cougars +2.5
Over 55 (-110)
Under 55 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Boise St. vs. BYU Pick:
Boise St. leads the all-time series between the two teams 4-1. The Broncos are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 September games, 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games on grass and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against winning teams. The Cougars are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games against a team with a winning record, 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 home games and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games on grass. The over is 7-3 in Boise State’s last 10 September games, 4-0 in their last 4 road games and 8-2 in their last 10 games overall. The over is 4-1 in BYU’s last 5 home games, 6-1 in their last 7 games on grass and 9-2 in their last 11 games overall.
The trends for the Cougars are not favorable, either overall or at home, and BYU was very fortunate to steal a win on the road last week. Their young quarterback stepped up in Hill’s Absence last week, but he will be facing a much more experienced secondary this week and will have to step up his game even more to run BYU’s record to 2-0. Boise St. also has an untested QB under center, so the trend favoring the over for both teams is probably not the best play to make here. The call here is that the Cougars will miss the dual-threat element that Hill brings to the table, and they will not have their full playbook at their disposal. Boise St. will also have the advantage of being able to game plan specifically for Magnum, which will allow them an opportunity to take advantage of his inexperience. Boise is the more experienced and more well-rounded team, take the Broncos to cover here.