The BYU Cougars and Boise State Broncos do battle on the blue turf in Idaho on Thursday night. There are a couple of good games this evening, first with the Miami Hurricanes and Virginia Tech Hokies, and then BYU and Boise State in the late night game. BYU had their big win of the season against Michigan State on the road. The Cougars threw a wrench into the Spartan’s season with a 31-14 victory. It was a nice response from BYU after they played in a track meet against Toledo the week prior, which resulted in a 55-53 win in their favor.
Sometimes after a wild one like that, teams can come out a bit stagnant the next week. BYU didn’t let that happen, as they came out prepared as ever, nullifying the Spartans’ offense and beating Michigan State at their own game. In a lot of ways, BYU and MSU are clones of one another in their approach, but the Cougars were able to do it much better than Michigan State on that particular day two weeks ago.
BYU had more of a competitive game the following week, as they needed overtime to defeat Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are a disaster this season, and it’s pretty clear that Dak Prescott was that entire program. In any case, BYU were able to escape a potential letdown loss. The Cougars are going to have to regroup and play better football this week if they hope to beat Boise State. It would be yet another feather in the hat for BYU if they can pull this one off.
If they were told they’d beat Michigan State and Boise State, both on the road mind you, it would be a successful year. A win today against the Broncos would bring them to 5-3 in 2016. Conversely, Boise State is looking for a perfect 7-0 record. Brett Rypien will be a key figure for the Broncos tonight, a quarterback who has been the best on campus at Boise State since Kellen Moore a few years back. It’s the youngster against the 26-year-old Taysom Hill.
BYU Cougars vs. Boise State Broncos NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Boise State -7(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
BYU vs. Boise State Pick:
Brett Rypien has accumulated a nice stat line of 1622 yards and 12 touchdowns with 3 interceptions on the season. The Broncos looked half asleep last week against a bad Colorado State team, winning but by a margin of 28-23. As 28-point favorites there was a little more expected from the Broncos against the Rams. Perhaps they were looking ahead to BYU this week. Whatever it was, they certainly didn’t look good. I want to say a win is a win, but not in college football, especially a Boise team who has to throttle their opposition to get some respect. The Broncos should ideally be playing in the Pac-12 or Big-12, so they have to take what their schedule gives them in the Mountain West.
BYU and Boise State are scheduled to play every year for the next six years, so they might as well get comfortable. Maybe a rivalry could brew out of this competition. Taysom Hill won’t be able to enjoy it for long, because this will be his final season at BYU. Due to mission trip requirements and injuries to Hill, he’s been able to take his college quarterback career into his mid-20’s. It isn’t uncommon for this to happen at BYU. Hill is not going to pass for 300 yards a game very often, the modus operandi for the Cougars is to pound the football. He’s passed for 9 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, so this isn’t going to be another case of Brandon Weeden, who was drafted in his late 20’s.
BYU is 20th in the country, rushing for 200 yards per game. Conversely, they are 77th in the passing game with 204 yards per game. Boise State were in the top 10 against the run before they played New Mexico two weeks ago, but they rushed for 382 yards to push their average up to 140 yards allowed per game on the ground. Note that New Mexico is a triple-option team, the kind of offense that Boise State has struggled with for multiple years now. BYU is a traditional running back with full back combo. Boise State has had no problems turning them back. While the points with BYU look attractive, I think this is where BYU will run into issues. I always prefer a good rush defense against a good rushing offense. BYU is 115th defending the pass, a huge hole to have coming in against Rypien and the Broncos. This one is lining up for a two touchdown for Boise State.
PICK: BOISE STATE -7 (-110)