Boise State welcome the Virginia Cavaliers for another weeknight home game Friday night. They are coming off a win over New Mexico by a score of 28-14. The Broncos didn’t look they were interested in ringing up the scoreboard, as they seemed content with taking a win. New Mexico covered off a backdoor with Boise playing a prevent defense. To be completely honest, though, that should have been a much closer game.
The Lobos had to resort to their third-string quarterback, a freshman who didn’t play much quarterback in high school. You don’t have to be a precision passer to play in a triple-option, so it can work if a quarterback is a good hold on what to do with the ball in the backfield. The only time New Mexico moved the ball after the Lamar Jordan injury was when Boise went into the prevent D.
Boise State was without their starting quarterback, too. The experienced Brett Rypien was out of commission, giving way to Montell Cozart against New Mexico. Cozart is not a good quarterback, at all. He struggled to find playing time at Kansas, and is serving out his fifth-year of eligibility as a backup to Rypien. In other words, the Boise offense is not the same without Rypien. According to reports, he has been cleared to play against Virginia on Friday night.
The Cavaliers are coming off a win of their own in Week 3. They downed the UConn Huskies, 38-18, for the biggest win of the Bronco Mendenhall era. Mendenhall came to Virginia after guiding BYU to national prominence, and is in the process of trying to get UVA to a respectable level.
The Cavs once had a defense that was capable of carrying them, but that facet eroded over the years. Mendenhall did quite the job at BYU recruiting, and I don’t think we’ll see the impact at UVA start to take shape for another couple years. The Cavaliers will be looking to match last week, and make this the biggest win of Mendenhall’s career at Virginia. Head below for our free Virginia vs. Boise State pick.
Virginia Cavaliers vs. Boise State Broncos Betting Odds:
vs. Boise State -13(-115)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Virginia vs. Boise State Pick:
Last season it was evident that the Broncos miss Chris Petersen, their former head coach. Petersen is now directing Washington to the top of the Pac-12 and also an appearance in the playoff a year ago. No longer is Boise a team that strikes fear into Power-5 conferences. Nonetheless, they nearly took down a very good Washington State team on the road. If Rypien is healthy, they probably don’t blow that win and we’re talking about a ranked Boise team right now. They are good, just not that team who blew the doors off the competition every week.
The Cavs and Broncos are both 2-1, but Virginia’s wins came against William & Mary and Connecticut. For Boise, they came against Troy and New Mexico. The Broncos will get some credit for the overtime loss against Washington State. The quarterback situation at Virginia has looked better thus far. Kurt Benkert has thrown 7 touchdowns against 1 interception. He hasn’t had any stiff competition yet, but I expect more of a challenge against Boise State.
The Broncos had the passing game of Washington State contained, before things got wild and it went into overtime. Shutting down the Mike Leach air-raid is no easy chore. Boise State is allowing 217 passing yards per game in 2017. This is the second home game for the Broncos in a row, and note, they had an extra day to prepare for this matchup.
For most teams, a win over UConn shouldn’t lead to a letdown spot the following week. But for Virginia, a team who has had nothing to get excited about, I could see them with a lazy performance tonight as they make a long-distance trip to Idaho. With Rypien back, I like Boise State to propel to a win and cover at home on Friday night.
PICK: BOISE STATE -13 (-115)