The prelude to a big Saturday of action in week 3 of the 2011 college football season takes place this Friday night (8:00pm ET) featuring the 4th ranked Boise St. Broncos (1-0) of the Mountain West Conference traveling to Toledo, OH to take on the Toledo Rockets (1-1) of the Mid American Conference. Boise St. beat the 19th ranked (at the time) Georgia Bulldogs 35-21 in their opener two weeks ago in the Georgia Dome, while Toledo gave 15th ranked Ohio St. all they could handle in Columbus last week in a 27-22 loss.
Boise St. features their traditionally explosive offense led by Heisman contender Kellen Moore (3,845 yards passing 35 TDs, 6 INTs in 2010). Moore has an outstanding supporting cast featuring running back Doug Martin (6.3 YPC and 12 TDs in 2010) and freshman receiver Matt Miller and tight end Kyle Efaw (5 TDs in 2010). The Broncos offense was diverse against Georgia, with nine different players catching passes. The defense gave up some big plays against the Bulldogs, with Georgia’s three touchdowns covering 167 yards. The pass rush is one of their strengths, registering 6 sacks in the opener. Toledo features a two-headed quarterback tandem of Austin Dantin and Terrance Owens, who combined to throw for 292 yards against Ohio St. last week. The running game was woeful against the Buckeyes, posting only 46 yards on 30 carries (1.5 YPC). Coach Tim Beckman’s team had a chance to win the game at the end, but was hurt by 14 penalties for 102 yards. They will need to show more discipline on both sides of the ball, and step up their effort in the running game in order to hold on to the football and keep the explosive Boise St. offense on the sidelines. Running back Adonis Thomas will have to provide a better effort on the ground than he gave last week (3.36 YPC on 14 carries) and the offensive line will have to provide him with room to run against a Bronco defense that can be vulnerable against the run.
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Boise St. vs. Toledo Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Boise St. Broncos -20
@ Toledo Rockets +20
Over 60 (-110)
Under 60 (-110)
Betting odds taken from BetOnline.com
Boise St. vs. Toledo Pick:
The Broncos rolled over the Rockets by a score of 57-14 last year in Boise, blowing by the over/under of 60 and covering the huge 38 point line. Boise St. is 20-7 ATS in their last 27 road games and 14-6 ATS in their last 20 Friday games. The over is 7-3 in the Rocket’s last 10 games overall, and 7-3 in their last ten games on fieldturf.
The Broncos are deadly efficient on offense, going 5-for-5 in red zone possessions against Georgia with touchdowns on each possession. Toledo has the athletes on defense, including cornerbacks Kishon Wilcher and Taikwon Paige, to stay with the Bronco’s stable of receivers. Toledo is not intimidated by high-profile opponents as they proved last week, and when they upset Michigan 13-10 in the Big House three seasons ago. All-American wide receiver Eric Page, who had 145 receiving yards and two TDs against Ohio St, will be a tough matchup for the young Boise St. secondary. Running back Adonis Thomas proved to be a credible threat out of the backfield last week (6 receptions 111 yards) and will be counted on heavily this week both running and receiving. The Rockets know they were close to pulling off a huge upset last week; they will do anything they can this week to get the ball in their top playmaker’s hands in an attempt to pull off a shocker at home this week. The odds makers are simply not giving enough respect to a tough, young Toledo team and 20 points at home even against the powerhouse offense of Boise St. is just too much of a cushion to pass up. Take Toledo and the points at home to get the weekend off to a good start.