The Boise State Broncos and San Jose State Spartans meet in an unlikely matchup for the Mountain West Championship on Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium. This is the second straight weekend that Sam Boyd Stadium has acted as a fill-in for San Jose State. As a result of Covid-19 restrictions in San Jose, the game is being played at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. San Jose State beat the Nevada Wolf Pack last week in Vegas to maintain their perfect record.
Nevada had the pressure on in the first half with a 20-7 lead at the half, but it was all Spartans in the second half. The resilient Spartans scored 23 unanswered points to take a 30-20 lead and the win. That win cemented their appearance in the Mountain West Championship against Boise State. The Broncos are looking to repeat after beating Hawaii in the conference championship in Idaho last year. This is a different year, though and Brett Rypien is no longer with the Broncos.
Boise State enters Las Vegas with a record of 5-1. They have a loss against the BYU Cougars, 51-17, in a blowout. My concern for Boise State is that BYU is the only good team they’ve played this season. The Broncos beat Air Force, Utah State, Hawaii, Colorado State, and Wyoming. So what? There is no quality team out of that group of wins for Boise State. Hawaii might be their best win on the season going into the conference championship. Air Force hasn’t been all that this season in a year where they were without their starting quarterback.
When it comes to the Spartans, it has been one to remember. 99.9% of people will want to forget about 2020, but San Jose State will remember this season for a long time. They’re a ranked team going into Saturday, No. 24, and have overcome some serious adversity with Covid-19. The virus ripped right through that locker room, and through it all, San Jose State has managed to get to the Mountain West Championship. Head below for our free Boise State vs. San Jose State pick for December 19, 2020.
Boise State Broncos vs. San Jose State Spartans Mountain West Championship Betting Odds:
Boise State vs. San Jose State Prediction:
We’re already at the Mountain West Championship, and I’m still questioning what this Boise State team is. During a normal season, we would have had a clear answer by now. However, it’s a shortened season and Boise State has only played one team that I regarded as good. The Broncos were bullied in that game, too.
BYU blasted Boise State away for a 51-17 win. Zach Wilson passed for 359 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions. Tyler Allgeier romped on the ground for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns on 8.8 yards per carry. Zachary Kota also had a productive game with 66 yards and a touchdown on 8.2 yards per carry.
I wasn’t impressed by how the Boise State defense played against their next biggest opponent either. Hawaii scored 32 points on Boise State on November 21 two games ago. A very average Chevan Cordeiro passed for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns, while he gained 90 yards and 5 yards per carry on the ground.
Shutting down Wyoming for 9 points last week doesn’t impress. Boise State will have to contend with an underrated Nick Starkel on Saturday. Starkel has passed for 13 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on 66.3% completions. With Tyler Nevens in the backfield, that’s all they need from Starkel. Nevens has gained a whopping 8.7 yards per carry on the ground to go with 454 yards.
The Broncos haven’t been as strong up front defensively as we’ve seen in past years. They were torched by BYU, and Nevens should be able to do some damage in the MWC. Note that the Broncos have been touched up for 183.5 rushing yards per game, which ranks towards the back of the FBS. Expect Nevens and the Spartans’ backfield to keep this game close throughout four quarters.
San Jose State should be able to slow Boise State down defensively as well. The Spartans have been underrated on defense, and did a terrific job last week against a potential NFL selection in Carson Strong of Nevada. Hank Bachmeier has some talent, but Strong is the better of the two right now. San Jose State has allowed 355.7 yards and just 17.5 points per game in 2020. The value appears to be with the points.