The Boise State Broncos hit the blue turf for the only time in September on Saturday. They head back home to Boise to welcome UConn following an easy 56-20 win over the Troy Trojans. That win isn’t going to catch much attention from the media, but their opponents this season certainly took note. Boise State is gunning for a spot in a New Year’s Six Bowl and could very well do it. They have the best team they’ve had since the Kellen Moore era in Boise. It’s not just one unit in particular, the Broncos are a well-rounded bunch with talent on both sides of the ball. Brett Rypien looks locked and loaded to have his best season in college this season.
Rypien is not Kellen Moore, but he showed shades of him this past Saturday at Troy. People are going to be quick to say it’s Troy, and I mean, Troy isn’t Alabama. However, they aren’t a bad team, but Rypien and the Broncos made them look like a really bad team. Troy led the Sun Belt in defense a season ago and were 1st in red zone defense in the entire country. The Trojans also got some quality defensive players back from that defense. So, I think this was a matter of a very good Boise State offense making Troy look bad. Boise State’s main roadblock to a New Year’s Six Bowl are the UCF Knights. Note that UCF just played UConn last week, a 56-17 win to start the season on a high note.
If push comes to shove and UCF and Boise State have had even seasons, voters might take a look at how they performed against UConn early in the year. UCF did their part in a blowout victory. A win for Boise State just isn’t going to be good enough if they want to stay in contention with the Knights. When Chris Petersen was running the show of a very good Boise State team, he knew style points came into play against inferior opponents. Kellen Moore and company didn’t let up and I think that’s what Rypien and the 2018 Broncos are going to have to do. Rypien passed for 305 yards with 4 touchdowns. Sean Modster was uncoverable, as he went for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is likely to be the next Boise State wide receiver going to the NFL and making an impact. We’ll see if the Huskies are motivated to travel out to Idaho for a clash on the blue turf. Head below for our free UConn vs. Boise State pick and the rest of our college football writeup.
UConn Huskies vs. Boise State Broncos Betting Odds:
vs. Boise State -31.5(-110)
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UConn vs. Boise State Pick:
There are going to be some growing pains at UConn under a new up-tempo system. Nothing was going right for the Huskies the past several years anyway, so maybe it won’t be a pain, rather than just having to learn a new playbook. David Pindell is a nice fit for the UConn offense, as he has the ability to run the option effectively. He ran all over the UCF defense, which was the only real threat the Knights had to concern themselves with.
Pindell ran for 157 yards on 22 attempts with a touchdown. He also threw for 266 with 1 touchdown and an interception. The real concern for Boise State will be his running ability. If they take that away, it’s going to be a long evening for UConn. Even with those decent numbers from Pindell, the Huskies still got blown out, 56-17.
Pindell and his teammates must protect the ball against the Broncos’ defense. Boise State will be looking to break out the Turnover Throne early and often. Their defense can get after it and it carried over to the season opener against Troy. Boise State finished 9th in the FBS in turnover margin per game at +0.9. At home on the blue field, that number went all the way up to +1.6. Boise State returns pretty much everyone from a year ago and brought in a talented transfer linebacker from Idaho, Tony Lashley.
UConn may have a potential quarterback to handle their offense effectively. However, their defense leaves a lot to be desired. The Huskies allowed 519 yards per game for 127th in the country and dead last, 130th, with 333.9 passing yards allowed per game. They also allowed 37.9 points per game. This is on a team that lost a lot of their starters going into this season, so expect more of the same in 2018.
There aren’t any indications that anything should change, and they struggled to contain UCF in Week 1. McKenzie Milton passed for 346 yards and 5 touchdowns. Look for Rypien to pile on the points in another blowout win for Boise State and a blowout loss for UConn. It’s a lot of points, but Boise State are going to be out to beat the Huskies worse than UCF did. With this the only game Boise State play at home, I expect them to be a little more amped up in front of the home crowd. On the blue turf in Boise, this looks like a 58-14 victory for the Broncos on Saturday evening.