HERE'S THE DEAL: One name brand opponent down. One to go. For Boise State, this is its best remaining chance to wow those voters who bolted from its camp after victim No. 1, Virginia Tech, fell a week later to James Madison.
With a huge national audience in attendance, the Broncos, now 2-0 after whooping Wyoming, are seeking another memorable moment that won’t fade over the next couple of months. Any hopes of playing for a national championship will depend on it.
Oregon State has already failed in its first attempt to derail a BCS buster, losing in the opener to TCU. The Beavers evened their record with a 35-28 win over Louisville last Saturday, but failed to impress in the process. If they’re looking for a spark, this trip over the state line has the potential to turn a season around.
WHY BOISE STATE MIGHT WIN: Did the Beavers really allow four touchdowns and 453 yards to Louisville? That cannot be a positive omen for this week.
While it’s never easy getting around DT Stephen Paea, Boise State can bounce running backs Doug Martin, DJ Harper, and Jeremy Avery outside if necessary. This is not an ideal time for a defense to be working out the kinks in the system, which is exactly where the Beavers are after two games.
WHY OREGON STATE MIGHT WIN: Go back to the opener. Virginia Tech had spurts of offensive success on the Boise State defense. The Beavers are capable of the same results when the Rodgers brothers, RB Jacquizz and WR James, get the blocking they need to make things happen. Two of the more electrifying players in America, both have the moves and the quickness to take games over and educe a moment of silence from the home crowd.
Now that QB Ryan Katz has gotten his awkward debut out of his system, he’s in a better position to capitalize on the Bronco corners. The sophomore was a steady 15-of-26 for 142 yards, two touchdowns, and no turnovers in Saturday’s win.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: While the Boise State offense garners most of the headlines, don’t sleep on a defense that’s fast to the ball and swarms when it gets there.
There may not be a lot of next-level types on this unit, but as a group, it’s fantastic and vastly underrated.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Boise in primetime. It doesn’t get much tougher than this for a visiting team. The Broncos know exactly what’s at stake Saturday night, and will react accordingly. The combination of Moore and head coach Chris Petersen is about as good as it gets in this kind of situation.
Boise State will jump on Oregon State right away, putting even more pressure on Katz and whipping the crowd into a frenzy. By the second half, the conversation will have shifted from the Beavers to the BCS.
CFN PREDICTION: Boise State 45 … Oregon State 20 | Line: Boise State -17
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