1) Who are the Broncos to watch on offense?
To be honest, when it comes to Boise State, the offense lives and dies on the legs of Jeremy McNichols. That is why the trend of his getting fewer and fewer carries late in games, when the Broncos have lost large leads, is confusing.
Sure, Brett Rypien is a very talented passer, and Boise State boasts two elite-level WR’s in Thomas Sperbeck and Cedrick Wilson, but make no mistake.. it’s the Jeremy McNichols show for Boise State’s Offense. I expect the Broncos to circle the wagons and play a very deliberate game against the Spartans.
However, I also expect them to abandon that gameplan in the 2nd half for some inexplicable reason.
2) Who are the Broncos to watch on defense?
Boise State, ironically, boasts a trio of Californians to watch on Defense. The first is DT David Moa. The ‘Moa Constrictor’ is in his first year of starting, he’s undersized for a DT, but that just makes him harder to contain.
The second is Defensive End Jabril Frazier. Frazier has turned into a legitimate heir to the throne of ‘Boise State’s next great DE to leave for the NFL early’. He’s fast, agile, fast, smart, and fast.. off the edge.
Last but by no means least, Tanner Vallejo. Vallejo has battled an injury bug for the past couple of seasons, but it’s not doing much to affect his play when he gets on the field. His talent and ‘strike first, strike hard, no mercy’ sir attitude had made him a fan favorite since his True Freshman campaign when he earned a starting spot after showcasing what he could do.
3) What is the atmosphere at Boise State going into this game?
That’s an interesting question. Boise State is a wounded bear right now. Only question is, (Caution.. “The Revenant” references following) are the Broncos the wounded bear that mauled Leonardo DiCaprio and left him bleeding and unconscious, or are they the wounded bear that stood on Leo’s head and then got cocky, got shot and died.. leaving Leo to make a miraculous recovery and ultimately win… the movie?
4) What are the keys to the game for Boise State?
In a word.. Turnovers. Boise State is ranked somewhere near Yugoslavia in Turnovers in the NCAA this year.. no team that turns the ball over as much as Boise State does is ever fully safe in a game, regardless of score or talent disparity.
5) What’s your prediction for the game?
On Paper, this is a game that Boise State should win fairly handily, but this has not been a good year for Boise State when it comes to playing games like it says on paper.
I expect Boise State to jump out early to a 17-20 point lead, turn the ball over 2-3 times in a row, watch their lead dwindle to 1-score with around 5 minutes remaining.. and then fight and claw like hell to hang onto the lead. It’s apparently how this team likes to play the game.
Prediction: Boise State 35, San Jose State 27