College Football Picks: Boise State Defense to Stifle Colorado State

Mark Lathrop

Friday, October 9, 2015 11:36 PM GMT

Boise State has scored more than 50 points in three consecutive games behind freshman QB Brett Rypien. Our handicapper offers his value college football pick against Colorado State.

Oh, it was freak out time if you were a Boise State fan three weeks ago, when sophomore starting QB Ryan Finley broke his ankle playing against Idaho State. Fast forward three weeks later, and Boise State fans are freaking out because of their good fortune. You see, 4-star freshman recruit, Brett Rypien, has been lights out since starting for Finley. Yes, this is former NFL QB Mark Rypien’s son, so he comes from a solid QB pedigree. Rypien’s start has been similar to that of the all-time leader in multiple QB categories, Kellen Moore. He’s thrown for 718 yards, 6 TD’s, 0 INT’s, and a 73.9% completion percentage.

The Broncos are 4-1 this year, and their record looks even better after watching the UW Huskies take care of business against USC this week. Their only loss was to BYU, who scored three unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter to beat the Broncos at home. Boise State was awful on 3rd down in that game, converting only 2 of 12 attempts.  They also had 11 penalties for 76 yards and lost the time of possession battle 25:35 – 34:25. Prior starter, Ryan Finley, also threw 3 interceptions. We don’t have to worry about that anymore, now do we?

After that loss to BYU the Broncos have put up more than 50 points in each game and have only given up two touchdowns in three games. Those touchdowns were given up to Virginia on the road in the midst of a 56-14 Boise State beat down in which the Broncos entered as 1-pont underdogs. Guess the bookmakers missed the mark on that one just a touch. The defense has been a rock lately and are ranked 7th in the nation in yards allowed. They have only allowed 51.8 rushing yards per game, which is only behind Boston College in all of College Football. They are better at defending the rush than last year and in 2014 Colorado State had 28 rushing yards against Boise State. If the Rams have a chance, they will have to beat Boise State by air.

Colorado State (2-3) already had their big game of the year, losing 24-27 to Colorado. When looking at the Ram’s statistics we really have to throw out their Week 1 65-13 blowout of Savannah State, especially for their passing game. In that game Colorado State QB, Nick Stevens, passed for 5 touchdowns, zero interceptions, and 289 yards. He has thrown for 5 TD’s and 5 interceptions since then, including a 51-yard passing game against Minnesota where he got benched for freshman QB, Coleman Key.

Colorado State’s passing defense is solid in giving up only 168.6 YPG. Unfortunately, there is a ying to that yang, as the Rams give up almost 200 yards a game on the ground and are 99th in the country in that statistic. This bodes well for Boise State running back, Jeremy McNichols, who leads all of FBS with 12 rushing touchdowns.

With Boise State holding advantages in many categories, they opened as 15-point favorites at Pinnacle. That line was hammered and shot to as high as 16.5 as early action took the ranked team in the matchup. Since that early action, the line has settled in around 15.5 across the board. The O/U total opened up at 58.5, and has only moved in one direction, up. It is now at 60 basically everywhere, except a few books that have the under lean at 59.5. No matter, we’re not taking the total on this game anyway. I’m backing the #2 rushing defense in the country against a QB that has thrown 5 interceptions in his last four games. A few turnovers should be enough to get this game out of hand in favor of the Broncos, so I’m taking them at -15 college football odds as one of my Saturday college football picks

College Football Pick: Boise State -15 at Bookmaker

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