The Boise State Broncos look to bounce back as they face the (1-1) Idaho State Bengals in what college football odds makers think should be a blowout. Can Boise State cover the number?
BYU quarterback, Tanner Mangum, has had successive weeks of Hail Mary passes for victories. The second one coming against Boise State as he connected with Mitchell Juergens for a 35 yard touchdown pass, giving BYU a 28-24 lead and then Ryan Finley threw a pick six for 50 yards; a desperation pass if you will and Boise State's hopes for a big 6 bowl game on New Year's Day was pretty much taken away.
On the bright side, Boise State dominated this game for 45 minutes as they had a 24-14 lead going into the 4th quarter. Look for the Broncos to come out strong as they face the Bengals.
It's a bit early in sophomore, Ryan Finley's career to say that he's going through a sophomore slump as he's been able to connect to multiple receivers on the Broncos squad.
Finley didn't see much action in his freshman season, but he's coming off of a career high 297 yards on 25 for 38 yards passing last week. The bad news is that he's thrown 1 touchdown and already 4 interceptions on the season. The last interception can be excused as Boise State was in shock of the "Mangum Bomb" and Finley may have forced the issue, but he needs to be more efficient than this to expect to be a consistent winning quarterback, nevermind a QB that's starting on a team which is favorite by 31 points.
Boise State has been a grind'em out team as leading rusher, Jeremy McNichols has found his way into the endzone 4 times and has accounted for over 200 all-purpose yards, but only averages 3.5 yards per carry and that's very subpar, especially at the collegiate level. Nonetheless, McNichols is the go to guy who can run the ball and is a receiving threat out of the backfield.
Little Man, Big Numbers
Another offensive threat for the Broncos is senior, 5 foot 6, 173 pound wide receiver, Shane Willams- Rhodes. Rhodes is coming off of a huge 107 yard game on 11 receptions, but this is nothing new as he's been a consistent producer throughout his career at Boise State.
This is a guy that caught 77 receptions last season and already has a good relationship on the field with Ryan Finley. He hasn't been able to get in the endzone this season, but the season is quite early and the Broncos will have multiple opportunities to cash in against an inferior opponent if Finley can avoid the turnovers.
Reality Kicking In
From a Bengals perspective, they blowout a super weak opponent in Black Hills State, 55-0 and then come back down to earth with a 34-14 loss to the Portland State Vikings. I'm going to give them a pass against Portland State because Portland State upset Washington State, a team that beat Rutgers, the week before. Nonetheless, this is not a very good team.
Idaho State basically matched Portland State in offensive production for the entire game, but committed 4 turnovers as opposed to 1 by Portland State and that was the difference in the ball game. Although the Broncos are expected to dominate, this game might be filled with mistakes as we have a quarterback who throws INT's for the Broncos and a team in Idaho State which commits turnovers of their own. This could be a deciding factor in this ball game.
Idaho State is led by junior, Michael Saunders, who has good size for a starting quarterback at 6 foot 3, 220 pounds. He's capable of finding the open man and throwing the deep ball, but is interception prone and that could be a factor in this game. Senior, Xavier Finney, wants to finish his career out strong and had a solid 87 yard output last week, but the level of competition becomes greater on Friday night. Still, I'll take Idaho State +32 with one of my college football picks.
College Football Pick: Idaho State +32 at 5Dimes