Week 14 College Football Breakdown with Joe Lisi: Fresno State vs Boise State & Miami vs Clemson

Clemson Tigers player

Joe Lisi

Friday, December 1, 2017 5:01 PM GMT

Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 5:01 PM GMT

This is the companion article to Joe's picks on the Fresno State vs Boise State at 7:45 pm ET & Miami vs Clemson at 8:00 pm ET games on Saturday.

Fresno State Bulldogs vs Boise State Broncos

Line: Boise State -9.5

A rematch of last week’s game 28-17 by the Bulldogs at Fresno.

Fresno State is rushing for 158 yards per game and is passing for 234 yards per game through the air this season.

The offensive line is the key to this contest and on the season, the unit has allowed 7 total sacks on the year. In last week’s home win the offensive line did not allow a sack and protected quarterback Marcus McMaryion and allowed him time to locate his receivers downfield. McMaryion passed for 332 yards in the win tossing 2 touchdowns while completing 63% of his passes.

On the year, McMaryion has flourished in the system and completed 62% of his passes for 2,212 yards with 14 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

Fresno State has a big play wide receiver in Keesean Johnson who leads the team with 64 receptions for 860 yards with 8 touchdowns.

The Bulldogs have converted 37% of their third downs and converted 9 of 16 attempts (56%) last week in the win over the Broncos.

Defensively, the unit is allowing 117 rushing yards per game and 198 passing yards to opposing offenses this season.

Fresno State is +9 in turnover margin and has recorded 28 total sacks in 2017. The Bulldogs are holding opposing offenses to 33% on third downs this season and must be able to force the Broncos into short throws into coverage.

Boise State enters this game rushing for 149 yards per game and passing for 254 yards per game.

The Broncos are converting 47% of their third downs and will look to force an up-tempo game at home on the blue turf.

Quarterbacks Brett Rypien and Montell Cozart could both play in this game. Rypien is the more proto-typical pocket passer with Cozart being more athletic and mobile outside the pocket on the perimeter.

Rypien has completed 64% of his passes for 2,269 yards with 14 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while Cozart has completed 63% of his passes for 738 yards with 10 and 1 interception.

Defensively, the Broncos are holding opposing offenses to 124 rushing yards per game and are allowing 214 passing yards to opposing offenses.

The unit is allowing 40% on third downs and must do a better job against a blue-collar offense in Fresno State.

Over the past three games against Colorado State, Air Force and Fresno State the defense has allowed opposing offenses to convert 22 of 43 third downs or 51%. They must do a better job on Saturday to get the home win.

Boise State is +11 in turnover margin and has recorded 28 total sacks in 2017.

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Miami (FL) Hurricanes vs Clemson Tigers

Line: Clemson -9.5

Road success will be the major component for the outcome of this contest.

Miami is 3-1 on the road or on a neutral field site and has faced opponents Duke, Florida State, North Carolina and Pittsburgh who are a combined 19-28 or .404%. The Hurricanes won those three games by 11.3 ppg.

Clemson enters this game with a 4-1 overall road record and have beaten opponents Louisville, Virginia Tech, N.C State and South Carolina who have a combined overall record of 33-15 or .687%. The Tigers have won those games by 17.7 ppg.

Miami is rushing for 166 yards per game and is passing for 254 yards per game entering this match-up. The Hurricanes will be without their starting tight end Herndon who was injured for the season in last week’s loss at Pittsburgh.

Over the past two games against Virginia and Pittsburgh, the offense is rushing for 96.5 yards per game and will need a better effort to stay out of long third down situations against Clemson.

Quarterback Malik Rosier is completing 55% of his passes for 2,798 yards with 25 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.

A cause of concern is third down the offense for the Hurricanes. Miami is converting 30% of their third downs and the trend has continued over the past four games. During that span, the offense has converted 15 of 49 attempts.

Defensively, the Hurricanes are holding opposing offenses to 152 rushing yards per game and 210 passing yards per game.

The Hurricanes have recorded 39 total sacks and are +17 in turnover margin with their “Turnover Chain”.

The unit is allowing opposing offenses to convert on 37% of their third-down attempts.

Clemson is a “battle-tested team that has been able to handle the pressure and play well in a big game setting winning the College Football Playoff.

The offense is rushing for 215 yards per game and is passing for 243 yards per game entering this game.

Quarterback Kelly Bryan has completed 66% of his passes for 2,426 yards with 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

Clemson is converting 46% as an offensive unit and will look to wear down the Hurricanes defense with their speed on the perimeter. Bryant’s mobility and ability to recognize blitz pressure could be the difference Saturday night in Charlotte.

Defensively, the unit is allowing 114 rushing yards per game and is giving up 169 passing yards to opposing quarterbacks.

The unit has recorded 40 total sacks and is holding opposing offenses to 28% conversions on third down opportunities.

While the Tigers enter this game +3 in turnover margin, the team is +6 in turnover margin on the road or on a neutral field this season.

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