5 Keys – 1 Prediction: Boise State vs UConn
1.) WAKE UP!
I am not kidding when I say my biggest concern is the team sleeping through the 1st half. (See us vs San Jose back in the day) The first 2 games of the season have carried a lot of emotion, big game vs an SEC opponent, and the home-opener. Now Boise State walks into a sleepy game in the east. Everything about this game screams blowout by the time it enters the 4th quarter. However, Boise State has to come out and find a way to get the blood pumping early and take the momentum. If not the game could be close longer than many hope. For UConn this game takes place at lunch-time, for Boise State, it takes place during breakfast. The Broncos can’t let the Huskies get a jump on them and build some confidence.
2.) Jay “Blue Beast” Ajayi
Yeah I am riding the “blue beast” nickname, why? Because I still haven’t heard a better one. That being said, I feel like this is probably going to be a key for the rest of the season and I could just copy and paste whatever I have written in previous weeks. Jay Ajayi is a machine and when it comes to facing inferior competition Jay will have massive games. I am hoping for a short day for Ajayi, but even if it is only 3 quarters I expect big numbers. As long as Boise State is handing the ball to Jay, the Broncos are in good hands and will be competitive.
3.) Get out Healthy
Boise State can’t under any circumstance afford more injuries in the secondary. Reports from B.J. Rains seem to indicate Donte Deayon will play. That is good, but BSU can’t have any more injuries in this game. With Bryan Douglass doubtful, Maston out, and Page out. Boise State will need people to step up even against a backup QB in an anemic offense. The secondary will need to communicate well in this game, if not the play-action could catch them a couple of times down the field. UConn does have a very talented and dangerous WR in Geremy Davis. And from their (UConn) perspective it would look like everything is lining up for him to have a potentially MAJOR day. Boise State must find a way to stop him regardless of depth.
4.) Grant Hedrick Needs to Keep it Up
We saw a lot of growth from Grant vs CSU. No matter how you feel about Hedrick you have to admit he is at the least tough as nails. Hedrick’s ability to run was at times very impressive against CSU and fans can hope for that to continue minus the big hits. UConn presents an opportunity for Hedrick to continue to improve on his game. I fully expect Grant to have a big game, with both his arm and legs. If he does, Boise State will roll like expected. However, nothing keeps a team in a game like turnovers. Grant can’t forget that.
5.) Find Depth
This is a cocky, assuming key, that doesn’t really apply to this game. But it is important to the season and this game provides the perfect opportunity for it. Boise State should roll in this game, which means a chance for backups to play. If this does happen Boise State needs to start to identify some depth for the rest of the season. We are still looking for another legit threat on offense. I stand by, and will maintain, that 3 main play-makers will not win us conference championship. Hopefully in the 4th quarter of this game Boise State will get a chance to find the “next guy up” if needed.
Last week I get an A- only because I didn’t take it far enough. Yes I was dead on saying CSU would not rush for 155 yards on us. But even that prediction was high so I get docked down. This week, I am going to our side of the ball and saying Boise State breaks 50 points on offense for the first time this season. My official prediction as seen here, states we score 52. I am sticking with that and hoping I am conservative again. A huge statement win here even against the Huskies would be a great confidence boost moving forward.