BTN Predictions – Week 6: At Nevada
After the Louisiana game a couple of weeks ago, it appeared that Boise State was starting to put it all together. The defense continued to dominate, Grant Hedrick had a solid game, and we were seeing signs of the ball being spread around to more than just the “Big Three”. There were definitely reasons to be optimistic heading into the Air Force game. I expected a tough, close game – especially considering how the Broncos have fared on the road recently – but was not expecting to be dominated like we were by the Falcons. Many people used the word “debacle”, and it truly was. The results of the past two games truly make it hard to predict this one. Was the Air Force game an anomaly? Was it just some growing pains of a new staff and the players continuing to learn together? Or was that what this team is – average at best – going to win some and lose some? If you know me, read my writings, or follow me on Twitter, you know that I am an optimist – to a fault maybe – and that will not change. I see no reason to think negatively or doubt what myself, others, or this football team are capable of. I am concerned about going on the road still, however this game typically has more Bronco fans attending than any other road trip. I also think the Air Force game was a wake up call to both the coaches and the team. I am not going to go into specifics about what players are key, which sides of the ball have the advantage, or how this game goes. This game will be an emotional one, both because of who and where we are playing, and what happened last week, so this is a purely emotional pick. Boise State bounces back, and continues to grow under Harsin and staff. Boise State 31 – Nevada 21.
Nevada is a pretty good team. The Wolf Pack’s only loss so far came at the hands of Arizona, the team that beat Oregon at Autzen on Thursday night. Boise is a very talented team who is still trying to find consistency. The performance last week at Air Force makes this game quite hard to predict – I know what I want to see out of the Broncos, but a big run game, some nice deep throws to open up the field for Jay, and a shut-down defense may be more than we can hope for. The X factor is the fact that Nevada is the closest thing we have to a rivalry, and the hate is palpable. Losing to them would be a tremendous blow. So, assuming that Grant has his confidence back, the coaches are on and have everybody ready, and that some of the guys that have been out injured are able to come back (hi there defense), Boise should be able to make this a game. I’m homering it up and calling for a win for the good guys: Boise State 28 – Nevada 24.
Dan Goodale, please be ready. We’re going to need Dead Center Dan to go to Reno and kick a ball just to watch a man and his middle fingers die.
I’m on the fence about this one. Last week was a horrid week on the field for Grant Hedrick and, if he paid any attention to the fan base, he didn’t have a good time post-game either. His mindset is one of the keys to the game. If his head is on straight, the offense will be sufficient. The other key is the defense. Coach Harsin and CoachYates can take some cues from Arizona’s defense on gap-integrity. and how to contain a “running” quarterback. Fajardo can eat teams up on the ground. Here’s how I see it – Broncos offense performs and the defense destroys the Nevada running game. Broncos win 35-20 and I lob double-birds at Nevada fan on the TV.
This game might be a defining point in an already up and down season. As Derek pointed out – after beating the Ragin’ Cajuns – Boise State fans felt like the Broncos might have their mojo back, potentially leading to a chain of W’s. I felt this way myself. Short lived serenity to say the least. Air Force kindly provided a needle to Boise State’s balloon of confidence and the Broncos offense inserted it for them; with not 1.. not 2.. not 3.. but 7 turnovers.
I’ve tossed and turned all week about this game. My stabbing paranoia has me thinking the Broncos will under perform again and Nevada will win – allowing their egotistical fans to boast it in the Broncos face 2010 style. Then, on the other hand, my usual homerism has me thinking the Broncos will storm into Reno with a “F this” mentality – F last week, F the season opener, and F you Nevada. Checks to make sure I’m not a 13-year-old girl.
I’m so atrocious at predicting final scores or even coming close (check out my previous predictions) therefore I’m going to plead the 5th on guessing this weeks final score and do so because of my superstitious nature. I will predict a close game though. Maybe even OT? Yikes. I don’t know if my heart can handle OT. But… if there are more than three “wtf Grant?” moments, prepare for another sad week in Bronco land.
I am not sure what to even say here honestly. I look at the Air Force game and then I look at the this game and I get worried. When you watch the turnovers of Hedrick my concern was a lot of throws were just inaccurate. Going into Reno the pressure on him is going to be a lot, can he handle it? I guess we will find out, but I don’t have a great feeling about it. Even with all that though, I have to remind myself I trust Harsin when it comes to the QB position and this can be no different. My other major concern going into Reno is looking at Jay Ajayi’s stat line on the road this year. If you follow me on Twitter you might have seen it, but if not here is what you need to know.
Jay Ajayi at home averages 6.1 yards per carry this season – on the road this season, 3.4.
So for us to win, Jay has to break this bad start to the road this season, and Hedrick has to be a completely different QB. Oh and I can’t forget the defense has to continue to dominate at an incredible level… Yeah, I think you guys know where I am going with this…And that is despite all this, Boise State thrives in positions like this, this is what makes BSU great. Broncos win 34 – 17.