BTN Predictions: Fresno State (Act Two)
The protagonist in any good drama often goes through some sort of hardship before pulling themselves out of despair and realizing triumph to close the story. This is no different for Boise State in this tale of back-to-back battles for Mountain West Conference bragging rights. Act One was a folly of football for the Broncos. Many (me) were scared that a game with no true meaning would result in a lackadaisical effort from our coaches and team. Although I have no doubt the players gave as much as they felt they needed to, the motivation of the coaches did not push them to give as much as was needed to win. The result of Act One was a team that was never really in the game, a confidence boost to the Fresno State fans and players (throat slashes and all), and perhaps a confidence killer for Boise State. Last week’s game has caused infighting between Bronco fans, spats between media personal and lowly bloggers, and head coaches accusing the fan base of being know-nothing Dorito munchers. The despair and hardship is real. This is where the protagonist changes the story.
Many, like former Boise State Bus driver Pat Forde, are “befuddled” that Boise could go from losing by 11 to be favored by 9, saying “The Blue Turf isn’t worth that much”.
Actually Mr. Forde, despite what Rocky Long might yell at the clouds, The Blue does have some mystique left in it, especially when it is necessary. On Saturday, December 2nd, it will be necessary. Our Broncs will be motivated by their less than stellar effort, as well as Bryan Harsin “hashing things out” with the team. Oh, and if that was not enough, the Bulldogs threatening to “Paint Boise Red” should put it over the top. Boise State’s coaches and team will be focused, and Act Two will have our protagonists, the Boise State Broncos achieving the triumph befitting any good action hero, as they gallop off into the cold, moonlit December night with their shiny MWC trophy. Boise State 34 Fresno 13
Stats the Broncos must improve upon in order to win on Saturday:
|Pass Efficiency||4th Down Efficiency||Penalty Yards||Rushing Yds Per Carry||Turnovers Forced|
|Season Avg @ Home||65%||“Pathetic”||55||3.4||2.2|
|Will it improve?||Likely||Not likely||Not likely||Likely*||Likely|
*This stat will actually likely improve due to the +1 yard improvement in YPC from Sept/Oct into November. The OL got much better over the season.
In pretty much every other facet of the game, BSU beat Fresno the other night, no matter how listless it felt to watch. Fresno just did the little things more effectively than our guys did.
If the Broncos can be as focused and clean as they were against Colorado State, which I feel is a pretty good comparison of the talent level of Fresno, the Broncos are going to celebrate Saturday night as Champions. I think Boise wins and I think the difference is either a special teams or defensive score. That ol’ Blue magic never dies. ✨ Boise 28 – Fresno 21
Much has been said in the lead up to this Mountain West Championship game. There really isn’t a lot left to pontificate about. Saturday night on The Blue, the Broncos will face off with the Bulldogs to decide Mountain West supremacy. I hate to be a spoiler, but I’m going to tell you exactly how this bad boy is going to go down.
The Broncos are going to win, and win comfortably. Boise State is more talented than Fresno, and on Saturday they are going to impose their will on the puppies from NorCal. Fresno will get theirs at times, but it won’t be nearly enough, folks. Bronco Nation is going to have a blast on Saturday!
Why such a large difference in one little week? Two reasons. One, the BSU defense has some easy adjustments that will confuse Fresno in the passing game with so-called exotic blitzes/fakes (disguising blitzing and dropping LBs and Safeties). Two, the Boise State offense moved the ball really well last week and were incredibly unlucky to score as little as they did. Watch Mattison go nuts this week with a big smile on your face. Boise 38 Fresnaw 20
Boise State struggled to score in the red zone and their defense didn’t manage to get a turnover. The defense was also torched by McMaryion who went for over 300 passing yards. The defense needs to make some adjustments (which I trust Avalos can do – you don’t cross Avalos twice in a row) and hopefully Jake Roh is back to help Boise State in their red zone struggles. If they can do both of these things I see Boise’s offense making a few more plays than Fresno on the Blue Turf. Boise State 27 Fresno State 21
My prediction last week was horribly awful but that’s pretty much the norm. Luckily, I get a second chance. Here are the keys this week: Attack their offensive line. Pound the rock. Diversify in the red zone. That will result in a victory. Broncos win 38-28!