I’m a Boise State alum, therefore I’m obligated to predict a victory. I will also take the typical “head/heart” approach to predicting, because I’m just like that.
I’ve made it clear this off-season, I’m suffering from fan PTSD after last year’s debacle of an opener in Seattle. Like most Bronco fans, I honest to God expected a close game, and instead was proven to be terribly wrong. That nightmare has left me cautious about this game in Atlanta. I’ll go on record with dreaming of a Boise State 23-20 win with Hedrick leading a late 4th quarter drive for the win, but my head says the Rebels win 33-14, this task being too much too soon for Harsin and his young team. Please 2014 Boise State Broncos, make my dream come true.
Let’s hope for more VT and less UW, Jeremy. Both teams have weaknesses that are offset by strengths on the other side of the ball. It’s going to come down to the basics – turnovers. time of possession, and execution. Hate boiling it down to those almost cliches, but it’s the truth. If Ole Miss starts completing rapid fire passes in the middle of the field and gets their tempo going as planned, it’s going to be a long night for Boise. If the Broncos defense can help eat up some clock for the offense without allowing points, the boys in blue (orange?) have a chance. The wildcard is going to be energy. The Rebels are apparently prepping by watching last season’s game film and feel like this should be a good day for them. The Broncos aren’t going to look much like last season’s game film and have been chomping at the bit for months to go hit somebody. The tiny homer in my heart believes that the ol’ Bronco Magic might be back with this team, and thus the guys are going to escape Atlanta with our miracle mojo intact, courtesy of Dead Center Dan Goodale’s foot: Broncos 27 – Rebels 24.
(Editors Note: Tami also asked a local psychic what might happen in this game. You can read about that here.)
I’ll get right to the point: THE BRONCOS WIN 28-24. The key to victory will be the aggressiveness of the defensive backfield. I predict 2 interceptions with at least one going for 6 in the game. I have this gut feeling that the boys will have what was missing the last 2 years. They’ll have the spark and motivation that they had in Atlanta 3 years ago. I expect a heavy dose of Jay, Matt Miller catches at least 8 passes and Shane Williams-Rhodes will break a long touchdown. I expect the future to be excessively attacked on both sides of the ball.
I know what you’re thinking. That’s a total homer pick. Yep. I’m a homer!
I am a lot like Jeremy here, the whole diehard alum thing makes the pick tricky. The more I work on my “5 Keys & 1 Prediction” article the more trouble I have with this. My heart says Boise State jumps on them early and holds on late. My head says we come out and struggle and fight to make it close. So here is my prediction – I am going Boise State 31 – Ole Miss 28. I am just gonna go with my heart and my belief this coaching staff is better this year, than what we had last year. I am not saying that statement discrediting anything Petersen was or is. I just think last year the entire team was in a funk, the coaches had checked out and the players fed off that. This year, our guys are motivated, and they have tons to prove. Hopefully, it all starts here.
This game all comes down to the offensive line play in my opinion. We have a young group there, and our two returning starters are playing at different positions. If these youngsters have gelled in fall camp and can both protect Grant and make holes for Jay, we will be in good shape. If they struggle, Jay will have a bad day and Grant will be pressured and more likely to turn the ball over. Unfortunately, I think our O-line struggles in this game, but I think their’s does as well, making for a low scoring affair. However the Boise D shows that they are back to the Marcel Yates way, and gives our team a chance. Dan Goodale hits the game winner as time expires for a 20-17 Boise State win.
Before I can get to my prediction, I feel as these 3 questions will provide insight on what outcome to expect (based on the answers) in the Georgia Dome: Can Boise State’s inexperienced offensive live create enough holes for Jay Ajayi and the rushing attack to set up the passing game? Will Boise State’s defense be able to match Ole Miss’s speed and force turnovers. Is Grant Hedrick able to make the big play when needed? Those are the 3 things I’ll be using as an indicator for when gauging my in game confidence-you should too.
I’m hard pressed to not pick Ole Miss, they are the manifest-solid SEC team. They will be stout on defense as most SEC teams are, and put VERY LARGE men in the trenches to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball; another staple of a SEC team. Conversely, it is presumed the Broncos biggest weakness this year will be their O-line and D-line.
But….. You didn’t think I could really pick Ole Miss did you…. Call it what you want, Homer-ism most suitably, but I believe in the luster that has been shining out of Boise, Idaho since the Broncos rallied the former troops led by Brian Harsin (could be the new helmets though). Furthermore, I think Harsin, Sanford, and Yates have prepared a strong concoction of Boise State’s previous playbook and combined it with the new material they learned coaching elsewhere. Or just simply, It’ll be them using this motto “Embrace the Past but Attack the Future”.
Boise State 31 – Ole Miss 27
There you have it Bronco Nation! What do you think will be the outcome? Post in our comments or hit us up on Twitter @TheBTN.