Here we go with our last game predictions of the 2015 season!
Derek – Bowl games are always tricky. You never know how motivated teams are going to be, who is going to be healthy by game-day, and what players are going to get in trouble before or during the bowl trip (Hi Tanner! Hi DSG!). You are also playing an opponent that you are probably not very familiar with, and in this case – have never played.
I think the Broncos will come out slow, but pick up steam as the game rolls on. NIU plays a lo of man defense which should be good news for Ryp, and on offense they have major questions at QB and have had a tough time running the ball. Boise State pulls away late, and ends up with nine wins to put the 2015 season to bed. Boise State 34 NIU 21
Jonathan – I’ll be honest I didn’t watch a single game that NIU played in this year. I have not watched a single snap until it was announced they would be playing Boise State in this bowl. I have since looked up some stuff and have done a little research. They seem to be good. Better than maybe their record shows. I think this will be a tough close game with Boise squeaking out in the end. The Broncos have to gain momentum going into next season. I believe that they have the offense to score a lot of points and score them quickly. They just need to fine tune the minor things. But back to this bowl, Boise State wins in a tight one. Boise State 27 NIU 24
Noel – I don’t see the Poinsettia Bowl as a bad thing for the Broncos. I see the match up against the Huskies as an opportunity to prove what a dominant Group of 5 team Boise State is. Not that I had any doubts. I believe this won’t be close. The Broncos will be up by 21 by half and then a steady dose of McWeapon will finish Northern Illinois off. Rypien gets SWR back so add another tool to the box. The Huskies are down a couple of quarterbacks and, unless the triple option is a new staple of their offense, the Darien Thompson-led defense will play super-inspired. If I remember right, a 9th win will give the Broncos 13 straight Senior classes with at least 40 wins. That’s going to happen. Boise State 45 Northern Illinois 24
Tami – This is an interesting match-up and statistically, a close one. Boise *should* win. However, it’s a bowl game coming after a month of distractions and anything can happen. We might have a Hawaii bowl situation going on, and must be prepared for that possibility. An entire off-season of listening to the media rattle about NIU out BSU-ing BSU sounds atrocious, so let’s hope the Broncos shut down the Huskies rushing attack and force them to pass, opening up scoring opportunities off turnovers and winning the battle of field position. Then the boys in Blue just need to keep their foot down. Boise State 38 Northern Illinois 28
Josh – I love the matchup, being that both teams are some of the best that “the Group of 5” has to offer. That being said, Boise State wins this. NIU is a great team, and almost had a chance at upsetting Ohio State this year, but their quarterback situation is in shambles. Who knows if the backup or the backup’s backup will be out there playing in this game…having Darian Thompson and Donte Deayon back will be a huge help to Boise State’s struggling pass-D. And the run-defense has been stout all year, Vallejo’s vacancy will feature a smooth transition with Joey Martarano filling it (hes done great all season, did you see his pick against SJSU??) If execution is there, this might be a blow out. Boise State 35 NIU 24