Boise State vs. New Mexico prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Friday night’s matchup between the Broncos and Lobos.
When: Friday, Oct. 7 – 9:00 p.m. ET
Where: University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
TV Broadcast: CBSSN
After starting the season off with three straight wins, head coach Bryan Harsin’s team made it an even four in a row after taking down Utah State on Saturday. The Broncos went into halftime with a 7-3 lead, and then added two more touchdowns in the second half to cruise to the 21-10 win.
On the opposite side of the field of Friday’s Mountain West showdown will be Bob Davie’s Lobos, who come into this game at 2-2. Back-to-back losses to New Mexico State and Rutgers put New Mexico in a position where it needed a win, and it responded by taking down San Jose State, 48-41. The Lobos went into halftime with a 31-20 lead. Despite allowing 21 points in the fourth quarter, New Mexico was able to hang on.
The all-time series between Boise State and New Mexico hasn’t been extensive, but the Broncos are in control, 6-1. The Lobos’ only win came last season in Boise, 31-24.
What To Know About Boise State
Jeremy McNichols is the real deal. If you don’t realize that by now, then start paying closer attention. The Broncos gave him a heavy workload with 30 carries against Utah State, and the tailback took them for 132 yards. After getting nine carries in the season opener, McNichols has seen his touches go up every week since. He didn’t break into the end zone on the ground last week, but he did add six catches for 73 yards and a score on a pass from wide receiver Cedric Wilson.
Sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien was also solid against Utah State. He completed 15-of-24 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. After a touchdown throw to Thomas Sperbeck in the third quarter, Rypien slung a 36-yard scoring pass to Wilson.
What to Know About New Mexico
The Lobos really took it to the ground last week, leaning heavily on Tyrone Owens and Teriyon Gipson who combined for 273 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. Richard McQuarley didn’t do as much damage with his 16 carries in terms of yards (83), but he did punch into the end zone three times.
Quarterback Lamar Jordan also used his legs to move the sticks. He ran the ball 13 times for 45 yards, but he wasn’t exactly dependable when dropping back. Jordan completed 4-of-8 passes for 45 yards and an interception.
Offense: Boise State – This isn’t even close. The Broncos are way more balanced and field a much better quarterback.
Defense: New Mexico – The Lobos are ranked higher in both total defense and turnover margin. With Dakota Cox leading the charge, New Mexico gets the edge.
Special Teams: Boise State – Tyler Rausa has been solid kicking the football. And with Wilson and McNichols in the return game, the Broncos get the nod.
Coaching: Boise State – Davie has plenty of experience, but Harsin is working with a more talented staff and more weapons on offense.
Matchup To Watch
Jeremy McNichols vs. New Mexico front seven
The Lobos have to find a way to get some early penetration and land some hits on McNichols in the backfield. If they can maintain gap control and fire off the ball, that could force Boise State to turn to the passing game a little more than it wants to. New Mexico will have to guard against McNichols’ ability to catch out of the backfield, too. The Broncos can open up the deep part of the field if they can make the Lobos guard against the underneath throws to McNichols.
Spread: Boise State -17
Boise State vs. New Mexico Prediction
McNichols may not have rushed for a touchdown last week, but he will this time around. He’ll tote the rock and do damage, but he’ll also get a few “extended handoffs” in the passing game and burn the Lobos with his versatility. Rypien will take care of the football and will keep the running lanes open for McNichols by delivering dimes to Wilson and Sperbeck. Without having to defend the pass, the Broncos will stack the box and dedicate themselves to shutting down New Mexico’s running game. Boise State wins this one by three possessions.
Boise State vs. New Mexico Score Prediction: Boise State 38, New Mexico 17