BYU vs. Boise State prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen in Thursday’s game between the Cougars and Broncos.
BYU’s three losses have come by an average score of 2.33 points, and its defense has proven able to clog the pipes against some pretty solid offensive teams. Meanwhile, the last time I bet against Boise State, Brett Rypien had the best game of the season. What to do, what to do?
I’ll go with the Broncos, at home, in front of a crowd that truly believes it should be a part of the College Football Playoff. It wouldn’t surprise me if BYU won, but I just don’t think the pass defense can contain all of Boise’s weapons. There’s also the revenge factor from last year’s game, which Boise let slip away by allowing 21 fourth-quarter points.
Boise State will likely give Jeremy McNichols a heavy workload once again, both on the ground and as a pass-catcher. Meanwhile, Jamaal Williams paces a Cougars rushing attack that is ranked No. 39 in the FBS. It’s tough to pick against Taysom Hill, because he is capable of putting the Cougars on his back, and BYU has won three consecutive games (Toledo, Michigan State and Mississippi State). However, I think the gauntlet catches up with the Cougars a little bit. Brett Rypien, who’s completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 1,622 yards and 12 touchdowns against just three interceptions, is the difference. A couple of second-half scoring passes, and the Broncos’ No. 23 scoring defense are the difference in a win for Bryan Harsin’s crew.
Two top-5 rushers and a solid ground game for both the Broncos and the Cougars make me believe this will come down the to other offensive weapons. Sign me up for Sperback and the Rypiens (Jesse and the Rippers – Forever. This is really taking me back – but I digress). Brett Rypien and his star wideouts are going to work, as Sperbeck and Wilson have combined for over 1100 yards and 11 TDs. Rypien has thrown 12 this season. The running game will be on display for both sides, but the Broncos’ ability to air it out will be the difference.
Boise State fans were ripping me on Twitter (and apparently on a message board) two weeks ago for things I said about the blue turf, them not playing anyone, and the fact that, in the end, the best thing Chris Petersen ever did was leave town. Well, good news Broncos fans: I am going to be in Boise on Thursday for this matchup so bring all the vitriol and hatred you can towards me.
Nah, I’m joking. I will be here in the Campus Insiders offices typing away and ticking off other fan bases. Boise State wins on the Smurf Turf, and Broncos fans will seriously start to think they could beat Bama.