BYU Cougars vs. Boise State Broncos Prediction and Preview

Broncos look to extend their winning streak to four when they host the Cougars

A made-for-TV western matchup in BYU vs. Boise State has a new installment this week. This has been a series that has been an annual matchup since the 2012 season and will continue until '23.

 

Boise State has pretty much dominated the series against BYU, winning four of the six games in the long-term scheduling agreement. The Broncos are 6-2 all-time against BYU.

 

BYU has never won on the blue turf and coming off of a shocking loss to Northern Illinois a week ago at home, this isn’t looking like the best chance to get their first win in Boise, but the Cougars have shocked us many times already this season. Can they do it again?

 

Boise State’s offense is powerful. The Broncos are 13th in the country, putting up 486.4 yards per game. The 40.1 points per game (15th) isn't too shabby either.

 

BYU at Boise State

 

Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 10:15 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN2

Spread: Boise State -13

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Boise State looking to dominate, enter College Football Playoff rankings

Boise’s two losses are nothing to scoff at this year. Oklahoma State is having a dip year compared to seasons past in Stillwater, but the Cowboys just beat Texas a week ago. That’s a good team. The same goes for Boise’s other loss to San Diego State, who defeated the Broncos in Boise. This BYU game is an opportunity for Boise to make a statement and dominate an opponent on national TV to state its case to the College Football Playoff selection committee. The Broncos have more games on their schedule. Don't ever sleep on this team getting back into the race to be the Group of 5 representative in the New Year’s Six.

 

2. BYU looking to be aggressive

What BYU did on offense against Northern Illinois is definitely not going to work against Boise State. The Broncos can put up points in bunches (40.1 ppg) while the Cougars managed just two field goals in last week's home loss to the Huskies. BYU head coach Kalani Sitake wants the Cougar offense to “let it rip” and be more aggressive. That tells me one thing, air it out and play with tempo which aligns with the style of play that suits their quarterback, Zach Wilson, the best.

 

3. Boise offense vs. BYU defense

BYU’s defense is the one hope for it to potentially pull off an upset. The Cougar defense hasn’t been creative this year, but they are solid and they have size to counter Boise’s offensive line. If BYU can keep Boise State’s offense around 24 points, the Cougars will have a shot. Their defense kept the Broncos in check last year, holding them to 24 points. This time, BYU hopes it has an offense that can make some plays. But this Boise State offense is better than a year ago. Quarterback Brett Rypien has had some struggles, even getting benched a few weeks ago, but he's averaging well over 300 passing yards per game and has a 23:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Couple that with the running game, and this is the best offense the Cougars have faced since Utah State. And remember how that game played out.

 

Final Analysis

 

Boise State is the better football team. There’s no doubt in my mind about that. If BYU gets some takeaways, this game will be close, but I don’t see that happening. Look for Boise State to get out to a fast start and build a two-touchdown lead. BYU will fight back and hang around to keep it somewhat close, but the Broncos will pull away late. Boise State has too many playmakers on the edges for the Cougars to keep up with.

 

Prediction: Boise State 37, BYU 20

 

— Written by Mitch Harper, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Harper is BYU Insider for ESPN 960 Sports and Publisher of Cougar Nation, part of the Rivals network. Follow him on Twitter @Mitch_Harper.

 

(Top photo courtesy of broncosports.com)

Event Sport: 
College Football
Event Date: 
Saturday, November 3, 2018 - 22:15
Event Location: 
Albertsons Stadium, 1400 Bronco Ln, Boise, ID 83706
Away Team: 
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