San Jose State Spartans (3-6 SU, 3-5 ATS) vs. Boise State Broncos (7-1 SU, 2-6 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Friday, November 4, 2016 at 10:15PM EST
Where: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
by Scott, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SJSU +29/BSU -29
Over/Under Total: 57.5
The San Jose State Spartans come into Albertsons Stadium to face the Boise State Broncos on Friday in Mountain West action. Boise State saw their run at an unbeaten season ended last Saturday in a 30-28 loss to surging Wyoming. Boise State is still 7-1 and looks to get back on the winning track, though you have to wonder if the loss will leave them in a depleted state. They would need to be for San Jose State to stand a chance. The Spartans are 3-6 but have won 2 of their last three, including a home win over UNLV on Saturday.
Overall the Mountain West might be a weak conference, but there are any number of dangerous teams abound, as the Broncos well found out on Saturday. Boise got off to a 14-0 lead. Wyoming hung in there, but a Brett Rypien TD pass to Thomas Sperbeck extended their lead to 8 in the 4th quarter. Wyoming scored a TD and a two-point conversion to tie the game. With Boise pinned against their own end zone with less than 2 minutes left, Wyoming registered a safety for the two-point win, as they ran out the clock.
Boise had been playing teams close leading up to the loss at Wyoming. The previous week, they scored a narrow home win over dangerous BYU and the week before, they went to the wire with Colorado State. On one hand, we had a Boise State team that got off to a big 7-0 start. At the same time, they had covered just one spread since opening week. Their defense had begin to show less overall robustness and the high-flying offense has now scored a more modest 28 points in three straight games.
Again, the opponents the Broncos have been playing have been better than advertised and really put forth sterling efforts against Boise in those games. Brett Rypien can really sling it, though some picks in the past two games have been costly. The offense can rely on a top back in Jeremy McNichols, who has run for 14 touchdowns on 1058 yards. He is also near 400 yards receiving with 4 TD receptions. Sperbeck is a top performer in this conference with 890 yards receiving. He has even thrown 3 TD passes on trick plays. Cedric Wilson is also a consistent producer in the offense with 6 TD grabs on 584 yards through the air.
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The Boise defense has taken a step back in the past month. Still, they’re a group that can make some things happen. They rush the heck out of the passer. The one issue is that they can’t really seem to secure a turnover, with just three interceptions and a single recovered fumble. They’re OK across most areas, but we’ve seen them get exploited both on the ground and in the air.
Watching San Jose the past few weeks, there has been some improvement, other than when they were decimated by the San Diego State Aztecs a few weeks ago. They scored two home wins against Nevada and UNLV, showing there is still some life in this team’s legs after some rough outings. At home, they’re not half-bad in certain spots. On the road, however, they are 0-4, with three of the losses by 34 or more points.
Senior quarterback Kenny Potter has been making the most of what he has, with 14 TD passes against 6 picks. And Potter has been useful in spots with his legs, running for four touchdowns. Still, they’re a pretty tepid group on most fronts, accounting for 23 points per game on the season. In the run, they have Malik Roberson, Zamore Zigler, and Deontae Cooper—a sometimes effective, but rather non-impactful trio of running backs. In the air, Potter looks for Tre Hartley, Justin Holmes, and Tim Crawley. There have been a few times they’ve gone off for a lot of production this season, but for the most part, they’re a pretty lackluster group.
The San Jose State “D” is ranked 115th against the run this season. Like last season, their high rankings in the pass-defense category are both a product of good secondary play and the other team having so much success with the run that they eschew the aerial game. Still, one bristles when thinking of what Boise will do on the ground at home against this bunch. Last season, the Broncos threw up 300 yards on the ground against this defense, with McNichols going off for a big game. Still Boise State won by only 17, which wouldn’t come close to covering the spread this week. This “D” can also get turnovers with 16 on the season. In last year’s game, Potter threw for 336 yards and they were marginally competitive. Granted, this one is in Boise. Boise State is better this year, though not necessarily as of late.
Considering a lot of different things, the point spread is somewhat jarring at close to 30 points. Boise St. hasn’t been looking very good, is coming off a very deflating loss, and could easily not be at their best against a team that hasn’t given up. At the same time, San Jose’s dismal form on the road is not a mirage. They’ve really been awful and even with 29 points, there’s something unattractive about taking a team that might be spending most of its time hanging on for dear life. I’m taking the Broncos.
Scott's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Boise State Broncos minus 29 points.
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