Boise State Broncos(2-2SU,2-2ATS) vs.BYU Cougars(1-4SU,0-5ATS)
College Football Week 6
Date/Time:Friday, October 6, 2017 at 10:15PM EST
Where:LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah
Point Spread:BSU -9/BYU +9
On Friday, the Boise State Broncos face the BYU Cougars in a game that has recently become a big rivalry. Some of the juice is gone from this years pairing of these two teams, as each squad is still working on who they are as a team. Boise had a week off following a rough 42-23 loss at home to Virginia in a game where they were two-touchdown favorites. They hope that time was put to good use, as they now visit the 1-4 Cougars. Last week, the Cougars dropped their fourth in a row in an ugly 40-24 loss to Utah State. Brigham Youngs only win this season was a week one win over Portland State.
Boise has never won in Provo, despite having only played there twice before. And those were against BYU teams that looked a little better than the one they will see this week. But this is not a Boise team that can play with the motivation-switch against underpowered teams like they did in the past, as they look to be a team that will need to start figuring out how to play a full 60 minutes of football. There just seems to be a chasm on this team right now, as the transition on both sides of the ball hasnt gone nearly as smoothly as some had hoped.
The Boise State offense hasnt quite turned over yet this season. Starting QB Brett Rypien, a third year starter, has yet to throw a touchdown. Back-up Montell Cozart, however, has thrown six and leads the team in rushing. And while Cozart has been decent, it shows how much they miss having a top back, as Jeremy McNichols replacements have not been up to par. They do have a legit weapon in Cedrick Wilson, one of the more explosive players in the conference, but getting him to shine weekly has been a struggle. A big part of the problem is a young offensive line that returned one starter from last season. And the rest of the guys have not been very adept at stopping the pass-rush or in opening holes for the run-game.
The Boise defense was understandably run over by Washington State some, but that happens to a lot of defenses. If anything, it reflects well on the Broncos to so nearly beat a nationally-ranked team like Washington St., late collapse notwithstanding. But the Virginia game painted this defense in a very poor light. To give up 42 points at home to Virginia is something that isnt easy to sugar-coat. Until shown differently, this D cannot be considered a bankable unit. Maybe they can get better results against a struggling BYU group.
For the Cougars, the results are even worse. The 2017 season opened with a tepid win over the FCS Portland State. A shutout loss to LSU followed, before they hung in there well against Utah, losing only 19-13. But a 40-6 loss to Wisconsin and the 16-point loss to Utah St. has them searching for answers. On top of that, they are dealing with injuries and a lack of offensive firepower. Can their defense keep them in this game against a struggling Boise bunch?
The BYU offense has been in the dumps all season and has now been working without QB Tanner Mangum. In his place, we have seen Beau Hoge (questionable) and Koy Detmer, Jr. Hoge has a head injury and Detmer looked completely unprepared when thrown into action against Utah State. It would be helpful to have Mangum back in there. He grew up watching Boise State games and some might recall in 2015 how his Hail Mary was the key in beating the Broncos. Either way, this side of the ball has had it very tough. They turn the ball over a ton and lack any real playmakers. Backs Ula Tolutau and Squally Canada are decent, but hardly game-changing and the aerial game has been grounded.
Defense is really the Cougars best hope as they hunt down elusive victories over the rest of the 2017 season. It can keep them in games. Despite the loss to Utah State, the pass-rush started to come alive and that would really come in handy this week. They have been exploited at times this season, but against teams that were out of their element, other than the 40 they allowed to Utah State in their last game. But all things considered, especially with an offense that isnt providing adequate support, they havent been all that bad. And they look for better success this week against what has been a dicey Boise front.
I see the extra week helping head coach Bryan Harsin get this Boise squad more-together. With the extra time and facing a winnable situation to get the season back on-track, I expect a full Boise effort this week in Provo. The Utah grittiness will keep this one close for a while, but thats when the extra energy for Boise will kick in. I envision a strong late-finish enabling the Broncos to get some separation from a beleaguered BYU team. I see the Broncos covering the spread in this one.
Scott’sPick to Cover the Point Spread:Im betting on the Boise State Broncos minus 9 points. Move the line on this game up to 20 points by inserting it into a 20 point football teaser at the web’s best sportsbook: 5dimes!