Boise State Broncos (10-0 SU, 8-2 ATS) vs. Nevada Wolf Pack (10-1 SU, 5-6 ATS), 10:15 p.m. EST, College Football Week 13, Friday, November 26, 2010, Mackay Stadium, Reno, Nevada
By Scotty L of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: BSU -13.5/Nevada +13.5
Weekday specialists Boise State face their stiffest test since week one when they visit the Nevada Wolf Pack on Friday evening. Everything has been building up to this game for the Broncos. After seemingly endless weeks of beating the daylights out of lesser likes, they have a chance to make a BCS statement against the 19th-ranked Nevada-Reno squad.
This is how it was scripted for Boise State Broncos fanswins over Virginia Tech and Oregon State paving the way to an undefeated season with one possible speed bum and this is it. The Broncos seem to be dead-set on making a statement each and every week, as they are covering the spread and simply pounding teams. Those expecting a letdown last week in lieu of their big game this Friday were disappointed, as the Broncos shredded Fresno State 51-0.
If able to keep their spirits at a fever pitch for even their unthreatening conference rivals, imagine the spark the Broncos will have on Friday, as they get an opportunity to have one of these runaway massacres really count for something. One should expect a Broncos team that is peak and ready to put it on the line for 4 full quarters. They will have to do it on the road against a Nevada Wolf Packteam that cannot be overlooked.
There is good reason why Colin Kaepernick and Company has been perceived since the preseason as a team that could spoil a magical season for the Broncos. Their 52-6 butchering of New Mexico State last weekend was comparable to the 59-0 beating Boise State gave to that same team. QB Kaepernick is efficient, throwing for 66% completions with a 19/6 TD-INT ratio. He has also run for almost 100 yards and with running back Vai Taua going for over 1200 yards, this is the nations 4th-ranked rushing team. They are also 4th in points scored and 3rd in total yardage.
Therefore, it is within reason to believe this will not be a typical Boise State WAC cakewalk. After all, the Wolf Pack was somewhat competitive with the Broncos last year, losing 44-33. But this Boise State defense seems stingier. They have won all of their past 7 games by a combined score of 358-55, underscoring how difficult it has been to put up points against the Broncos this year. Nevada has been impressive also, but in their last 7 have outscored their opponents 306-165. They gave up 42 to Utah State and needed a 4th-quarter touchdown to rally and beat Fresno Statea team Boise State devoured. And most troubling is that Nevada lost to Hawaii, a team Boise State beat 42-7.
The gap between Boise State and Nevada might not be as close as some think. Against their 5 common foes this year, Boise State has outscored those opponents 252-21, while Nevada was only 4-1 against those same teams, outscoring them by an impressive, but more modest 205-97. The Nevada defense might be struggling in this game to stop Kellen Moore and his troop of playmakers. This defense gave up 400 yards passing to Utah State QB Diondre Borel; in addition to hefty amounts to just about every quarterback they faced this season. There seems to be little question that Boise State will be doing its thing on offense.
The difference this year will be the Broncos defense. The points they have given up were mostly after games were in hand. There will be no such let-up on Friday. The Broncos D will be playing with a finely honed edge. Nevada will give them a better run for their money than most teams this season, but it will take a lot more than that. Vai Taua will struggle against the nations top run defense, while Kaepernick finds the going tough against a keyed-in Broncos secondary, which has been excellent all season.
Scotty Ls Pick to Cover the Point Spread: While it is common knowledge that Boise State has been gearing up for this matchup, lets not overlook the motivation of a prideful Nevada team. This is also their key matchup of the season and a chance for them to put themselves on the map in a national sense. Expect this home Wolf Pack squad to be a handful on Friday. A close game at halftime shouldnt surprise anyone.
But the Broncos tide will be impossible to stem. Looking to make some noise in the BCS, Boise State will explode at points of this game and be playing with more urgency than they have all year. Nevada is a talented and well-coached team, but being the best-of-the-rest in the WAC isnt going to cut it against this Broncos team. While Boise States struggles with Virginia Tech and Oregon State might be better indicators of what will happen here, the Broncos looks a lot better at this point in the season. I see a score somewhere in the 52-21 area and another easy cover for Boise State. Take Boise State minus 13.5 points.