Boise State Broncos (4-0 SU, 1-3 ATS) vs. New Mexico Lobos (2-1 SU, 1-3 ATS)
College Football Week 6
Date/Time: Friday, October 7, 2016 at 9PM EST
Where: University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
TV: CBS Sports Network
by Scott, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BSU -17/UNM +17
Over/Under Total: 60.5
The Boise State Broncos come to Albuquerque to face the New Mexico Lobos on Friday night in Mountain West Conference action. New Mexico won a slugfest on Saturday with a 48-41 win over San Jose State. The win moved them to 2-2 on the season and 1-0 in conference. Boise State pushed their record to 4-0 on Saturday with a 21-10 win over Utah State. The can now turn their attention on a Lobos bunch that upset them last season.
For those who remember, its hard to forget last seasons matchup between these two teams. New Mexico was a staggering 31-point underdog. Using a monstrous run-game, the Lobos emerged 7-point winners, making a mockery of the point spread in the process. Still, Boise State remembers that and will be gunning hard to avoid a repeat. Unbeaten and looking for a big year, last year will likely serve to make them more on-point for this game than they otherwise may have been.
New Mexico seemed to make it harder than they needed to on Saturday. They carried a 41-20 lead into the final quarter, before two straight SJSU touchdowns narrowed the lead. At the end of the day, New Mexico emerged with the win and when youre the Lobos, thats what counts. On Saturday, the Lobos went with Lamar Jordan at QB. He was 4-for-8 for 45 yards and a pick. The Lobos run the heck out the ball and they did so on Saturday, with 446 yards on the ground. Teriyon Gipson (questionable) led the way with 156 yards and a score. Tyrone Owens was also over 100 with a score, while Richard McQuarley added 83 yards on the ground with three scores. He has seven touchdowns in just 4 games. They are second in the country in rushing. They might be imbalanced, but you have to watch out for teams like the Lobos that do one thing really well.
The Lobos, at the end of the day, are on the way up. In Bob Davies 5th year, they have gone from a laughingstock to a bowl team. They were 1-11 the year before Davie showed up. Gradually, they climbed their way up and theyre now a team that can make things happen, as they showed last season with some big wins, including one over the team theyre playing this week. Lending even more optimism is a defense that should come around, with it being Davies best unit yet. Through 4 games, the results have been mixed.
Against the tough Utah State Aggies, Boise St. was able to emerge with a 21-10 win. It was good in a way to see them be able to win a grinding sort of game where resourcefulness is a greater trait than explosiveness. On one hand, theyre once again ranked and on the way up, but they havent covered the spread in their last three games. Still, with wins over Washington State and Oregon State, theyve beaten two Pac-12 teams and after winning their conference opener against Utah State on Saturday, they now turn their attention to the meat of their MWC schedule.
The Broncos werent as explosive offensively on Saturday against the resolute Aggies. Brett Rypien threw a pair of TD passes, with Cedrick Wilson adding another. The key to this offense, other than Rypien, is running back Jeremy McNichols, who provided a workhorse RB performance with 132 yards on 30 carries, while adding 6 receptions for 73 yards and a score. He caught a 61-yard TD reception. Thomas Sperbeck added 6 catches and a score, with Wilson also catching a touchdown, in addition to throwing one. Its a balanced offense that can do a lot of damage, though they really didnt on Saturday.
It should be interesting to see how the Boise State defense matches up with the run-heavy Lobos offense. So far this season, opponents are getting very little on the ground against the Broncos. And the teams theyve played have had success running the ball in other spots. And for a line that had a lot of replacing to do, thats good news. But the pass-defense hasnt been looking too good, which might not hurt them too much in this game.
Well see if the Broncos defense can withstand the New Mexico run-game and the game-planning of Bob Davie, who seemed to have all the right answers last season, when they scored one of the biggest upsets of the season in terms of points. Look for Davies acumen to again play a role this season. And just as New Mexico was facing a tough road game last season, so are the Broncos this week coming into the bog of University Stadium. Its a tricky road spot for Boise.
I see a similar game to the one Boise had with Utah State this past week, more of a grind than some might be forecasting. Boise beat Utah State with the Aggies playing without their best running back. The more robust Lobos ground-game will make an impact, while we perhaps see their defense play well across all phases, as the Lobos notch the big cover at home.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the New Mexico Lobos plus 17 points.
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