Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. Boise State Broncos (6-0, 5-1 ATS), 8:00 pm EST, College Football Week 8, Tuesday, October 26, 2010, Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho
By Scotty L of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Louisiana Tech OFF/BSU OFF
Over/Under Total: OFF
The Boise State Broncos continue their quest to an undefeated season and possible National Championship as they host the surging Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in a Tuesday night game. With top-ranked teams falling off precipitously, the lofty hopes of the Broncos become more and more realistic. But they have to take care of business in games like these and hope for a little help.
After Boise State passed its early-season tests against Virginia Tech and Oregon State, one might have expected them to take the foot off the gas as they settled into the easier part of their schedule. No such luck for opponents, as Boise State has covered in its last 3 gamescontests in which they were favored from 38-43 points. In their last 3, they have outscored their opponents 164-14. Its clear they are not in auto-pilot/cruise-control mode, as they have had a steely mental edge in all of their games.
Give the Louisiana Tech squad some well-deserved credit. After a 1-4 start where they only beat Grambling, they have won 2 straight, beating Utah State 24-6 and, more impressively, hammering Idaho 48-35 last week. They have shown a high level of spirit and their offense is quite strong. Senior QB Ross Jenkins has flourished with more playing time, completing 70% of his passes this season. He put up a robust 422 yards against Idaho and is hitting his stride. Ball catchers Taulib Ikharo (31 receptions) and Richie Casey (28 receptions) lead a deep unit of ball-catching threats on offense. Running back Lennon Creer is dependable, averaging 6 yards per carry.
The Bulldogs always seem to have the combination of a powerful offense with a defense that gives up a lot of points. This season, Louisiana Techs defensive unit is ranked 110th in total yards and 119th in passing yards allowed. Against the potent home offense of Boise State, this could be a disastrous formula, but they sometimes manage to remain competitive against their powerful conference rival. Last season, Boise State only won 45-35. In 2007, the Bulldogs only lost to the tune of 45-31. While not great results, they show that Louisiana Tech can sometimes answer the call and at least avoid getting blown out of the game.
But if you think Boise State is a lot sharper this year than in other years, you might be right. Its time Kellen Moore gets more credit, as he is putting together another incredible yearpassing for 1567 yards and throwing 16 touchdowns against only one interception. Last season, he threw 39 touchdowns against 3 picks. The guy is the picture of efficiency. Jeremy Avery and Doug Martin are having good seasons out of the backfield, with Titus Young and Austin Pettis catching a lot of balls. They are ranked 3rd in total points scored and 4th in total yards.
But we already know what a high-flying offense they have. On defense, they are number-one in the nation in total and rushing yards allowed, 3rd in points allowed and 5th in passing yards allowed. Sure, these standout stats were compiled against some mediocre teams, but that doesnt tell the whole story. I dont think you can doubt that Boise State is one of the better-rounded teams in the country.
Scotty Ls Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Broncos seem to have come out with an attitude this year that theyre going to leave it all on the field. We have seen no letdowns in positions where many teams would have taken a bit of a break. Perhaps, they are due. Not that theyll take a week off, but a small mental letdown could take place. Even the biggest negative-Nellie cant justify Louisiana Tech as a terribly legitimate threat. This is probably, on paper, Boise States easiest game left on the schedule.
I see Louisiana Tech having good motivation for this game and giving it all theyve got. This is their only visible spot of the year, playing a top team in a Tuesday game. All eyes will be on them, so expect at least a prideful showing, if not an altogether competitive one. They have nothing to lose and should be relaxed and confident coming off a few wins. Last week, Boise State outscored San Jose State 41-0 in the 1st half, but then took their foot off the gasonly outscoring their hapless opponent 7-0 in the 2nd half. I see some version of that this week, only that Louisiana Tech has the offense to squeak in enough points along the way to get a cover. Take the Louisiana State Bulldogs and the points as this week’s line will surely have some big underdog value with Joe Public thinking that the Broncos are a covering machine.