Wyoming Cowboys vs. Boise State Broncos Pick 11/9/19
Wyoming Cowboys (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS) vs. Boise State Broncos (7-1 SU, 4-3-1 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date and Time: Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 10:15PM EST
Where: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
Point Spread: WYO +12.5/BSU -12.5 (WagerWeb)
Over/Under Total: 47.5
In Mountain West Conference action from Albertsons Stadium, The Wyoming Cowboys take on the Boise State Broncos on Saturday. Wyoming is actually right in the thick of things at 6-2 and 3-1 in the conference. After having last week off after scoring a 31-3 win over Nevada, they now look forward to possibly scoring a signature win for this program. Boise State was able to win Saturday after suffering their first loss of the season, beating San Jose State on the road, 52-42. Will they get back to their prior form at home in this big conference game? Or can the Cowboys show that they are for real?
Is Everything OK with Boise?
Granted, they set high standards with a 6-0 start. And maybe being on the road for consecutive games took its toll. Losing to a scrappy home BYU team was a disappointment. But in falling behind to San Jose State and not covering the spread, while giving up 42 points shows that they’re not getting better over the course of the season. Some injuries on both sides of the ball have added up, and the main question is what kind of Boise team will we see from this point forward?
Losing RB Robert Mahone (questionable) to injury hurts, but the Boise offense is still tip-top. The Wyoming run-defense is really good, and while George Holani and Steve Van Buren had good games last week, it might get tougher here, and you have to wonder if the Broncos will run the ball as well this week. Freshman quarterback Hank Bachmaier can put up yards but seemed a little rusty back behind center against San Jose after missing some time. Boise looks for him to start putting up the numbers he was earlier in the season. And with playmakers like John Hightower, CT Thomas, and Khalil Shakir, it could happen. This would be a good week to start, against a Wyoming team whose secondary is not up to snuff.
A more significant concern might be the Boise defense. In the last three games, they haven’t been on-point. In their previous four games, they had allowed a combined total of 49 points. But in their past three games, they have allowed a total of 107 points. The secondary has been getting victimized with higher regularity, and on Saturday, San Jose’s Josh Love teed off on this “D” to the tune of 438 passing yards. Granted, they’ve been facing some tougher offenses and doing so on the road, but it’s still alarming. Against a Wyoming team that doesn’t air it out much, will we see better this week? Superior against the run, Boise might be more in their wheelhouse against a run-heavy Wyoming squad.
Wyoming Ready to Make a Move
Craig Bohl really has this Wyoming team pointed in the right direction, achieving a level of respectability after the program was in a prolonged funk. A win here would be a big boost, in terms of morale and even in the sense that it could put the Cowboys in a spot to contend for the conference title. After winning three in a row to open the season, they lost two of three in tough road games against Tulsa and San Diego State. But two straight wins at home have them ready to try their luck on the road again.
The Cowboys really run the heck out of the ball. Their aerial attack is negligible, led by the son of the Rocket with Raghib Ismail, Jr. with just 203 yards. QB Sean Chambers was at 43% completions, and they’re 6-2, so the run-game is what it’s all about. Losing Chambers for the season puts a real question mark over this offense. Just when things were looking up. Still, watching Wyoming thrive in spots this season, it’s not all about QB play. That doesn’t mean it won’t hurt, as this offense will miss Chambers’ leadership and legs, if not so much his arm.
Granted, backup Tyler Vander Waal was last year’s starter, but there will be a paradigm shift, with Vander Waal far less of a runner than Chambers was. The off-week came at just the right time to work Vander Waal back into the system. RB Xazavian Valladay leads the rush attack, with Titus Swen adding a lot in a run-game led by some interesting names and differently-skilled runners who will presumably get more work now with Vander Waal behind center. But despite the spike in Boise’s point-allowance, they remain rigid against the run, and it’s doubtful the Wyoming offense can exploit the dicey and compromised Broncos’ secondary.
An overlooked aspect of this game could be a Wyoming defense that is giving up an average of just 17.6 points a game. They’ve given up a total of 13 points in their last two games. They’re getting turnovers, getting after the quarterbacks, and playing really stout. Solomon Byrd and Garrett Crail make for a nice pass-rush, with LB Cassh Maluia (a playmaker in the middle) with Logan Wilson and Chad Muma. There are some real go-getters on this side of the ball. They have perhaps benefitted from playing certain offenses, ones that don’t have the firepower Boise has. And they have been leaky against the pass, despite the fact that it hasn’t been reflected fully in the number of points they’ve been allowing. I see some of that resonating in this game.
Take the Home Favorite
Last season might not even matter at this point with all the new faces and varying conditions, but Boise did mash Wyoming on their field last season, 34-14. But again, it might not matter, as most of the heavy hitters from that game have moved on. This Wyoming team is better, though they’re now on the road in what remains a tough place to play. Still, thinking back to all the money lost taking Boise at home, laying too many points gives one hesitation. Wyoming is a good team, and Boise is not peaking. Still, the matchups favor Boise. The things they do well are not countered by Wyoming’s strengths, while what the Cowboys do best doesn’t jibe as well with Boise’s assets. I see the Broncos getting it together more this week and pulling away enough for the cover.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Boise State Broncos minus 12.5 points.
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