In recent years Boise State has the reputation of putting it all on the line on the first game, by traveling to play tough opponents on their turf.
No other team has more difficulty recovering from in the polls from a loss than Boise State. They can’t afford a loss. Note Dame can have a losing season and have an impressive win and show up in the top 25. Boise can win a game and fall.
This Saturday once again Boise State is letting it all ride on the first game.
Last year’s first game was against highly touted Michigan State. State played good enough to win and knock Boise from any serious contention of entering the elites in the polls last year. Although if the game were played in the middle of the season Boise would have likely beat them.
Friday’s opener is against the University of Washington Huskies, a team they squeaked out a victory with in last year’s MAACO Bowl.
The Huskies will enter the game playing in front of a hometown crowd in a recently remodeled stadium and a strong desire to avenge last year’s loss. They have the emotional advantage.
Boise relishes that type of challenge. Recent games at Oregon, Virginia Tech, and Georgia show that. Highly emotionally charged partisan crowds don’t seem to faze them.
Southwick may start out with the jitters. Ajayi will be calm, cool, collected and punishing. It would not surprise me to see Baltazar make an appearance and make headlines. I don’t think there is anyway Washington can match up with Boise’s receivers.
Demarcus Lawrence and UW quarterback Keith Price will be on a first name basis after the game.
I look for Washington to dominate the first half of the first quarter and that’s it. They will peter-out. I look for the score to be 10 – 7 at the end of the first quarter, Washington. In the second quarter Boise will score 21 unanswered points going into the half-time locker rooms with a 28 – 10 lead.
Boise will score 17 more in the second half and it makes little difference what Washington does. My best hoped for prediction is Boise, 45 – 10. The worst is a loss, of course, but in my humble opinion the closest the game can get is 35 – 17, Boise.