With the Utah Aggies starting quarterback, Chuckie Keeton, out for the year the Boise State secondary can breathe a collective sigh of relief. That said, the secondary has come a long way since the Udub drubbing they were handed at the arm of Keith Price. It turns out our secondary my not have done as bad against Udub as we thought. He had very similar numbers against Stanford last week.
It turns out also that Fresno’s Derek Carr had his lowest completion percentage thus far this year against Boise. Considering his talent and experience and Boise’s lack of experience in the secondary the Bronco’s did fairly good although they did allow 460 passing yards. Certainly the ineffective pass rush that Boise had against Fresno didn’t help the secondary either.
The pass rush is starting to look better. It looks like the d-line and secondary are coming together at the mid-season mark.
Utah State’s crippled offense will not move the ball against the Boise State’s emerging defense.
What about the Southwick, I mean offense?
Bummer: Baltazar is out with an ACL.
That means more work for Ajayi or somebody has to step up. At running back there are plenty of horses in the stable; Jack Fields, Charles Bertoli, DerrickThomas, and Devon Demas.
Losing your number two running back is almost as bad as losing your number one. Ajayi has to carry the rock and not give it up. He has to stay healthy. Ajayi runs with such determination that he is capable of breaking off a long run at any time.
Right now defenses against Boise are playing bunched near the line of scrimmage. In order for the running backs to put up bigger numbers the passing game must go beyond the sideline screens and quick flips over the center. Boise has to move the safeties and linebackers from near the line of scrimmage with longer pass routes.
Dallas Burroughs has looked really good the last couple of games on kick returns. He seems to have little more speed than Shane Williams-Rhodes and is able to get up field faster. I hope he gets no more than two opportunities to take the field on the receiving team during each game the rest of the season. Look for him to become more involved in deep routes.
In the Aggies game against BYU last week, Cougar’s quarterback Taysom Hill who is a 43% passer on the season looked like a NFL draft pick against Utah State. Southwick and his crew of receivers should have a good game.
Can the Aggies’ stop the Boise State offence and Southwick? No. Will the Broncos’ defense stop Utah State? Yes.
I originally thought the game may be 52-7 (I drink the Bronco Kool-ade), but showing deference to the odds makers (+7) adjusted it to a 35-7 game.
Thus far here are my previous predictions:
Boise over UW 35-17 (Actual, 6-38 UW, hope springs eternal.)
Boise over UT Martin 49-0 (Actual 63-14, got the spread.)
Boise over Air Force 45-17 (Actual, 42-20, missed by a field goal on both ends.)
Boise over Fresno 45-30 (Actual 41-40 Fresno win, Frankly if the game were held any place, but Fresno…)
Boise over Southern Miss (49-10) (Actual 60-7, Petersen purposely left the first team in too long to foil me and Demarcus Lawrence was off-sides on one of his blocked field goals [not really, I’m just a sore loser})