Is this a rivalry yet? BYU squares off versus Boise State

BYU at Boise State

When: Thursday, October 20, 2016

Kickoff: 8:15 PM MT

Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho

TV: ESPN, WatchESPN

Radio: BYU – Here  Boise State – Here

Line: BSU -7, O/U — 58

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen: the non-rivalry rivalry.  The Notre Dame-Michigan non-rivalry of the Group of 5.  Nope, not rivals.  But of course they are: these two teams have similar styles of play, recruit similar style players and culturally, are very close.  Geographically, it’s only about a 5-6 hour drive between the two schools as well, fueling and spawning both fan bases along the way.  This should be the rivalry that Boise State always dreams about (Sorry Idaho and Nevada), this is the rivalry that BYU needs.  This is like the “theoretical quantum calculations of the Manhattan Project” of all rivalries.  And it will be a blast to watch.

BYU outlook

YOU BEAT MICHIGAN STATE AND SEC-GLORY SCHOOL MISSISSIPPI STATE!  It’s too bad these two teams are horrible and that BYU has only been able to dominate one opponent this season.  Taysom Hill is decent at best, not being back to his spontaneous self, but rather better in a safe-leadership role as quarterback.  However it’s Jamaal Williams who’s carried the heavy load for the Cougars and it will be who they depend on to produce a win in Boise.

Really the Cougars should be thankful to be 4-3.  They have beaten: a really bad Arizona team, a sub-par UCLA team and the aforementioned woe-to-me MSU’s this season.  The three losses have come against some good teams, the scores indicated (as well as the fight) that these matches were down to the wire.

For the Cougars to win, they need to pretend like they’re stopping their own offense: stuff Jeremy McNichols and limit Brett Rypien.  Everything else will fall in place, especially since BYU has one of the more ball-hawk defenses in the NCAA.

BSU outlook

Hooray! You escaped an average Colorado State team who was allowed to come back in because of special teams miscues!  BYU is much better than Colorado State, and the Broncos can not afford to be caught sleeping.  One way they can resolve this is by keeping BYU on their toes by letting David Moa (a.k.a. the Moa Constrictor) loose on Taysom Hill.  If the Broncos can find a way to keep Hill from throwing, then the rest of the front seven and company can take care of Williams.

BSU has been giving up more yards as of late, but they are not “easy yards.” The bend-don’t-break forced New Mexico to rely more on passing, and helped CSU accumulate yards, but not the needed scores to stay ahead.  Williams is the go-to rusher, but who backs him up when it’s not Hill?  Squally Canada, has the next most carries at 24, which is not a significant number on a depth chart.  “Why not just stop Williams?” one may ask.  Here’s the key: Williams is a dynamic player who will hurt you uni-dimensionally on the ground (unlike McNichols, who can catch the ball and wreak chaos through the air), stopping him still allows Taysom Hill to maneuver on a scramble or toss to open receivers.  By stopping Hill, it forces BYU to overplay their strength, which will wear their offense down as the game goes on.

Prediction

The game will be fought in the trenches, however Boise State will find victory through the air: Boise State 31, BYU 28.

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