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Washington State

vs.

Boise State

College Football Pick

9/10/16

Was it that surprising that Washington State lost to another FCS school in the opener? A year after falling to Portland State, the Cougars dropped one to Eastern Washington last weekend. As for Boise State, they easily handled Louisiana-Lafayette and are aiming for that rare undefeated season. The Broncos are a large -11.5 point favorite at Betonline Sportsbook, playing on the blue turf.

It's important to note that while the Cougars lost the opener, they did the same last year and still finished with a 9-4 record, taking down teams like Oregon, Arizona and UCLA all on the road. This remains a super-talented team with a high-flying pass attack led by Luke Falk.

While Boise State is a good team, that spread does seem a bit high and the overreaction for the Cougars might be too much. In all of Wazzu's losses last year, they lost by more than 10 points just once, and that was because Falk didn't play. The Broncos are a good team with experience as well, namely on the offensive side, but playing in the MWC has pushed their record to double digits for a few years now. Against Washington last year, BSU pulled out a 16-13 win.

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The Broncos dropped 45 points in the opener quite easily and will probably do the same in this game. What can the WSU defense do after allowing 45 points to Eastern Washington? That remains to be seen.

Boise State can do it all offensively whether with Brett Rypien in his second year under center or on the ground with Jeremy McNichols or freshman Alexander Mattison. Then you still have top wide out Thomas Sperbeck, who surpassed 1,400 receiving yards last season. Against bad defenses, this team shines, so it'll be up to Washington State to show up after going missing in the first game.

But the other end is somewhat of an unknown for Boise. While the Broncos have great numbers, a lot of that has to do with beating up on the MWC. They gave up 30-plus points plenty of times a year ago, including 52 at Utah State.

And with the tools that Wazzu has, no one can really stop this offense when Falk is in the lineup. He threw for 418 yards and four touchdowns in the opener, which is about par for what he did in 2015. The Cougars have most of the same guys back on offense with Gabe Marks topping the list with Robert Lewis and River Cracraft, all senior wide receivers. And while they don't run the ball much, Gerard Wicks and Jamal Morrow are able out of the backfield when needed.

This spread seems a bit large, even if Boise State is playing at home. The Broncos tend to be overrated early on almost every year and they usually disappoint against teams that play in bigger conferences. Washington State isn't a great team, but they have the offense that should keep this game in single digits, unless the defense really is as bad as they played in the opener. Washington State +11.5

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