College Football Pick
If Boise State finishes the season undefeated and makes a case for the College Football Playoff, no one in a Power 5 Conference is going to be happy. The Broncos started off with a non-covering 16-13 win over Washington and now travel to a BYU team that improbably won at Nebraska after a successful Hail Mary. That win only helps BSU’s case if they can run the table. Still, Boise State is only a -2.5 point road favorite in this Game (at mybookie.ag), and have a long way to go.
Boise State got off to an acceptable start, but it wasn’t overly affirming of its dominance. The Broncos offense is still a major question with Ryan Finley (16-of-26, 129 yards, 0 TDs) at quarterback and Jeremy McNichols (89 yards, 2 TDs) at RB. The good news is that their defense dominated Washington, holding the Huskies to 29 yards on the ground and not much else through the air. Washington scored on a punt return and their two field goals were on drives of 17 yards or less. Fair to say, that it was complete domination for a defense that returns most of its studs.
The big question Boise State is set to face for the rest of the year will be on offense, though. When the defense faces a viable offense, will Finley and company be able to keep up on the scoreboard? While the rest of the offense looks nice, the Broncos still have an issue at quarterback and the verdict is still out on Finley in his sophomore season.
Some of those questions could be answered in a difficult road Game at BYU. The Cougars battled with Nebraska last weekend and ended up with a 33-28 win, despite losing Taysom Hill to another season-ending injury. Tanner Mangum came in and led the team to a late win. Mangum may not be the same QB that Hill is right now, but he is the future of BYU football as only a freshman.
The Cougars had some success stopping the Cornhuskers’ ground Game, allowing just 126 yards on 37 carries, but Taylor Martinez threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall is calling plays for the defense this season and that unit still has a long way to go. However, their weak spot is in the secondary, which may end up boding well against Boise State and Finley.
On the other end, Mangum and the offense will be in for a tougher Game against this Boise State defense. Mangum should have some success through the air, but getting yards on the ground will be tough for them. Hill was basically all of BYU’s rushing attack against the Cornhuskers, and that may have to be the case for Mangum through most of the season.
BYU is a home underdog, so they have some value, but keep in mind Mangum is still a freshman and this will be his first start against one of the better defenses in the country. But there are plenty of reasons not to take Boise State in this Game with an offense that has too many question marks. If the Broncos can’t win by more than three at home against Washington, why take them on the road by more than three against BYU?
Our Pick – Revenge shot here for BYU but the QB situation makes it a dicey proposition. However, with the way the Boise defense played last week, going against a freshman QB, the UNDER 55 looks promising.