College Football Pick
Washington State didn’t cover its first Game or do anything overly exciting, but it did win, something the team hadn’t done against an FCS team in the previous two seasons. The Cougars aren’t messing around this year and come in with hopes of contending in the Pac-12. After falling to Boise State on the road last season, they’ll try and do the same favor for the Broncos in Pullman. Wazzu was a decent-sized -10.5 point favorite for this Game as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Maybe the only difference between these teams from this year and last year is that Washington State has slightly more experience on the defensive side. These teams met early in 2016 when the Cougars defense wasn’t expected to be much of anything. While they still aren’t an elite group, they’re better than previous versions after improving throughout the last campaign.
In that 2016 Game, the Broncos did almost whatever they wanted, although quarterback Brett Rypien still threw three interceptions to go with his 299 yards. More importantly for Boise State, they got 116 rushing yards from Jeremy McNichols and that kept the Cougars off the field just enough. In that Game, LUke Falk threw for 480 yards and Four touchdowns, but Wazzu had absolutely no ground Game with 20 carries for 40 yards. The BSU defense handled Troy fairly easily in the opener, but these two offenses are nothing alike.
Falk is a sleeper to contend for the Heisman this season as long as his team keeps winning. He has plenty of receivers, but as seen in that first Game, the Cougars may try running the ball more this season between a trio of backs in Jamal Morrow, James Williams and Gerard Wicks. If they can get some kind of ground Game going against Boise State, that’d be a huge boost of confidence for the season. But as seen in this Game last year, Falk can move the ball in the Air Raid just fine against this defense.
As for the Broncos, they had some questions in the opener after only scoring 24 points against Troy. Starting quarterback Brett Rypien took a seat after ineffectiveness, but he’s already been tabbed the starter for this Game. Without McNichols in the backfield, it appears the Broncos will lean on a committee between Alexander Mattison and Ryan Wolpin.
Boise State is a noticeably worse team on the road and that could add a few points to this spread. But if this Game was on a neutral site, these teams aren’t all that much different. Sure, their styles are nothing alike, but considering how this Game went last year, this should be another close one unless the Washington State defense is a lot better than expected. Holding Montana State scoreless isn’t the same as facing an FBS school. There’s still a decent chance the Broncos can run on Wazzu and that will be enough to settle the Air Raid attack. It may not be enough for a road upset, but at least enough to keep this Game competitive.
Our Pick – Boise St +10