Boise State and Utah State have been a step above everyone else in the Mountain division this season and that’s why this Game is for a spot in the MWC title Game. The Broncos were just -3 point home favorites with an over/under of 67.5 as of Tuesday.
It’s hard to put anything into last year’s meeting because Utah State is a completely different team this season and that’s why it only has one loss, on the road to Michigan State in the opener. Sure, the Aggies just escaped Colorado State last weekend, but they’ve handled most other MWC competition, though they didn’t play the three best teams from the West division. As for Boise, the Schedule has been much more difficult, losing at home to SDSU, but also beating Nevada on the road and Fresno at home a couple weeks ago.
The Broncos maybe aren’t as good as some thought going into the season, but they still have a chance to hit the over 9.5 on their season win total. Both teams have quality defenses with offenses that have cruised against most teams in the MWC. But again, Boise has faced a more difficult Schedule and held all three teams out of the West to respectable totals. Utah State is surprisingly the second-highest scoring team in the nation with 49.3 points per Game, but it also just scored 29 points at Colorado State and was held to 24 points at Wyoming earlier.
Sophomore quarterback Jordan Love is the reason for the offense’s success, completing 8.70 yards per attempt with 25 touchdowns and just Four interceptions. He’s been incredible for the Aggies, but it’s also the rushing attack between Darwin Thompson and Gerold Bright that has been just as important with the offense averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Boise may have solid defensive numbers allowing 22.3 points per Game, but it also gave up 44 points to OK State in its lone Game against a top offense. But again, the Aggies aren’t a true top offense no matter what the numbers say because beating up on weak MWC teams doesn’t show much.
On the other end, Utah State hasn’t been fully challenged and it’s a wonder how big of problem that will be if Boise can control the clock. The Broncos came back from 14 points down against Fresno a couple weeks ago and that was because they won in the trenches on both sides of the ball. If they can lean on running back Alexander Mattison (1,015 yards, 13 TDs) for similar production, that would keep Love off the field. Even then, Four-year starting quarterback Brett Rypien is putting together his best season on 8.52 yards per attempt with 28 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Even if Love and USU get an early lead, Rypien has shown he can get Boise back into the Game.
It’s rarely a good idea to bet against Boise on its blue turf, and while Utah State has excellent numbers, this test is completely different than any it’s faced this season outside of the trip to Michigan State. The Aggies are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 Games overall but just 4-14 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Broncos are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five Games overall but 6-15 ATS in their last 21 at home. The over is 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings between these schools and the favorite is 8-3-2 ATS in the last 13.
Our Pick – Boise State -2.5