Game Preview: Aztecs at Boise State Broncos

Geese think Boise’s stupid blue turf is a lake, and who can blame them.

What: Football game
Who: San Diego State Aztecs at Boise State Broncos
When:
 12:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Albertsons Stadium
TV: ESPNU
Line: Boise State -14

The Stakes

SDSU’s conference opener against its most prominent rival. A loss to nearly-ranked Boise doesn’t necessarily doom the Aztecs’ conference title hopes but probably does extinguish any chance they have of getting ranked this year.

The Opponent

Boise State, jewel of Southwestern Idaho, the angry horse with a glass eye. Boise has only shared Mountain West space with SDSU since 2011. Prior to that they finished ranked high as 4th while bullying the WAC and winning two Fiesta Bowls. Then-coach Chris Petersen is now at Washington and the current Broncos are but a shadow of their golden age. Still, the program holds a level of national prestige.

Boise State comes into the game at 3-1 and like SDSU, their one loss was on the road to a ranked opponent. That’s about where the similarities end. The Broncs are 4th in the nation in passing, averaging 362 yards per game, while San Diego State … has a great run defense but is ranked 109th in passing yards allowed. Read our Q&A with Boise State blog OBNUG for their maddeningly polite perspective on the match-up.

BSU isn’t ranked in the AP Top 25 but is first in Others Receiving Votes. The Broncos are 24th in the Coaches Poll, which is taken less seriously than the sportswriters poll for whatever reason (capitalism).

Boise quarterback Brett Rypien is former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien’s nephew, not his son, so “large adult nephew” jokes only, please.

History
Boise State holds a 3 -2 edge in the series dating to 2011. BSU won those three games by 17, 9 and 17 points; the Aztecs won theirs by 3 and 2 points.

This is San Diego State’s first game on the blue plastic since 2014.

Once upon a time, BSU and SDSU were partners in bailing the Mountain West for greener conference pastures but that all imploded horribly and both were forced to Remain.

Other factors
The game kicks off at 1:30 p.m. MT, which for a San Diegan’s body clock is like 8:30 a.m. Rocky might worry about a slow start but probably won’t fire up his squad with a time zone tweet describing when the game starts in Guam (5:30 a.m. Sunday).

San Diego State comes in minus its starting quarterback, running back and fullback but that shouldn’t matter much because Next Man Up, amirite? *cries*

The Aztecs were on a BYE last week so at least they were healing and sleeping in while Boise had to travel to Laramie, where they … cruised to an easy 34-14 win over WYO.

Film study
If the Broncos keep Rypien upright and clean he can pick SDSU’s secondary apart, like this:

Boise receiver A.J. Richardson made this ridiculous one-handed catch for a touchdown in their loss at Oklahoma State, so the Tecs should keep on eye on that guy.

Lastly, if you dare, check out these heavy Boise Rap beats.

If you’re a loyal fan please tell us why
Like, what kind of merchandise do you buy?

Did you know?
Boise has an established Basque community and downtown Boise even has a Basque Block. Topa!

STAFF PREDICTIONS

AttemptedChem @attemptedchem
GOOD NEWS: Noble Hall will apparently be back in uniform, meaning our defensive front is pretty much healthy. BAD NEWS: Our offense is still very much not!

I do not look forward to seeing what Brian Rypien will do to our secondary. His first name might actually be Brett. Or Chad. Or Blake. Or some other Extremely College Quarterback White Guy Name. Either way he’s good and we’ve given up a lot of big plays to guys much less good than him.

I will be there myself on the Blue Turf for this unseasonably early kickoff. May the ghosts of Adam Dingwell and and Quinn Kaehler guide us to glory.

We’re just a little too beat up right now and Boise’s strength appears to be our weakness. A loss Saturday is #ActuallyFine assuming we go on to beat Nevada and Fresno in a few weeks, with hopefully a Boise rematch in the title game.
Boise State 28, SDSU 14

AztecsKillingHim @AKH_blog
The Aztecs are seriously banged up and Boise State is a legitimately good team playing at home on their PATENTLY UNFAIR FIELD. Yet a few factors make me think the Aztecs can hang.
– SDSU has had a bye week to watch helpful YouTube tutorials on how to cover wide receivers downfield.
– The Arizona State game suggests the Aztecs have the ability to play up to quality opponents.
– The offensive line — thoroughly bullied by the Broncos one year ago — will have something to prove.
– Rocky Long and his players seem to have genuine dislike for Boise State.

Note: I said hang, not win.
Boise State 31, SDSU 27

lemonverbena @kabeerthirty
Seems like everything is going against the Aztecs in this one: the injuries, the weird early kickoff, the high-powered Boise offense, the beat-down Boise put on them at the Tombstone last year, the stupid blue turf. To win SDSU has to force a few takeaways and run up a bunch of rushing yards. I like Chase Jasmin and have a feeling redshirt frosh Kaegun Williams may bust out. But neither of them are Juwan Washington.

Can the Tecs pull the big upset? Yeah. Is it at all likely? Nah.
Boise State 27, SDSU 20

Consensus: All of us pick Boise to win by a range of four to 14 points. May we all eat crow.

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Author: lemonverbena

Californian/Washingtonian, co-editor of Kabeer Thirty.

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