23 October 2013

Bronco Bustin'

BYU has never beat Boise State in football.

That seems crazy to me, but there it is, on Cougarstats.com:

9/20/2012 Boise State 7 BYU 6
9/24/2004 Boise State 28 BYU 27
10/30/2003 Boise State 50 BYU 12

It's just odd that two mid-major teams within 400 miles of each other have only played three times, but I guess they've never been in the same conference, so that helps.

The last two losses were both heartbreakers, as Matt Payne missed an easy chip shot at the end of the game to give Boise the win in 2004, and Riley Nelson supplied the Broncos with their only points on a pick-six to secure the loss for BYU in 2012.

This time around, Boise State is playing the gritty, run-first, doesn't really have an arm quarterback. Taysom Hill is on a roll, having increased his passer rating every game this season, and settling on an impressive 161.88 against Houston.

The BSU starting quarterback, Grant Hedrick, did put up okay passing numbers against Nevada last week.  Completing 18 of 21 passes is nice, but he threw zero touchdowns and did have a pick. His eight rushes for 123 yards is more impressive, until you take into account Nevada's 114 ranking in team defense for the NCAA.

And let's be honest: BYU's defense can corral running quarterbacks. I'm much, much more worried about a quarterback passing for 400 yards than I am a quarterback rushing for 200.

I expect an easy win for BYU. The offensive line gave Taysom some honest to good protection at times on Saturday, and if they keep improving, and Hill gets more and more time to throw, he's going to be impossible to stop.

Prediction: BYU 38, Boise State 17

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