No Way, Jose.

In 2004, it was unexpected. In 2006, it was getting ridiculous. Both of those years, Boise State came into San Jose with perfect records—both of those years they barely escaped with the W. Despite being heavily favored every year against San Jose and despite having never lost to San Jose...the Spartans have found ways to scare the Broncos plenty of late. Gone are the days of the 77-14 shellackings, these Spartans, under coach Dick Tomey are scrappy, athletic and driven. However, recent history aside—the Spartans have little chance of winning on Saturday.

The main reason that the Spartans are facing a huge uphill battle is that they are playing on the blue. Boise State has never lost to a WAC foe on the blue and doesn't intend to tomorrow. The second reason that the Spartans are in trouble is that their offense is banged up and on life support. Stud tailback Yonus Davis is out with an ankle injury and the Spartans leading rusher is their QB, Adam Tafralis. The Spartans average only 71 yards per game on the ground...not good news against a BSU team that gave up only 89 rushing yards last week in Fresno to a team that averaged over 200 yards per contest. Adding to the Spartans offensive struggles is the fact that their kicking game has been horribly anemic...converting just 17% of their field goal attempts this year.

Obviously, the Spartans are going to have to go to the air against the Broncos, but I doubt they'll find much success there as Marty Tadman, hard-hitting Jeron Johnson, Orlando Scandrick and Kyle Wilson are on the prowl in the secondary. The Spartans will get some yardage there...maybe exploit a blown coverage or two, but I doubt they will score more than 14 points on this defense—and very well may be shut out like they were in Fresno a few weeks ago.

One bright spot for the Spartans is their defensive secondary and linebacking corps. They've got a good one in DB Dwight Lowery, who was an All-American pick last year and has 3 INTs this year, one of which he took for a TD. Lowery is also a dangerous return man that the Broncos will have to keep an eye on. Across the field from Lowery is CB Chris Owens...who is every bit as dangerous a cover man. He has 4 INTs on the year. Linebacker Matt Castelo is a formidable defender as well. If the Broncos can keep the ball away from these 3 playmakers...the Boise State offense should click well. I, for one, am very interested to see our talented wide receiving tandem of Jeremy Childs and Titus Young take on Lowery and Owens—BUT, the Broncos really shouldn't have to pass much.

Last week, in Ian Johnson's second game out of the lineup, we realized that we have a very, very good stable of running backs. Jeremy "don't call me 'peanut'" Avery and DJ Harper absolutely tore up the Fresno State defense and with Ian back this week...we have a angry, hungry three-headed monster in the backfield. I see the Broncos once again using "the committee" as Ian re-finds his form and running wild on the Spartans. The last few games in the series have been exciting...but this one has blowout written all over it. Expect to see a fairly tight contest in the first half...but the Broncos roll in this one.


No comments: