Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#213 Boise State -9.5 vs.
#214 Utah State 53.5
Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 10:30pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala



#213 Boise State University
#214 Utah State University


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It’s a showdown for the top spot in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West out in the Beehive State. The #21 Boise State Broncos are on the road as they travel to face the Utah State Aggies Saturday night. Boise State comes in off a 42-9 demolition of New Mexico at home in their previous contest last Saturday. Utah State hung on to down Wyoming 26-21 at home in their previous contest last Saturday. The Broncos have a commanding 15-3 edge in the all-time series between the teams and have won the last three meetings. That includes a 33-24 victory on the road in the most recent matchup on November 24, 2018.

Boise State Broncos Look to Lock Down Berth in Mountain West Title Game

Boise State had little problem dispatching an overmatched New Mexico squad on the blue turf for their third straight win. The Broncos enter this one with a perfect 6-0 mark in the conference and can punch their ticket to the Mountain West title game with a victory. Boise State put the game away early, scoring on a fumble return on the first play from scrimmage to take a 7-0 lead after only nine seconds. That was part of a 28-point first quarter outburst by the Broncos. The game was over at that point as Boise State kept New Mexico out of the end zone until under four minutes remained in the game. In the contest, the Broncos rolled up a commanding 509-292 advantage in total offense and a 23-16 edge in first downs. That helped overcome a 31:51 to 28:09 disadvantage in time of possession: both teams turned the ball over twice in the game.

The Broncos enter this contest 30th in the nation in passing offense with 281.6 yards per game. On the season, they are 52nd in rushing offense with 173.2 yards per contest. Boise State is 17th in the FBS in scoring offense with 36.1 points per game and 31st in scoring defense as they allow 21.3 points per contest. Hank Bachmeier has completed 122 of 193 passes for 1,760 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions on the season. Chase Cord is 57 of 95 for 670 yards with nine touchdowns against three interceptions while Jaylon Henderson is 22 of 40 for 380 yards with four touchdowns and one pick. George Holani leads the ground game with 131 carries for 692 yards plus five scores on the season. Robert Mahone (82 carries, 411 yards, five TD) and Andrew Van Buren (45 carries, 193 yards, two TD) are next in line. Khalil Shakir leads the team with 44 receptions for 615 yards plus four scores on the year. John Hightower (37 grabs, 754 yards, six TD), CT Thomas (27 catches, 410 yards, three TD) and Akilian Butler (22 receptions, 256 yards, two TD) are other options in the passing game. Eric Sachse is 44 of 45 on extra points and 12 of 14 on field goals with a long of 41. Joel Velasquez has not attempted an extra point but is one of two on field goals with a long of 52.

Utah State Aggies Try to Snap Three-Game Skid vs. Broncos

Utah State had to scratch and claw against Wyoming at home last week. The Aggies did enough to come up with the win and set up this contest for the Mountain Division crown. Utah State kicked a pair of field goals in the final 2:04 of the first half to take a 20-14 halftime edge that they wouldn’t relinquish. The Aggies led by 12 early in the fourth quarter and held a five-point lead when Eric Munoz picked off a pass at the Utah State 25 with 58 seconds to play, securing the victory. Utah State held a 422-343 edge in total offense despite losing the first down battle (24-22) and the time of possession by a 33:11 to 26:49 margin. The Aggies forced four turnovers in the game while committing two: one of their giveaways was a pick-six that opened the scoring.

The Aggies are tied for 24th in the nation in passing offense as they average 283.2 yards through the air while they are 86th in rushing offense with 147.3 yards per contest. Utah State is 72nd in the FBS in scoring offense with 28 points per game while the team is 60th in scoring defense by allowing 26.7 points per contest. Jordan Love has completed 234 of 363 passes for 2,684 yards with 13 touchdowns and 14 interceptions on the year: he’s added 143 yards on the ground. Henry Colombi is 14 of 18 for 143 yards plus two scores while Andrew Peasley is two of two for five yards. Jaylen Warren is second on the Aggies with 88 carries for 482 yards plus five scores while Gerold Bright has 132 carries for a team-high 670 yards and six scores on the year. Siaosi Mariner leads the team with 49 receptions for 753 yards plus seven scores: Deven Thompkins (34 receptions, 423 yards, three TD), Caleb Repp (28 catches, 359 yards, two TD) and Jordan Nathan (36 grabs, 433 yards, TD) are next in line. Dominik Eberle has connected on all 32 extra point attempts and 18 of 21 field goal tries this season with a long of 48.

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Both teams have been solid this season with Boise State’s lone loss a defeat to BYU. Utah State has losses to Wake Forest, LSU and BYU outside the conference along with a defeat to Air Force in Mountain West play. With that said, the Aggies are 4-1 at home compared to 2-3 on the road and they face a Boise State team with a lot of questions at quarterback. Bachmeier has missed the last two games with a shoulder issue, Cord didn’t play against New Mexico after getting smacked around in the Wyoming game and Henderson is the third-string guy. You don’t really want to rely on a third-string QB in the biggest game of the year. Utah State is capable of putting up some big points and they have a veteran under center in Love. Playing at home, give the Aggies the upper hand here.

Prediction: Utah State Aggies +86

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Boise State has been efficient offensively, scoring at least 20 points in nine of 10 games this season. The Broncos have put up at least 30 points seven times and exceeded the 40-point mark three times in their last five games. Utah State has put up at least 34 points on five occasions this season though they do have three games with 14 points or less on the board. The Aggies do have 63 points in their last two games: will they be able to maintain that offensive momentum here?

The over is 4-1 in the Aggies' last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record and 8-3 in their last 11 home games. In the last four meetings at Utah State, the teams have gone over the total each time and the over is 9-3-1 in the last 13 meetings overall. Look for this one to follow suit as it exceeds the number by a couple of points.

Prediction: Over 53

Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.