Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time. IT’S THAT TIME. Tonight, rip off your advent-ual calendars, leave the egg nog, brownies, and your $8 stadium beers under the fading cover of your household (or apartmenthold) deciduous trees and REJOICE. For tomorrow ’tis the culmination of the most wonderful time of the year. Like a large and gentle snowflake softly drifting until its eventual finale, we too have waited patiently for this appointed time. Perhaps on Sunday, regardless of outcome, I will declare that the Mountain West championship is all that really mattered, but tomorrow? I’ll take 11 losses if it means one sweet victory over the Cougars of BYU.
- Time: November 5th, 2022, 5:00 PM MST
- Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
- Weather at kickoff: 48° Partly Cloudy
- Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous
- Odds: Boise State by 8
- TV: FS2
- Radio: 670 KBOI
- Commentators: Petros “I just made my name up” Papadakis and Dan “the Van” Hellie
I hold the belief that such a game as this deserves an extended trip down memory lane, and well, you’re already here. I’ll jog your memory with unabated truth and you can skip through these videos as you please.
Unfortunately, I can’t find a reputable source that corroborates the existence of 2013. We at First Kick pride ourselves in journalistic integrity, and would never rob you of that which is most dear, which is truth.
If that link doesn’t work, try here
It’s a shame they canceled the year because of Covid. Certainly would’ve been cool to get another W against the ‘Cougs.
Well, now that we got our bases covered, let’s begin.
Other Other facts
1. Don’t call it a rivalry!
Bronco coaches were certainly hesitant to call the matchup with BYU a rivalry, but who else, pray tell might our rivals be? As a student of data science I ran a perfect poll that provides the conclusive answer.
It was overwhelmingly BYU. Glad we could clear that up.
2. Playoffs to Potato Bowl
Certainly 2022 was a rude awakening for the Cougars. The Cougars started fairly quickly with wins over USF in Florida, plus a home win against then Top-10 Baylor. Sprinkle in a pair of wins over our mountain division comrades, and you have BYU right before they saw their 4 game slide. Norte Dame, Arkansas, Liberty, and East Carolina showed, and gifted the Cougars with their current 4-5 record. They are not a bad team, nor dare I suggest a blowout, given the rivalry. All I’m saying is that if we changed our school name to Freedom Tech, we’d hang a hundred. Alas, we are the beloved Broncos of Boise State, and that means 1 point games with BYU regardless of cholesterol or talent levels. It’s likely they will enter the time machine and pull out the week 2 Cougars, and it’ll be a dogfight. Hold onto your butts.
3. The Rapid Ascension of Taylen Green
TG has gone from a wildcat RB to a legitimate threat at QB. I’d like to announce that I’m on the believer train without qualm. Granted, he still is a Freshman, and was fortunate to get a couple drops on potential picks last week. He also sauced 5 dudes on the 5 yard line and scored what was essentially a Heisman play. BYU ain’t no CSU, but expect the progression to be steady. Another fun note is that BYU hasn’t logged a sack since September, and the shifty Taylen Green likely won’t make it easy for ’em.
4. Turbulent Air?
To me, the biggest story of this game is the BYU passing attack vs. the Boise State secondary. The Broncos rank first in passing yards allowed (the good way), while BYU enters ranked #55 in Passing Yards. Technically Fresno was ranked higher, but they ran with QB2 against us, meaning that on paper, this is the true test of our secondary. My heart says we’ll suffer at least one long TD, but INTs could prove the difference.
Boise State – Won 4
BYU – Lost 4
Best name on their roster
When the fall sniffles come ’round, you might be wont to sneeze “(BYU Sr. LB) Chaz Ah You”, but don’t expect to hear any bless yous from the Bronco faithful.
Best Picture on their roster
Ya just gotta respect the hair, Cash Peterman means business.
Players to Watch
Jaren Hall, QB
Pre-Season hype/hysteria had him as potential 1st round draft draft pick. That seemed possible at the start of the year, but he’s since lost a ‘lil mojo. When he’s on, he’s deadly accurate, and even without star WR Gunner Romney, he has the tools to make Saturday extremely annoying.
Puka Nacua, WR
The borderline 4/5 star WR initially committed to Washington in 2019, but transferred to BYU last season. When healthy, he’s a favorite target for Jaren Hall, leading the receiving core the last 3 weeks, including a 141 Yard 1 TD performance against Arkansas.
Keanu Hill, WR
Normally I’d put a RB here, but with their injury mountain, it’s unclear who remains with a pulse. Keanu Hill actually leads the team in receiving yards despite him being something of a #3 or #4 receiver. The reason is of course health, and he’s been a very useful Billy Bowens type receiver for the ‘Cougs.
Ben Bywater, LB
Leading tackler, lead healthy person-er. I think? Anyway 69 tackles, a sack, couple ints, he’s been having a good year. BYU has been lacking in the run defense department but they have the guys to turn it around. Expect Ben to uh, try his best?
Keys to victory
- Turnovers Cannot understate the importance of this here. In this series, turnovers have broken backs and shattered spines. Defense needs to get a couple, offense has to hold on to the ball. It’ll keep out any funny business.
- Run. The. Ball All week and frankly all year I’ve heard about BYU’s porous run defense. I want to see it. I want proof. I’m a skeptical man, and I will be there in assorted layers on the blue carpet with a camera searching for proof. Run for 300 yards, do it. I dare you.
- No big throws It’s unfortunate happenstance that our Broncos have ben victims to the deep pass from time to time, and frankly, that’s BYU’s thing. Skinner needs to take a body and Nacua needs to be on a cold, snowy, blue island. This will be the difference between a stressful game and a blowout.
- The “It” Factor There will be adversity, and there will be challenge. This game has always come down to who wants it more. Shakir took matters into his own hands last year: double coverage? don’t matter, ballgame. 2018 it was Tyson Maeva dragging down Zach Wilson on the goaline. 2016 and 2004 it was a blocked kick at the buzzer (more or less). In 2012, DT Mike Atkinson ran a pick-6 back for the only Bronco TD of the game. Tomorrow a man’s gonna have to become a dude, and he will. Book it.
All I’ve ever wanted was a reverse of 2020, but I’m expecting a dogfight and a walk-off winner. Jonah Buckets will prove huge again for the Good Guys. Taylen Green will make a couple early mistakes, but clutch gene will kick in yet again. Taylen Green is that guy.
Boise State 27, BYU 24