- Day of Reckoning: December 3rd, 2022, 2:00 PM MST
- Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
- Weather at kickoff: 28° Partly Cloudy
- Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous (Just like last time)
- Odds: Boise State by 3
- TV: FOX
- Radio: 670 KBOI
- Commentators: Tim”othy” Brando”polis”, and Spencer “the” Tillman, with Petros “First time in Boise” Papadakis (Sideline)
1. Started from the Bottom
Well, started at the top, went to the bottom and now both at the top again. If you take a look at Fresno,
it’s clear neither enjoyed the month of September, despite being the August favorites. The skies have since been clearer, and so remains the question of wills. Only one team gets to complete their season turnaround. It’s the young Broncos with the George Holani and the four Texas Horsemen of Green, Caples, McAllister, and Jeanty vs. The last hurrah of Jake Haener and Evan Williams.
2. Race for the Triple Crown
The last meeting with Fresno was one of the fun ones. Holani had $1.57, Jeanty had 109 and two TDs and Green only threw 18 passes the whole game. I for one, wouldn’t mind if TG made it three 100 yard rushers today. Our triple option attack was in full force at the time, how will the Bulldogs react to a more balanced attack?
3. Secondary won’t be secondary
Forgive my typo on the poll, but nearly 80% of fans expect the Bronco secondary to be cooked to some degree. Perhaps the second biggest rollercoaster of the year (Besides THE rollercoaster) has been the secondary. Are they good or are they playing bad QBs? Or are they just hurt? Some say the BYU game gave us the answer, I’ll give you this one: I have no idea. Time will tell, and by time I mean 2 PM MST.
4. What do the people say?
ESPN voters like Boise, I like Boise too. Coincidence?
From some preview perusing, I have ascertained that betting money is going on Cal State Fresno at the moment to the tune of 85-88% of the bets. It’s a waste of money but I can respect that. Bronco Nation is not without it’s haters and today will be no exception.
5. Sweet Memories
Just pick one:
Boise State – Won 3
Fresno State – Won 7
Best name on their roster
TE Merhauti Xepera. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and man it’s hard to get a unique X-name these days
Best picture on their roster
Always gotta respect a good fro
Players to watch
Jake Haener, QB
Jake Haener will be the x-factor no matter how you slice the cookie or the cake. Had he been healthier, he likely would’ve taken the OPOY for the conference, and undoubtedly the best QB not wearing blue in the entire conference. He’s only ever played the Broncos once in his life, last year in Fresno (it was an enjoyable game) and I threw the stats above. I would take 3 INTs.
Jordan Mims, RB
Although we at First Kick will not recognize the disrespect of taking Mimms over Holani for 1st Team All-Mountain West, he’s had a great season. 1078 yards and 14 TDs is an excellent counterweight to the Haener show. Bulldogs need him to keep eyeballs off ‘ol Jake if they want to pull this out.
Jalen Moreno-Cropper, WR
The 6’0″, 180lb Cropper is a dynamic weapon that’s currently leading the team with 75 receptions for 991 yards and 5 TDs. I think it’s fair to say that he and Puka Nacua are the two best receivers the Broncos have played all season, and with Haener back at the reigns his wings may not be clipped.
Evan Williams, S
Another key guy that missed the show on October 8th. The Second Team All-Mountain West safety is one of the best guys on this squad and will want to not allow 40 points and 11 billion yards like last time. Might not have a say in the matter though.
Keys to victory
- Pass Defense. Pass Defense. Pass Defense. I won’t lie, sometimes I come up with random crap on the spot for keys to victory, but pass defense could not be more key today. If Jake Haener can’t get rolling in this game, Fresno can pack their bags.
- Turnovers! All signs point to this game being close. That means who has the ball last or it could end it orrrr whoever…has the ball, ya know? 3 picks last year was great, and it would be great again.
- Get to the QB I don’t know what the health of our defense is looking like, but it felt like Legas had a year to throw last week. Haener is elusive, but not nearly as elusive as backup Fife was. Obichere suplexed Haener last year, let’s hope he’s got more moves to show us.
- Step Up to the Plate It still feels weird calling the Mountain West Championship “the goal” but man do I want to win it. Someone on this team is gonna have to be big. Taylen Green? George Holani? Scott Matlock? That will make or break this championship.
It’s not gonna be an easy one on the heart it would appear. If you’re in Boise and you have two working legs, we need you in the stands. As for the prediction, I’ll never pick against my Broncos. Make it pretty high scoring, and let’s have Jonah Buckets as the difference.
Boise State 31, Fresno State 28