- Date: 09/30/2023
- Location: Memphis, Tennessee, in the Liberty Bowl stadium
- Weather at kickoff: Sunny, 90 degrees, 81% humidity, and 1% chance of rain.
- Odds: Memphis, -3.0
- TV: ESPN2 @ 2 p.m MT Time
- Radio: 670 KBOI/Here or Stream. Bob Behler (play-by-play) and Pete Cavender (color commentary)
- Commentators: Beth Mowins (play-by-play), Krik Morrison (color commentary) and Stormy Buonantony (sidelines)
1. Getting Defensive
Boise State had some timely turnovers last week vs San Diego. This week, it would be fun if the Broncos could achieve something similar to what Avalos did the last time he was in this stadium (as a player). Namely…a 92 yard interception return for a TD. Heck…why not 93? Get it, Schramm!
2. Less Potent Offense…Which Is All ENTIRELY Relative
For the first three weeks of the season, Boise State played the top ranked offense in the country in back-to-back-to-back weeks. They got a “break” last week vs SDSU in that their offense hadn’t been particularly prolific coming in. This week, while the Tigers aren’t quite #1, they are 30th in scoring, with 37 points per game.
3. Foreign Relations
Hostile stadiums are often a problem because of the noise of the hometown crowd. The Boise State defensive line, however, will (in theory) have less of a problem with that because they are very accustomed to their verbal communication being minimally emphasized. This is because there are speakers of eight different languages along that defensive line. English, German, Spanish, French, Samoan, Greek, and even ASL. This has led to the unit being informally nicknamed “The United Nations”
4. Thank Goodness They Changed Their Name
The University of Memphis was founded in 1909 and was originally known as West Tennessee State Normal School. Obviously, that’s…a lot. So, in 1941, they changed their name to Memphis State College. It has evolved since then, and thank goodness it has. Could you imagine the lame trash talk from other fanbases that might emerge if they discovered that Memphis was, in fact, only a state school located in Memphis and was not an actual state itself? In this highly hypothetical scenario, that would obviously never happen, because college football fans couldn’t possibly be that stupid, one shudders to think…
Boise State – Won 1
Losing Team – Lost 1
Best Name On Their Roster
Raydrian McKneeley, FR Running Back
Mostly just because I imagine it’s pronounced “Rage-rean” and that’s just objectively cool to me
Best Picture On Their Roster
Jacob Gray, Freshman OL
I simply cannot believe that mullets are unironically back…but this kid’s a believer. And he wears his faith in that reality on his head.
Players To Watch
QB, Seth Hanigan
He doesn’t have particularly gaudy production statistics, but he is very efficient. He currently ranks 10th in the country in completions per game (25.5) and 27th nationally in completion percentage (.694).
RB, Blake Watson
Here’s a wild stat: Watson averaged 7.5+ yards per carry in half his games this year and 16.9 (on 10 carries for a 169 yards, and a long run of 69 yards) in one of them.
…he’s averaged 2.6 yards per carry in each of his other games. So, let’s hope the “United Nations” (and the linebackers) can commit to a binding resolution to keep him from cracking 3 ypc today.
No specific player. Just the whole front of the defense, particularly the line. Both Danielson and Avalos went out of their way to mention that it was the best they’d seen yet.
Keys to Victory
Break 1-4-0, Go Home a Hero. Probably.
Boise State is 13-2 under Coach Avalos when rushing for more than 140 yards. That would include a 7-1 mark last year. The Mountain West Championship was the “1”, no-thank-you-for-asking. If there’s something this team can hang its hat on at this point in the season, it’s the fact that the Broncos know their way around paving running lanes. And, operating in those running lanes, Ashton Jeanty and a very talented stable of other running backs know their way around getting around (or through) would-be tacklers.
Catch The Ball. Please. In The Name Of All That Is Good And Decent.
I’m not naming names, partly because I’m not like those lowlife dirtbags on X.com that like to tag players and criticize them (for real, don’t be that guy…or girl. No one likes them), but also because it’s not necessarily any one person. But, as a general rule, it’s much easier to get first downs and score if the people to whom a ball is thrown are able to come down with it. That’s all.
Get Off The Field on 3rd Down
Last week, there was a fair amount of frustration stemming from the fact that Boise State’s defense kept allowing conversions on third and long. On the bright side, both coach Avalos and Coach Danielson noticed too and seemed to be likewise exceptionally irritated about that fact. As Coach Harsin once said, “The things that get focused on tend to get corrected”. Granted, there’s an opportunity cost involved, so there’s the potential of a trade-off, but here’s hoping that gets “corrected” with a VENGEANCE.
Boise State 27, Memphis 20