The 42-9 win over New Mexico was just what the doctor ordered. A dominating win where Boise State could take out their starters after 3 quarters and a 42-3 lead. It’s too bad some of them didn’t make it that long before they were removed for the game. Hank Bachmeier and Chase Cord didn’t play. OG John Molchon played 1 series. OG Eric Quevedo left with a leg injury late in the 3rd quarter. RB Robert Mahone left in the 2nd quarter. LB/DE Curtis Weaver left in the 2nd quarter and came back with a boot. I believe some of the starters were held out to heal for Utah State and should play.
It is what we have been waiting for all season.
Pre-season, Boise State vs Utah State game was the most anticipated conference game of the year. The storylines were clear. Utah State’s top draft prospect QB Jordan Love would be the best Qb Boise State faced all year and the Aggies had proven they could ruin Boise State. The 52-26 shellacking in 2015 still stings to many fans. Utah State had added an offensive coordinator as well in Mike Sanford, who is a former Boise State player and offensive coordinator under Bryan Harsin. Harsin tried to hire him at Arkansas State and got the job done when he was named Head Coach in 2013. Harsin said Sanford had a great understanding of what Boise State is trying to do because he played Qb here. Now, he feeds that information to Utah State. That rarely has happened in the 39 years I have followed Boise State. Art Valero, Mark Criner, and Julius Brown are the only coaches I remember who crossed over to the opponent. Ironically 3 of the 4 coached at Utah State vs Boise State. The pre-season hype was strong as Love won Offensive Player of the Year and the Aggies had 3 1st team defensive players make the team and a return specialist.
They were talented.
Now, the game feels different. Love may not even play and, if he does, he could be at less than 100% in a year when he leads the MWC in yards AND interceptions and a run threat. The Aggies top tackler, LB David Woodward, is out injured for the season. On top of that, Boise State has a mash list as well.
The New Mexico win proved Boise State has some capable backups. The offensive line blocked the run game well, scored 35 points but still struggled handling pass rush in the middle of the line and on the right side. LB/DE Demetri Washington had a sack replacing Curtis Weaver and could be an emerging star at his position for the 2020 season. It may be a little early for him to dominate a game like Weaver could if healthy. Jaylon Henderson could beat Utah State but he must have a reliable ground game and pass protection to do that. Utah State has allowed 120 yards per game on the ground to teams that are in the MWC and balanced like Boise State. It will be tough sledding. The Aggies also average 2 sacks per MWC game and feature a game-changing player in DE Tipa Galeai who can be a monster on the edge and twisting- both weaknesses for Boise State to handle at times. Bring on Utah State.