2012 College Football Preview: BYU at No. 24 Boise State

Game of the Day Preview: BYU at No. 24 Boise State

9/20/12 in NCAAF   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

Coming off a decisive win over Mid-American opponent Miami (Oh.), the Boise State Broncos are back in the AP Top 25 (No. 24) and look to remain ranked for the rest of the season.Blog Photo - 2012 College Football Preview: BYU at No. 24 Boise State

But to do so they'll need to get past BYU, which is coming off a brutal — and chaotic — 24-21 loss to rival Utah.

A win here would help shape out both team's postseason plans as neither have a marquee victory.

What to expect with BYU: Quarterback Riley Nelson to bounce back with a huge game. The senior failed to get much going last weekend in Salt Lake City, completing just 48.6 percent of his passes for 201 yards, two touchdowns and a costly interception. Boise State's secondary has been stingy when it comes to the passing game, but that doesn't mean it's impenetrable.

What to expect with Boise State: Quarterback Joe Southwick to step up. This will be his third start since taking over for Kellen Moore, and so far he has mixed reviews. Southwick was inconsistent in East Lansing thanks to a strong Michigan State back seven, but looked good against the RedHawks. Although running back D.J. Harper rushed for a career-high 162 yards last week, but the Cougars own the nation's sixth-best run defense (53.0 ypg). Southwick will be forced to throw the ball, and I think he's progressed enough to carry his team to a big win.

Prediction: This all comes down to Boise State's offensive line. It has yet to allow a sack this season and will now take on a front seven that is one of the best at getting to the backfield and putting pressure on the quarterback.

If the line can give Southwick the time he needs to make his reads and find an early rhythm against a secondary that allowed Utah's backup quarterback to throw for 200 yards and two TDs — and it should — the Broncos will take this one with room to spare.

Boise State 26, BYU 17 --- via Week 4 predictions


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