The Line: BYU (-175) vs. Boise State (+155)
BYU is traveling to Boise, Idaho to play a tough Boise State team that only has two games under their belt. We know BYU is first in total yards with 585.7 per game in division one college football through seven games. BYU is also undefeated and a better team on paper in all phases of the offense. Two specific stat lines lead me to believe we will not get the shootout as advertised. First is time of possession where BYU ranks first with a time of 37:07. Opposed to Boise State that ranks thirty-seventh, respectively. The other statistic—which could prove to be an outlier—is third-down percentage. BYU converts 51.5% of their third downs. Opposed to Boise State who only converts 47.5% on third down.
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson is incredibly disciplined and skilled for his position. By the way, Wilson is also on a roll with nineteen touchdowns so far. Through seven games he has only thrown two interceptions. Boise State will need USC transfer Jack Sears to get going tonight. That is possible because Sears is an efficient quarterback and has weapons to do it with. BYU has a quality running back in Tyler Allgeier. Averaging 6.5 yards a carry, has seven touchdowns through seven games. Good chance he gets another touchdown tonight. Allgeier is a physical downhill back that has excellent breakaway speed when he gets outside the tackles. Boise State has a solid lead back in George Holani who is averaging 6.6 yards a carry, with one touchdown through two games. BYU has one of the better receivers in the country and the NFL scouts will be watching Dax Milne tonight. Milne has found the sweet-spot in opposing defenses averaging 16.8 yards a catch, 706 receiving yards, and 6 touchdowns this season. Boise State’s leading receiver is Khalil Shakir who has put together a nice stat-line through two games. Averaging 16.4 yards a catch on 13 receptions, 2 touchdowns, and 213 receiving yards.
Where the biggest difference lies is within the two defenses in play. BYU is a better team in all phases of the defensive side of the ball. Allowing a mind-blowing 8 points per game to opposing offenses. Opposed to Boise State surrendering 21.9 points per game through two contests. Boise State is effective at stopping the run. However, they are giving up 233.6 yards through the air on average. Take in account those averages for Boise State stem from two lack-luster offenses. With that line of thinking, I don’t feel confident Boise State’s defense can slow BYU down for long.
My pick: Boise State UNDER 29.5 Team Total Points (-108). In BYU’s last two games combined they have only given up 24 points. Boise State is at home; they are eating ice cream and enjoying kettle chips. BYU is taking a trip up here; eating crappy air-line food and they are not looking to fly back home with a loss. I expect this BYU team to be all-in on making a statement tonight. There is a hidden-rule in football; if a team scores 30 points they should win. I don’t think Boise State will win. Therefore, I don’t see them scoring 30 points either.
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