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It's been an extraordinary week and while we can't continue to win forever,
we most certainly will try and have some intriguing matchups lined up
Take the UNDER 62 Total in Boise State vs. BYU
Two of the nation's hottest teams square off tonight in a Friday Night
While there is no doubt that the offenses have really shined for both
of these teams so far this season, it really is the defense that has
been outstanding and something that no one is really talking much about. BYU is allowing opponents
to score just a little above 21 points per game, which also includes
the 47 that they game up on the road to Houston last week! Prior to
that strange shootout, no team had reached more than 21 total points
on BYU. That includes some potent offenses like Utah, Georgia Tech, MTSU
and Utah State. Boise State has been quietly good on the defensive front
as well allowing opponents an average of just over 22 points per game.
Another aspect about this game that I believe will contribute to the
final score is the fact that both of these teams are predominately running teams. The passing accuracy of BYU QB Taysom Hill has been widely scrutinized
this season. Hill has gotten better with his passing game but where
he has really hurt teams is with his feet on the ground. Boise State
is built much the same way as BYU is. Starting Broncos QB Joe Southwick broke his ankle last game so backup
QB Grant Hendrick who is a bit banged up will be taking over the duties
for tonight's contest. For years the Broncos have had pocket passing QB's with Kellen Moore
and Joe Southwick, however with Hendrick, his strength is not in his
pocket presence it's also on the ground with his feet. Hendrick ran
for 120+ yards last week in relief duty against Nevada. Now, BYU is
not Nevada and excels against stopping the run and Boise St is no run
of the mill defense either and have historically been stout up front
in stopping the run as well. If both QBs are forced to pass the football
in order to move the chains, this could turn more into a battle of field
position than a shootout.
Running the football is something that essentially quickens the game. Running takes time
off the clock at a faster rate since the clock is always running. Teams methodically and slowly march up the field while running the
football and typically take 6-7 minute drives to reach the endzone. This is something
that is used as a tactical advantage to increase time of possession
and keep the other team's offense off the field. This will also significantly
limit the amount of possessions the other team gets and thus limit scoring
opportunities. Both of these teams have been stingy when it comes to
giving up touchdowns and the difference between scoring a touchdown
and scoring a field goal will ultimately decide the Over / Under in
this game. If both defense step up and force field goals instead of
allowing their opponent into the endzone, there is little chance that
this game even gets close to the 62 point mark.
Last season these two teams played to a 7-6 final with BYU edging
out Boise State late. While I don't expect the same final score tonight, it's not unreasonable
to think that this game could be low scoring. With both QB's struggling
in the passing game, I don't expect to see a lot of down field shots
all night. Both secondary's will more than likely give up a couple of
big plays but to think that each team will march up and down the field
on each other is something that I just don't see happening. Provo is a tough
place to play and Boise hasn't exactly fared incredibly well on the
road averaging just 24 points per game.
When two prolific offenses clash, it's not uncommon to see both defenses
step up and turn it into a chess match. I believe that is likely to
happen here tonight. Both teams will struggle and have key moments of
success but for the most part I believe the defenses will be the stars
of tonight's game. I could see either team ultimately pulling out a
win in this game but whoever does win, it will be a hard fought one.
I believe 62 is too many points, I am seeing somewhere in the neighborhood
of a 27-24 type final score. Take the Under.
Some other trends to consider:
- Under is 4-0 in last 4 BYU games after accumulating more than 200
yards rushing in their previous game!
- Under is 5-1 in last 6 BYU games after allowing more than 40 points
in their previous game!
- Under is 12-3-1 in last 16 BYU games on Friday!
- Under is 4-1 in BYU's last 4 games against the MWC
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