When they lost at home to Illinois State, which plays in the FCS, the Colorado State Rams were unquestionably not feeling very good about themselves. But they have since rebounded with a couple of victories, although it hasn't been without a struggle.
Things have not been all that easy lately for the Boise State Broncos either. The last time they were playing at home, it turned out to be a very sobering experience. So obviously they hope to make a much better showing of it for the home fans on Friday night.
There's also a national television audience to consider, as Boise State and Colorado State will square off at Albertsons Stadium in Boise.
TV: ESPN2, 9 PM ET. LINE: Boise State -23.5
ABOUT COLORADO STATE: In their "comeback" phase, the Rams first registered a 42-30 victory over San Jose State, in a bizarre game where they lost a 28-point lead by giving up 30 points in the third quarter Then they followed that up with a 20-18 win over New Mexico, although they barely escaped, as it came as a result of a 26-yard field goal from Wyatt Bryan as time expired. The defense did a good job against New Mexico's rampaging quarterback, Sheriron Jones, holding him to just 165 yards through the air, while KJ Carta-Samuels threw for 311 yards. What's very important is that Izzy Matthews had another nice game from the backfield, with 92 rushing yards, coming on the heels of him topping the century mark the week before. At this point, what CSU (3-4 SU and ATS) has to threaten the Boise State secondary is the connection between Carta-Samuels and his top two receivers. Sophomore Preston Williams, the Tennessee transfer who is one of the top receivers in the Mountain West Conference, if not the country, has 671 yards in catches, and defenses can't necessarily overload on him because Olabisi Johnson, the senior from Lakewood, CO, has 533 yards and the higher average than Williams (14.8 yards per reception).
ABOUT BOISE STATE: Well, it is clear that Brian Harsin's team is a step down from earlier editions, though still a prime Mountain West contender. When they played on the Blue Carpet two weeks ago, they had just 229 total yards against San Diego State in a 19-13 loss. Last weekend they faced the same 3-3-5 defensive alignment, this time from the Nevada Wolf Pack, and things were somewhat choppy here and there. However, in the end, Boise State (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS) prevailed 31-27, although some "over" bettors were undoubtedly upset because of the scoreless fourth period. This time the Broncos benefited from big plays that made the difference - an 88-yard TD run from scrimmage from wide receiver John Hightower, which provided a big chunk of BSU's 207 rushing yards, and a 99-yard interception return by Tyler Horton. The reality is that if you took out that run by Hightower, the Broncos have averaged only 2.4 yards per rushing attempt over the last two games. Brett Rypien did have 299 yards through the air on 28-for-38 accuracy. But he also threw three INT's, which helped keep Nevada right in the thick of it.
1. Last year's meeting was a wild one, as the Rams put up 570 total yards and 33 first downs, only to yield 641 yards to the Broncos in a 59-52 overtime defeat. The last time they were in Boise, Colorado State launched a furious comeback, scoring 20 points in the last five minutes, in the process recovering two onside kicks, before falling short 28-23 to BSU, which was ranked 15th in the nation at the time.
2. Wyatt Bryan's winning kick against New Mexico was the 51st field goal of his career, and that tied the all-time Colorado State school record.
3. Playing in Mountain West Conference games on the Blue Carpet, Boise State has covered just two of its last 13 as a favorite.
PREDICTION: Boise State 38, Colorado State 21 Bet Now
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