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Friday Night Lights Preview -- Boise v Utah St
by ASA - 11/19/2009
Boise opened as a 25 point favorite but that line made a steady drop throughout the week and now sits at 23 points. The total hasn’t moved much and remains steady at 61.5.
Boise State hasn’t necessarily “struggled” on the road this season, but they haven’t been as dominant on the road as they have been at home. On the blue turf of Boise, the Broncos are 5-0 and out-score their opponents by an average of 30 PPG and allow just 263.4 YPG (4-1 ATS).
They are also 5-0 on the road, but struggle a bit defensively. They are allowing 22.6 PPG and 328 YPG (3-2 ATS). They’ve had two “close calls;” a 7-point win @ Tulsa, and a 10-point win @LA Tech
Utah State is 3-1 (both ATS & SU) at home this season and their only loss was a narrow 3-point defeat against Nevada in October. Their only three wins of the season have been at home and their record stands at 3-7.
Don’t be quick to judge the Aggies by their 3-7 record. They’ve been in almost every game this season but just haven’t come out on top. Four of their losses are by 8 points or less and the margin of defeat in all of their losses is by just 9.5 PPG.
Boise QB Kellen Moore is quietly having himself a breakout season. Moore is completing 67% of his passes for 255.8 YPG with 32 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions.
In his last four games alone, he’s completed 70% of his passes with 16 touchdowns and just 1 interception. Last year against Utah State, Moore was 27 of 36, for 362 yards with 2 TD’s in a 49-14 Boise victory. The Aggies have had their share of problems on defense this season and rank 107th in total defense and 97th in scoring defense.
They will have to play a lot better if they want to stick with the high-octane offense of Boise State.
Aggies Key: Ground Game
If Utah State wants to stay in this game, they will have to do what few teams have been able to do against Boise: Run the ball effectively. The Broncos have allowed just three of their opponents to finish with over 100 yards rushing; Fresno State, LA Tech, and Idaho.
Those opponents had the three highest point totals against the Broncos this season with 34, 35, and 25 points, respectively. Two of those three games were in the past two weeks. Is that a sign that Boise is getting fatigued? Or is it just that every team is giving Boise 150% to try and knock off the 10-0 Broncs?
In any case, if Utah State can get Robert Turbin the ball early and often (1122 yds rushing, 9 TD’s – 334 yds receiving, 3 TD’s), the Aggies could remain in this game long enough to get the ATS cover.
Boise is 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games as a road favorite and 11-4 ATS in their last 15 Friday games. Utah State is 8-0-1 ATS in their last 9 games as an underdog and 8-1 ATS in their last 9 home games. The ‘Broncs have gone ‘over’ in 5 of their last 6 road games, but the Aggies have stayed ‘under’ in 5 of their last 8 home games.
Head-to-head: the Broncos are 4-0-2 ATS in their last 6 meetings with Utah State and the game has gone ‘over’ the total in 4 of the last 5 meetings.
The beautiful city of Logan, Utah will be partly cloudy and comfortable. Temps are forecasted for Mid 50s at kick-off slightly dipping to 40s as the game progresses. No precipitation is expected with relatively calm winds (5-10 mph).