NCAA Football: Boise State Broncos vs. Utah State Aggies Preview, Prediction & Odds - Sept. 25, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: Noon ET, Sept. 25, 2021
Venue: Maverik Stadium, Logan, UT
Where to watch: CBS

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Boise State -7.5; O/U 63.5; Boise -350, Utah State +270
BetMGM: Boise State -7.5; O/U 63.5
Caesars: Boise State -9; O/U 63.5;  Boise -350, Utah State +280

Season record
Boise State: 1-2
Utah State: 3-0 (1-0 Mountain West)

Team Del Genio was a PERFECT 4-0 in all-sports on Saturday to further a 9 of 11 (82%) HOT STREAK this week, WINNING their 25* NCAA-F Pac-12 Game of the Month with USC and their 25* NCAA-F Saturday TV Total of the Month with the ASU/BYU under! Catch Del Genio’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Utah State-Boise State preview and analysis


Recent form
Boise State: lost 21-20 vs. Oklahoma State on Sept. 18
Utah State: won 49-45 at Air Force on Sept. 18

I’m going to be honest about this one. I’m trying to spend time figuring out how the Boise State Broncos are favored here.

I get it, right? Not all matchups between a 1-2 program and 3-0 team are going to be like this. The 1-2 team could always play tougher opponents and look great coming out of it, while the 3-0 squad may not have played anyone great.

But you look at the Utah State Aggies and think there’s no way they should be an underdog by anything bigger than a touchdown. This line should be smaller now that Utah State is off to a 3-0 start after winning 49-45 on Saturday against the Air Force Falcons at the Academy

The Aggies outscored the Falcons 36-21 in the second half, and Calvin Tyler Jr. capped off the comeback with a 61-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to give Utah State an impressive road victory in that altitude.

Tyler had 19 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns, which was a perfect complement to quarterback Logan Bonner throwing for 253 yards and two touchdowns. He wasn’t the only USU quarterback to get some run on Saturday; Andrew Peasley threw three touchdowns in the second half, including a 72-yard strike to star receiver Deven Thompkins in the fourth quarter.

But the Utah State defense had a difficult time containing the triple-option offense from Air Force. The Falcons put up a ridiculous 446 yards on the ground with two players going over 100 yards. Five of the six touchdowns were on the ground, and they averaged a nice 6.9 yards per carry.

Sure, the other wins were against North Dakota and Washington State, but the Aggies’ win in Pullman was as impressive as a road win as one could have. And even though moral victories don’t exist in this lifetime, Washington State played USC tough on Saturday and had the thought of an upset for at least a half.

For the Broncos, this will be the Mountain West Conference opener for a program that can still run the table and win the conference title. But after two deflating one-score losses against two very good teams out of conference -- the UCF Knights and the Oklahoma State Cowboys -- there may be reason to feel deflated if you’re a Boise State supporter.

Oklahoma State running back Jaylen Warren ran all over the Boise State defense at Albertson’s Stadium, gashing the blue turf for 218 yards and two touchdowns. That included a 75-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

Neither team scored in the second half. Boise State had a chance to take the lead late, but Jonah Dalmas’ field goal attempt was blocked with 2:05 to go.

Boise State’s offense revolves around quarterback Hank Bachmeier, and he did his part when the running game failed to get going. The sophomore threw for 242 yards, a touchdown and one interception. The Broncos running game was held to 61 yards, and 55 combined from running backs George Holani and Cyrus Habibi-Likio.

There’s no question Boise State can take out the inferior teams in the conference like UNLV, Colorado State, New Mexico and maybe San Diego State. But are they up to par with the likes of Fresno State, San Jose State and Utah State? 

Prediction


I like the feel of this Utah State team a lot. Boise State needs to clean up its run defense, and after that strong day at the Academy, Tyler is due for another big day. Boise State may win this one, but one thing’s for sure is Utah State will cover at home. The state of Idaho should certainly be concerned with how this goes. Boise State by 3

Betting trends


Boise State is 16-3 straight up in its last 19, but just 10-9 against the spread.

Utah State is 3-10 ATS in games following a conference game, but are 5-1 ATS in September.

Players to watch


Boise State: This is going to be an amazing matchup of wide receivers with star power in this game. Khalil Shakir was kept out of the end zone on Saturday, but he caught eight passes for 78 yards against Oklahoma State.

Utah State: On the Utah State front, it’s Deven Thompkins having a stellar start in this 3-0 run. Thompkins had nine catches for 188 yards and a touchdown, and even Brandon Bowling had nine catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns.

Statistical leaders


Boise State:
Passing: Hank Bachmeier -- 845 yards, 5 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Cyrus Habibi-Likio -- 61 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Khalil Shakir -- 335 yards, 2 TD
Defense: Tyric LeBeauf & Seyi Oladipo -- 2 INT

Utah State:
Passing: Logan Bonner -- 786 yards, 7 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Calvin Tyler Jr. -- 288 yards, 4 TD
Receiving: Deven Thompkins -- 454 yards, 3 TD
Defense: Justin Rice -- 30 tackles, 3 INT

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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