Boise State hits the road after a pair of home victories. The Broncos will head to New Mexico to take on a much-improved Lobos team.
Bob Davie is in his first year with New Mexico, and he has his team heading in the right direction. The Lobos are currently 2-2 on the season, but do they have what it takes to upset Boise State?
Coach Chris Petersen is looking for some offense. Against BYU at home in Bronco Stadium, the men in blue and orange could only muster a single touchdown—and that was on defense.
However, the canvas the Broncos will have at their disposal in New Mexico may allow first-year starting quarterback Joe Southwick and first-year offensive coordinator Robert Prince to create an offensive masterpiece.
With the improvements from New Mexico, it won't be as it was last year when Boise State pounded the Lobos at Bronco Stadium. This 2012 New Mexico team is scrappy and plays with heart and passion.
Let's look at the matchup between the Broncos and the Lobos.
Game: Boise State vs. New Mexico
When: 4:00 p.m. (MST)
Where: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Stadium: University Stadium Branch Field
TV: KTVB Boise, Idaho.
Radio: Bronco Radio Network, 770 KKOB-AM/Lobo Radio Network
Boise State Offense
QB: Joe Southwick, Grant Hedrick
RB: D.J. Harper, Jay Ajayi
FB: Dan Paul, Chandler Koch
TE: Gabe Linehan, Chandler Koch, Holden Huff
WX: Matt Miller, Aaron Burks
WZ: Mitch Burroughs, Dallas Burroughs
HR: Kirby Moore, Chris Potter
RT: Brenel Myers, Jake Broyles
RG: Michael Ames, Brenel Myers
OC: Matt Paradis, Spencer Gerke
LG: Spencer Gerke, Marcus Henry
LT: Charles Leno Jr., Faraji Wright
DE: Demarcus Lawrence, Tyler Horn
NT: Mike Atkinson, Greg Grimes
DT: Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, Darren Koontz
DE: Sam Ukwuachu, Beau Martin
WB: J.C. Percy, Tyler Gray
MB: Tommy Smith, Blake Renaud
NB: Dextrell Simmons, Corey Bell
CB: Jamar Taylor, Ebo Makinde
CB: Jerrell Gavins, Bryan Douglas
S: Jeremy Ioane, Hazen Moss
S: Lee Hightower, Darian Thompson
P: Trevor Harman, Dan Goodale
K: Michael Frisina, Dan Goodale
KO: Trevor Harman, Dan Goodale
KR: D.J. Harper, Mitch Burroughs
PR: Mitch Burroughs, Chris Potter
LS: Chris Roberson, Kevin Keane
New Mexico Lobos Offense
QB: B.R. Holbrook, Cole Gautsche
TB: Kasey Carrier, Jhurell Pressley, Demarcus Rogers
WRH: Lamaar Thomas, Carols Wiggins
WRZ: Quintell Solomon, SaQwan Edwards
TEY: Lucas Reed, Chris Biren
WRX: Ty Kirk, Jeric Magnant
LT: Korian Chambers, Johnny Vizcaino
LG: LaMar Bratton, Calvin McDowney
OC: Dillon Farrell, Josh Baggett
RG: Garrett Adcock, Dillon Romine
RT: Darryl Johnson, Jamal Price
New Mexico Lobos Defense
DE: Jacori Greer, Jake Carr
NT: Reggie Ellis, Rod Davis
DT: Ugo Uzodinma, Rod Davis
RushLB: Joseph Harris, Javarie Johnson
MLB: Joe Stoner, Toby Ball
WLB: Dallas Bollema, A.J. Butler
Sam: Rashad Rainey, Tevin Newman
LCB: Destry Berry, Cranston Jones
SS: Jamal Merritt, Matt Raymer
FS: Brandon Branch, Dante Caro
RCB: DeShawn Mills, Tim Foley
FG/PAT: Justus Adams
KO: Greg Rivara
P: Ben Skaer
LS: Evan Jackson
H: Ben Skaer
KOR: Chase Clayton, David Anaya
PR: Ty Kirk, Carlos Wiggins
Boise State faced BYU at home on a wild Thursday night game that was televised on ESPN.
Neither offense could get anything done, and in the end it was a 7-6 victory for the Broncos.
Boise State learned three things from the BYU game.
1. They have an incredible defense.
2. They need a lot of work on offense.
3. Winning ugly is still winning.
The Lobos of New Mexico took on in-state rival New Mexico State in Las Cruces last Saturday.
It was a game that the Lobos never trailed in and ended up winning, 27-14. It put New Mexico at 2-2, surpassing its win total from a year ago of one.
New head coach Bob Davie seems to have his team on the right track going forward.
In the New Mexico State game, the Lobos had 394 yards of total offense with 302 of that coming by way of the ground attack. The Lobos used their triple-option offense to perfection against the Aggies, but against the Boise State defense it won't be near as easy.
For Boise State, the New Mexico game is the first conference game of the season. One of the biggest goals for the Broncos in 2012 is to take home the Mountain West trophy in their last season as a member.
It starts in Albuquerque, and it will be a big first step.
Not only that, but the New Mexico game is a perfect place to work out some offensive issues the Broncos have been having. It will be the perfect environment to get some more players into the game and to allow Joe Southwick some situations to succeed.
In the end, it should be a great confidence booster for the entire Boise State team, but especially the offense.
For New Mexico, a win would be huge—no, enormous.
It would be one of the biggest wins in school history if the Lobos were able to pull it off. It would be the kind of victory that players and coaches would talk about for years to come.
Do the Lobos have it in them to take home the victory? It would take a lot more than them just having a great game.
Joe Southwick—again. Not because he is the key to winning the game, but because the pressure is on him to perform.
If Joe Southwick goes down to New Mexico and has a great game, it is safe to say the Broncos win. However, Boise State could still win if Southwick is average or even less than average.
Look for this to be a real confidence builder for Southwick. If he plays to his potential, gets in a rhythm, hits the passes he should hit and even lands a deep ball, the Broncos could benefit greatly all season from an Albuquerque showcase.
The New Mexico Lobos love to run. They have a triple-option offense that rivals the likes of Air Force, with similar characteristics of the Nevada Wolf Pack.
Last week, Kasey Carrier had 21 carries for 129 yards and one touchdown. His longest was a 29-yard scamper, but the most impressive number was 6.1. That was the yards per carry that Carrier racked up against the Aggies.
It will be important for the Broncos to shut down all of the talented running backs of New Mexico, but Carrier ranks No. 1.
If Boise State can shut him down, there are others who can step up. However, they aren't as talented as Kasey, and stopping him would go a long way in stopping the entire Lobos offense.
Boise State will win if they can shut down the New Mexico offense.
New Mexico runs the option, and what a good option offense does is limit the offense of the opposing team. How, you might ask?
If an option offense is successful at moving the ball, it chews up clock. In turn, that could limit the amount of time Boise State has on offense. Instead of getting a dozen opportunities to score some points over the course of the game, an option offense on the opposing team can reduce those chances for the opposing offense by three, four or even five possessions.
That is a lot of opportunity that is taken away from the opposing team.
So, if Boise State is able to create some three-and-outs, it will allow their offense to have more opportunities to score some points.
The Broncos offense will then need to play with consistency and make some things happen. They will certainly need to score some points to win this game.
New Mexico will win if their option is successful and they can step it up on defense.
First, if the option is successful it will limit the opportunities Boise State has on offense. It could also tire out a Bronco defense, and late in the game that could be a factor.
However, the New Mexico defense will have to do some good things as well. Which, won't be easy for a defense that has allowed an average of 32.3 points per game this season.
If the Lobos can step up on defense and hold the Boise State offense to less than 14 points, they may have a real chance at taking home the victory.
In the end, Boise State gets it right.
Coach Chris Petersen has had a couple extra days of preparation for this contest, and you know he didn't let those go to waste.
Knowing his history, the Broncos coach has no doubt worked on his offense. Look for Joe Southwick to have the kind of day he had against Miami (Ohio). In fact, look for him to surpass that performance.
Look for D.J. Harper to do what D.J. Harper does and run for over 100 yards. Also, look for Jay Ajayi to have some serious yardage as this game should be the one that announces him to the college football world. Don't be surprised if the Broncos have two backs over 100 yards in this game.
Look for the deep ball. Either Dallas Burroughs or Aaron Burks, or both, will have catches over 45 yards.
Look for the Bronco defense to continue to do what they do, and in the end the triple-option offense will be controlled and limited by a very excellent Boise State D.
Prediction: Boise State 47, New Mexico 13