Boise State vs. Southern Miss: Complete Game Preview
Boise State will travel to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to take on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles in Week 6 of the college football season.
The Broncos are looking for some consistency as they travel south for this contest, while the Golden Eagles are searching for an identity and their first win of the season.
Southern Miss is a far cry from the team they were last year. They have a new coaching staff and many new starters, but they are still a team packed with individual athletes and they are getting better every game.
Boise State is not the powerful offensive machine they were last season either. With a new running back and quarterback, the offense has stuttered at times, but they too are seeing some improvement.
It will be an interesting game with two teams in various stages of rebuilding.
Game Day Information
Game: Boise State at Southern Miss
When: Saturday, Kickoff at 12 PM (EST)
Where: Hattiesburg, MS
Stadium: M.M. Roberts Stadium
Radio: Bronco Radio Network, IMG Radio Affiliates
Depth Chart for Boise State
Boise State Offense
QB: Joe Southwick, Grant Hedrick
RB: D.J. Harper, Jay Ajayi
FB: Dan Paul, Connor Peters
TE: 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, Joe Kellogg
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
Depth Chart for Southern Miss
Southern Miss Offense
QB: Ricky Lloyd, Anthony Alford
RB: Desmond Johnson, Jeremy Hester, Jalen Richard
WR: Quentin Pierce, D.J. Thompson
WR: Francisco Llanos, Dominique Sullivan
WR: Tracey Lampley, Justin Sims
TE: Markese Triplett, Ryan Hanks
LT: Jason Weaver, Rashod Hill
LG: Joe Duhon, Taylor Peterson
OC: Austin Quattrochi, Jonathan Guerry
RG: Ed Preston, Jonathan Guerry
RT: Darius Barnes, Vincent Brown
DE: Michael Smith, Anthony Wilsom
NT: Khalid Wilson, Joel Ross
DT: Khyri Thornton, Rakeem Nunez
LB: Jamie Collins, Brandon Fancesconi
LB: Dylan Reda, Terrick Wright
LB: Alan Howze
S: Jerrion Johnson, Justin Penn
S: Alex Smith, Martez Thompson
S: Jacorius Cotton, Emmanuel Johnson
CB: Deron Wilson, Alexander Walters
CB: Reggie Hunt, Ed Wikins
PK: Corey Acosta
P: Peter Boehme
LS: Lance Schuffert
KR: Tracey Lampley
PR: Tracey Lampley
What Happened to the Broncos Last Week
Last week Boise State went down to Albuquerque and nearly came home with a loss. However, in the end the Broncos pulled out a 32-29 victory over a New Mexico team that was a 26-point underdog.
The story was really one of two halves. The first half of football was great for the Broncos. They were leading 25-0 and seemed to be clicking in every area of the game.
The second half, however, Boise State fumbled twice, allowing New Mexico to get back into the game. The momentum then carried the Lobos to a near upset.
Coach Chris Petersen isn't a fan of playing against the triple-option, and last week Bronco fans found out why. With the mistakes made on both sides of the ball, Boise State found itself in a real dog fight. They will have to do much better going forward.
Some good news for Boise State was that their quarterback and offense did much better last week. In total, the Broncos created 514 yards of total offense. Quarterback Joe Southwick threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns. Another good number was zero. That was the number of interceptions Southwick threw.
Over all, the Broncos are showing improvement, but still struggling with inconsistency. They will need to improve that soon.
What Happened to Southern Miss Last Week
It was a rain-soaked game in Mississippi last week when Southern Miss hosted Louisville.
The game ended with Louisville winning a sloppy, messy and very wet 21-17 game. The score made many people scratch their heads because the Cardinals should have won this game by much more.
However, the key player in the game was the rain. It stopped the passing attack of Louisville and forced them to run the ball over and over again.
As a result, it made the game much closer than it should have been. However, it may have given this young Golden Eagles team some confidence.
What It Means to Both Teams
Southern Miss is in search of its first win of the season, and beating Boise State would go a long way in saving a season that has been very disappointing thus far.
With a brand new coaching staff and many new starters this season, the Golden Eagles are not the team that went 12-2 last year. This season must be very disappointing for the team, the coaches and the fans of Southern Miss.
The Broncos are also not the same team compared to last season's 12-1 squad. However, their season has only been mildly disappointing compared to the team they will face Saturday.
Boise State is looking to climb to 4-1 on the year. This game is also the last tune-up before the Broncos face one of the toughest tests in the Mountain West when Fresno State comes calling in Boise next week.
Both teams need the win, and both teams will certainly do all they can to take the victory.
Key Player for Boise State
Once again Joe Southwick will absolutely be the key player of the game for Boise State. Last week against New Mexico, it was Southwick's ability to connect on third down that literally saved the game for Boise State.
Southwick will once again need to make good decisions. He will also need to do what he did against New Mexico by connecting on key third downs and not throw any interceptions.
He will definitely get some help with D.J. Harper and Jay Ajayi, but it all starts with Southwick.
Key Player for Southern Miss
Jamie Collins is a very talented, athletic and powerful player. He, as well as the rest of the Southern Miss defense, will be key in this game.
If Collins and his teammates can get pressure on Southwick and shut down the run game, Boise State will have a very hard time taking home the victory.
Last week Collins had eight tackles and was instrumental in keeping the Louisville game close. On the season, Collins leads the team in total tackles at 35, which is nearly nine tackles per game.
Collins also leads the Golden Eagles in sacks, and he is a key leader on the team. The key to winning the game starts with Collins, his talent, his ability and his leadership.
Boise State Will Win If...
Boise State will win if they don't beat themselves.
The Broncos are a young team and they need to become much more consistent. If the Broncos come out and execute on offense without turnovers, they should win the game.
The defense will of course need to contain the Southern Miss offense, but the key here for Boise State has to be scoring points.
With the emergence of running back Jay Ajayi as well as trusted veteran D.J. Harper, Boise State should be able to run quite well. However, with a few injuries on the offensive line it will be interesting to see if the blocking will be there when the Broncos need it most.
If the running game is working, it will help Southwick a lot. All the junior quarterback will need to do is manage the game and continue the approach of throwing high percentage passes without making bad decisions.
If Boise State doesn't turn the ball over, they are able to run the ball and Southwick controls the game and makes good decisions the Broncos should win the game.
Southern Miss Will Win If...
Southern Miss will win if they can stop the Boise State running game and get to the Broncos quarterback.
If Boise State's scoring is limited, it favors the Golden Eagles.
Look for creative blitzing from Southern Miss. They will want to rattle the Broncos quarterback and force them to turn the ball over. They will also attempt to keep Harper and Ajayi under wraps.
If they are able to do these things, they may very well cause the upset.
This game will be a key contest for the Broncos. Coming off of a less-than-stellar win in New Mexico, their confidence may be shaky.
However, when their backs are against the wall, Boise State usually comes out swinging. After four games this season, Boise State is starting to figure itself out. The new offensive coordinator Robert Prince is settling in, and with Jay Ajayi stepping up, the Broncos offense is getting better.
Boise State will also get another deep threat back this week as wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn returns after serving a four-game suspension.
When it is all said and done, it should be a good game that will be competitive. In the end, Boise State looks to have the edge and should bring home a victory.
Prediction: Boise State 31, Southern Miss 21
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