The long-range weather forecast for Boise couldn’t be better for a game in November on the blue turf at Bronco Stadium. The forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and temperatures reaching a daytime high of 60. Though the overnight low is 38, the evening game should be moderate enough to make for a great fall setting for football.
There is a lot riding on the game between the Broncos and San Diego State. Boise State’s defensive secondary has been hit by suspensions and injuries, so that could open up some probing opportunities by Aztec quarterback Adam Dingwell. The Aztecs also like to run the ball, and Boise State has given up the most rushing yardage when the ball-carriers have hit the corners.
That will further put pressure on the linebackers and secondary to step up and stop the San Diego State ground game.
Boise State enters the game at 4-0 in conference play and 7-1 overall. San Diego State is 4-1 in Mountain West Conference play and 6-3 overall.
Let’s get started in breaking down the matchup.
Game: San Diego State at Boise State
When: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012
Time: 8:30 p.m. MST
Where: Boise, Idaho
Stadium: Bronco Stadium
Television: CBS Sports Network
Radio: Broncos Radio Network, Aztecs Radio--KOGO
X position wider receiver: 2—Matt Miller; 18—Aaron Burks
Z wide receiver: 3—Chris Potter; 81—Dallas Burroughs
H wide receiver: 34—Kirby Moore; 17—Geraldo Boldewijn
LT: 78—Charles Leno, Jr.; 75—Faraji Wright
LG: 61—Joe Kellogg; 72—Marcus Henry
C: 65—Matt Paradis; 77—Spencer Gerke
RG: 77—Spencer Gerke; 54—Michael Ames
RT: 64—Brenel Myers; 67—Rees Odhiambo
TE: 88—Chandler Koch; 85—Holden Huff
QB: 16—Joe Southwick; 9—Grant Hedrick; 14—Jimmy Laughrea
RB: 7—D.J. Harper; 27—Jay Ajayi
FB: 47—Dan Paul; 89—Connor Peters
E: 8—Demarcus Lawrence; 69—Tyler Horn
T: 43—Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe; 95—Darren Koontz
N: 99—Mike Atkinson; 91—Greg Grimes
SE: 82—Sam Ukwuachu; 53—Beau Martin; 41—Kharyee Marshall
LB: 33—Tommy Smith; 13—Blake Renaud
LB: 48—J.C. Percy; 36—Tyler Gray
S: 10—Jeremy Ioane; 24—Hazen Moss
S: 35—Darian Thompson; 28—Dillon Lukehart
N: 6—Dextrell Simmons; 38—Corey Bell; 32—Jonathan Brown
CB: 5—Jamar Taylor; 37—Ebo Makinde
CB: 4—Jerrell Gavins; 16—Deon’tae Florence
PK: 84—Michael Frisina; 41—Dan Goodale
KO: 14—Trevor Harman
LT: 78—Bryce Quigley; 66—Riley Gauld
LG: 66—Riley Gauld; 51—Jimmy Miller
C: 71--Alec Johnson; 51—Jimmy Miller
RG: 68—Nik Embernate; 51—Jimmy Miller
RT: 64—Zach Dilley; 69—Paul Rodriguez
X-Wide receiver: 19—Brice Butler; 3—Ezell Ruffin
Running back: 4—Adam Muema; 34—Walter Kazee
Quarterback: 6—Adam Dingwell; 12—Jake Bernards
Fullback: 40—Chad Young; 44—Adam Roberts
Tight End: 44—Adam Roberts; 85—D.J. Shields; 88—Gavin Escobar
Z-Wide Receiver: 18—Dominique Sandifer; 10—Dylan Denso; 24—Colin Lockett
E: 59—Jordan Thomas; 99—Jon Sanchez
T: 98—Sam Meredith; 94—Robert Craighead
E: 47—Cody Galea; 90—Everett Beed
LB: 36—Nick Tenhaeff; 48—Josh Gavert
MLB: 42—Jake Fely; 44—Rob Andrews
LB: 50—Derek Largent; 37—Vaness Harris
CB: 2—Leon McFadden; 35—King Holder
Warrior: 26—Marcus Andrews; 39—Rene Siluano
Aztec: 20—Nat Berhe; 30—Darius Guillory
Warrior: 27—Eric Pinkins; 6—Gabe Lemon
CB: 12—Josh Wade; 16—David Lamar
P: 17—Seamus McMorrow; 77—Joel Alesi
PK: 43—Chance Marden; 17—Seamus McMorrow
KO: 17—Seamus McMorrow; 43—Chance Marden
Boise State turned in strong performances on both sides of the ball against Wyoming, winning 45-14 on the road.
The Broncos defense limited Wyoming to just 270 yards of total offense, kept Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith in check for most of the game and even returned a fumble for a touchdown.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Broncos presented a balanced attack. Boise State had 214 yards rushing and 223 yards through the air. Running back D.J. Harper turned in another 100-yard game, finishing with 105 yards on the ground and two touchdowns while adding on another 18 yards with receptions.
Quarterback Joe Southwick did toss an interception, but was 20-of-28 for 198 yards.
The Aztecs beat UNLV at home in Qualcomm Park, registering a 24-13 win.
The Aztecs’ rushing attack pounded UNLV for 275 yards, led by Adam Muema’s 143 yards. Adam Dingwell was 13-of-26 through the air for two touchdowns against one interception. San Diego State also coughed three fumbles and lost two of those.
Overall, San Diego State’s offense amassed 506 yards total, while the Aztec defense held UNLV to just 300 yards for the game. The Aztecs also dominated time of possession, 34:34 to 25:26.
Boise State sits atop the Mountain West Conference standings at 4-0. The Broncos need to beat San Diego State to stay on track for a conference championship, maintain its national rankings—No. 19 in the BCS and AP polls and No. 14 in the USA Today poll—and keep hopes alive for a good postseason bowl game.
San Diego State is 4-1 in the MWC. Beating the Broncos will put the Aztecs in a good position to claim a share of the conference title with a game against another title contender, Air Force, looming on Nov. 10. Fresno State, also sitting at 4-1, has beaten San Diego State but has yet to play Air Force.
Both teams are bound for the Big East, so a win in the last meeting between the two in the Mountain West Conference gives bragging rights of a sort.
He has been a key factor all year, so why should this game be any different?
D.J. Harper has been carrying a lot of the Bronco offense on his shoulders during the season to date. He will again be key to the Broncos' offensive success against the Aztecs. San Diego State has been strong against the run, allowing only 125.4 yards per game.
Harper has been averaging 89.1 yards per game, has 713 net yards rushing on the season and has scored 10 rushing touchdowns. As a receiver, Harper is tied for third on the team with 15 catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Running back Adam Muema has averaged 6.1 yards per carry on the season and has 892 total rushing yards for the season. The 5’10”, 205 lbs. sophomore also has nine rushing touchdowns and has caught four passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. He is averaging just under 100 yards per game through nine games.
While the Broncos secondary has been hit by suspensions and injuries, the key will be for Muema to run around the corners for the Aztecs, racking up yards on the ground while allowing San Diego State to dominate in time of possession.
The defense needs to stop the run, especially to the outside. Containing a potent Aztec rushing attack will set up the opportunities for takeaways and allow the defense to give the Bronco offense good field position.
San Diego State has also given away nine fumbles and thrown five interceptions.
While having the offense sustain drives and put the ball into the end zone, much like it did against Wyoming last week, is vital, the team key will rest on the defense, again.
If San Diego State’s running game can get to the corners and turn the ball up field, it will accomplish a couple of goals: It will dominate time of possession and wear down the Bronco defense. Not turning over the ball will be vital for the Aztecs’ success on the Bronco smurf turf.
On the other side of the ball, if San Diego State, which has been stingiest against the run, can force Boise State into a passing offense to win the game, the Aztecs have a shot at upending the Broncos. Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick has shown a propensity to track receivers, force the ball into double coverage and his average yardage-per-game numbers are not all that great.
Southwick ranks No. 65 in the nation (out of 100) in passing yardage per game, averaging only 209.8 yards per game with a completion percentage of 65.64.
The suspension to Lee Hightower will put some players in the defensive secondary that may have trouble reading runs to the outside, giving the Aztecs good gains in the running game. Though the defense is expected to step up, if Boise State cannot get its own running game untracked, it might be a tough game for the Broncos.
The prediction, though, figures on Harper and/or Jay Ajayi finding room to run while the defense takes away the San Diego State run game. Having the home-field advantage is also huge for the Broncos.
Boise State should win by two touchdowns.