Heading into bowl season, MWC foes Boise State and Nevada will square off in Reno on Saturday to conclude the regular season.
Chris Petersen's Broncos have gone 9-2 (6-1 MWC), while the Wolf Pack hold a 7-4 record (4-3 MWC).
Saturday's matchup will feature Boise State's defense against Nevada's high-octane rushing attack.
Here's a breakdown of the MWC clash.
Where: Mackay Stadium, Reno, Nev.
When: Saturday, Dec. 1 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Listen: KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM (Boise), BYU Radio, KUUB 94.5 FM (Nevada)
Spread: Boise State -9.5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
I see Boise State actually winning by more than 10 points in Reno, given the Broncos have a strong run defense and a large portion of Nevada's offensive attack lies in its running game.
Nevada's defense also hasn't been anything to write home about this season.
Over/Under: 60 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
I'm taking the "over" by a grand total of one point (see prediction below), although it's close given Boise State's defense could conceivably hold the Wolf Pack to around 20 points.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
WR Mitch Burroughs - Wrist - Probable
DT Greg Grimes - Undisclosed - Questionable
DB Hazen Moss - Undisclosed - Questionable
OL Jake Broyles - Leg - Questionable
OL Alex Pinto - Leg - Questionable
No. 20 Boise State and Nevada will both be going bowling this season, but it would be nice for the Broncos to finish in the Top 25.
A victory would also give the Broncos a share of the MWC title in just their second season in the conference.
Key to Boise State Victory: Limit Nevada Rushing Attack
Nevada is averaging 263 rushing yards per game this season (fifth in the nation) behind junior running back Stefphon Jefferson, who leads the MWC in rushing yards (1,564) and rushing touchdowns (20). The Wolf Pack rely heavily on their running game, so it will be imperative that the Broncos stop the run.
On the other hand, Boise State has allowed just 3.43 yards per carry this season, 18th in the FBS (via CFBStats.com).
Key to Nevada Victory: Run Defense
The Wolf Pack haven't been good against the run or the pass this season, but they have been particularly bad stopping the run.
Nevada has allowed 5.07 yards per carry this season (tied for 111th), part of the reason the team has given up 33 points per game (97th).
Prediction: Boise State 38, Nevada 23
As explosive as Nevada's rushing attack is, I don't see the Wolf Pack doing enough damage against Boise State to win if Boise State a fair amount of points.
Given Nevada has given up a lot of points this season, I don't like its chances on Saturday.
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