Dr. Bob Previews BOISE STATE -7 @ FRESNO STATE
Fresno State is capable of ending Boise State's BCS Bowl dreams, but the Bulldogs don't appear to be good enough defensively to keep Broncos' quarterback Kellen Moore from ultimately guiding his team to victory once it's established that Fresno can stop the run. Boise has averaged just 3.7 yards per rushing play in their first two games, including a modest 4.8 yprp in their 48-0 win last week over lowly Miami-Ohio and the Bulldogs are decent in run defense.
Fresno hasn't proven to be able to defend the pass at a better than average level though, as they allowed 7.1 yards per pass play to Wisconsin last week. I rate Fresno's defense about average overall and Moore is too good a passer not to be able to pick up the slack again if his running game continues to be sub-par.
What makes Boise State good is their defense, which held Oregon to just 3.5 yards per play and Miami-Ohio to only 3.0 yppl. Fresno State has a potent offense with 3 good running backs (they've averaged 5.5 yards per rushing play so far) and a quarterback in Ryan Colburn that can throw the ball down the field successfully (he's averaging 16.7 yards per completion and 10.0 yards per attempt). Colburn, however, has thrown 4 interceptions and Boise State has a ball hawking secondary that has picked off 4 passes this season after collecting 22 interceptions in 12 games against 1A teams last season.
If Colburn can limit himself to 1 interception then this game should be close, but my ratings favor Boise State by 9 points and there are situations favoring both teams in this game.
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