In their biggest season yet, Boise State will have to perform at a high-level week in-week out. A preseason top five team, the Broncos will have the best shot any non-AQ team has ever had at the national title.
Their schedule is the hardest it’s ever been, which should silence most critics about their weak SOS. It’s not going to be easy for Boise State, but it’s possible. Here are the five must-see games for the 2010 season.
When it comes to a rivalry game, anything can happen.
Idaho, under head coach Robb Akey, was the surprise team in the WAC of the 2009 season, finishing 7-5 before defeating Bowling Green in the Humanitarian Bowl. Returning quarterback Nathan Enderle will be one to watch, after passing for nearly 3,000 yards and 22 touchdowns in his junior campaign.
The game will be played in Moscow, ID, which is never an easy place to play. However, head coach Chris Petersen will not allow the Broncos to lose to Idaho.
Prediction: Boise State 48-Idaho 24
Fresno State returns signal caller Ryan Colburn for his senior season. Colburn accounted for almost 2,500 yards and 19 touchdowns in his junior year.
The Bulldogs will be losing Ryan Mathews, an AP second-team All-American. However, he will be replaced by Robbie Rouse, who averaged 5.8 yards per carry last season.
Fresno State-Boise State is perhaps the most competitive rivalry in the WAC, but the game will be played in Boise, and the Broncos don’t lose on the blue.
Prediction: Boise State 56-Fresno State 35
Nevada led the country in rushing last season with three 1,000-yard rushers. Two of those rushers, RB Vai Taua and QB Colin Kaepernick will be returning for next season.
Kaepernick, a three year starter, has always played Boise State tough. Three years ago in his first collegiate start, he took Boise State to four overtimes.
The fact that the game will be played in Reno, NV will present a tough task for the Broncos, but the Broncos will be able to score enough points to outlast the Wolfpack.
Prediction: Boise State 56-Nevada 42
The Beavers were close to a Rose Bowl berth last season, before losing a close battle to Oregon 37-33.
Oregon State loses their All-Pac 10 first team quarterback Sean Canfield. However, they return RB Jacquizz Rodgers and WR James Rodgers, who combined for 30 touchdowns. They are the second best brother duo in college football, right behind the Moore brothers.
Boise State is 2-2 all time versus Oregon State, but with the question at who is going to start for the Beavers, the Broncos will defeat Oregon State pretty easily in Boise.
Prediction: Boise State 42-Oregon State 20
This is the highlight of Boise State’s schedule and perhaps the biggest non-conference game in all of college football.
The game is being played at FedEx Field in Washington D.C. which is practically a home game for Virginia Tech. This game will be a match-up of two top 10 teams.
Virginia Tech returns QB Tyrod Taylor, and two 1,000-yard rushers in Darren Evens and Ryan Williams. However, the Hokies have a question on the defense, as they have to replace six starters.
If the game had remained in early October, this game would be a toss up, but since it’s the first game of the year now, the Broncos will win. Boise State hasn’t lost their first game of the season since 2005 at Georgia.
Prediction: Boise State 31-Virginia Tech 24.