Of all of the games in the first week of the college football betting campaign, none are going to be more highly anticipated or hotly contested as the duel between the Boise State Broncos and the Virginia Tech Hokies. Boise has only lost four games under HC Chris Petersen, but this is going to be one of the toughest tests the program has had since the Fiesta Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners which was won on the infamous Statue of Liberty play.
- VaTech-Boise State Week 1 Point Spread: Boise State -2.5 points
- VaTech-Boise State Week 1 Over-Under: 50.5 points (opened at 49.5)
Here are the three keys to the game that will determine the winner on Labor Day night:
Boise State vs. VaTech Key #1: Can Boise overcome all of the intangibles in this game?
- A year before Boise State really got on the map with the win in the Fiesta Bowl, they went "Between the Hedges" and squared off with the Georgia Bulldogs. The Dawgs put a whooping on Boise that day, a loss that forever stung. Though there are big wins against teams like Oregon on the road and Oklahoma in that neutral site, Boise State really hasn't overcome the long road trip east and defeated one of the big boys in the big conferences as a visitor. Though this is a "neutral site game," FedEx Field will almost certainly be at least 90 percent in maroon and orange. Parlay that with the obvious high ranking and national attention for Boise, and the end result might be a bit much to overcome for Boise State. (see expert Boise St. vs. VaTech Picks)
Boise State vs. VaTech Key #2: Can Tyrod Taylor take care of the football?
- If he doesn't, V-Tech is as good as dead. Boise had one of the top offenses and defenses in the nation last season and returns all but one starter on the entire team from that squad. Taylor, a dual threat as both a runner and passer, can make things happen like no one Boise State will ever see in the WAC. Unfortunately, he’s also very turnover prone. If he takes care of the pigskin, all of the returning starters might be able to get the Hokies into the high 20s, a number which it figures to have to reach to win this game.
Boise State vs. VaTech Key #3: Is Kellen Moore nothing more than a product of the soft schedule?
- Moore might have played well against TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, but he hasn't taken on any of the real major programs in his career as of yet. Virginia Tech has a swarming defense that will inevitably rank in the Top 25 nationally once again this year. No quarterback in the nation had a better TD/INT ratio than #11 did last year, but that could be tested. Just like V-Tech's signal caller, Moore must absolutely protect the pigskin in his biggest game.
Boise State is favored in this game, which shows incredible disrespect to one of the best programs in the land in VTECH. The Hokies are going to prove right away that they command respect of the voters and oddsmakers by winning a huge de facto home game to spoil the National Championship aspirations of Boise State right at the outset of the season.
Boise State vs. Virginia Tech Score Prediction: Virginia Tech 27 - Boise State 21