Fresno State vs. Boise State odds, line: Picks and predictions from advanced computer model on 7-3 roll

Fresno State vs. Boise State odds, line: Picks and predictions from advanced computer model on 7-3 roll
Remember Boise State coachs We physically beat them line? Bulldogs sure havent
A likely must-win game for Boise State in its Mountain West title hopes. The opponent, tied for the highest-ranked team to ever come to Albertsons Stadium. Strength against strength. The first time a program built on acting like an underdog has actually been an underdog at home in years.

Fridays matchup between No. 16 Fresno State and Boise State is as big of a conference game the Blue has seen in a long time, but the fans arent buying it. The school reported that nearly 29,000 tickets had been sold as of noon Wednesday for the 36,387-capacity venue.

Video: Bulldogs & Broncos – The Battle On The Blue

A big crowd could make a difference between two teams that are a combined 15-3 this season, neither having lost in at least a month. Regardless, the home team is excited for a meaningful November home game with a lot on the line.

Its a hot one, Im glad we have this opportunity, said senior cornerback Tyler Horton, a Fresno native.

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This may come as a shock (sarcasm intended), but the Broncos have hammered home the point that they have a one-game-at-a-time mentality, that they respect every opponent, etc.

Even the fact that the Broncos likely wont be favored at kickoff at home for the first time in any regular season game since 2001 matters little. But in terms of that main goal, a conference title, some are aware of the importance of a victory.

There was some movement around the Bulldogs at No. 23, with Washington in at No. 25 and Auburn in at No. 24, Iowa State moving up to No. 22 from No. 24 and Boston College in at No. 17 up from No. 22.

We understand this is a very good team were facing … I dont think (being underdogs) is going to fire us up any more, senior quarterback Brett Rypien said. We know this is a big game, we knew we essentially have to win this game.

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With one conference loss (Oct. 6 to San Diego State), the Broncos still control their fate if they win out, beating Fresno State, then New Mexico on the road next Friday and Utah State at home on Nov. 24.

The Bulldogs, 8-1 and 5-0 in the Mountain West Conference, are No. 23. UCF (8-0 and 5-0 in the American Athletic Conference) is No. 12.

A loss Friday would in all likelihood dash their hopes for a Mountain Division crown, as Utah State has just 1-8 San Jose State and 3-6 Colorado State before facing Boise State, meaning the Aggies probably will come to Boise without a Mountain West loss.

(Coach Bryan) Harsin talks about how this is pretty much the start of the playoffs for us, theres a lot of stuff on the line with this game, junior linebacker Tyson Maeva said.

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Whatever the reason is that tickets arent being gobbled up, the on-field pairing is intriguing, with the Bulldogs excellent defense against the potentially explosive Bronco offense. Boise State is looking to win its first November game against an AP Top 25 opponent in four tries.

Zach: I made some pretty bold changes this week. I think the Bulldogs are the best G5 team right now and UCF is going to drop one of their last three games. I think Utah State will slide into the Vegas Bowl.

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All those things, theyre factors, but its not really the focus, Harsin said. I hope were not different than we are week in and week out. Its not like one week we come in and say, Now were playing a ranked team, lets go really hard this week.

FatDuckUW: Back to six bowl games. UNLV and San Jose State are out with losing seasons. Meanwhile, Wyoming, Colorado State, Air Force, and New Mexico are all on the bubble with 6 losses.

Murrays MW rankings: Battle of the big dogs when Boise State hosts Fresno State

Sophomore offensive tackle Ezra Cleveland has been among Boise States most consistent performers, so drawing not one, but two 15-yard penalties Saturday against BYU was a surprise.

My pick (7-2 straight up, 3-6 ATS): The Bulldogs outscored the Broncos 42-34 on aggregate in back-to-back meetings last season — and Fresno State definitely comes into this game with more momentum. Im a little suspect of the Bulldogs because of the weak schedule, but the metrics say this defense is fantastic regardless. Thats a problem for Boise States inconsistent offense, which will need quarterback Brett Rypien to play one of the best games of his career. Rypien threw 61 passes against Fresno State last year without a touchdown. Defensively, the Broncos have been absolutely ravaged by injuries — and thatll be the difference on Friday night. Fresno State 27, Boise State 20

We definitely had some of those odd-for-us penalties, especially for Ezra, that took us out of drives, offensive coordinator Zak Hill said.

But the Broncos record since the start of 2016 is 28-8 — an outstanding mark at a time when many of college footballs most-storied programs have been unable to sustain their expected level of success (Florida, Florida State, Miami, Nebraska, USC and Texas for starters). Boise States non-conference and bowl matchups in that stretch include seven Power Five opponents, three games vs. BYU, two vs. Sun Belt power Troy, two against other Group of Five schools and none against FCS schools.

Clevelands first, an unsportsmanlike conduct, forced a second-and-21 from the Broncos own 14-yard line in the second quarter. On the next drive, a personal foul in the waning seconds before halftime moved Boise State from a first down at the BYU 28 to ending the half in the Broncos own territory.

Lose any one of those games, and the Broncos almost certainly will miss the championship game for the fourth time in six years of divisional play in the Mountain West. Thats just one of many reminders that the juggernaut of the WAC days that created the expectation of winning with style and ease has been succeeded by a program that must scratch and claw its way through the more challenging Mountain West.

Ive just got to do better, Cleveland said. Theres a fine line between after the whistle and before the whistle where you dont get the penalty.

And Saturday night, reporters were asked to rip the Broncos in print for their performance in the 21-16 win against BYU. Mistakes were made, of course — but wasnt the true story of that game an injury-riddled defense stopping BYU from scoring a touchdown on seven of its eight possessions inside the 30-yard line, including on the final snap of the game from the 2?

Harsin wasnt exactly a fan of the calls, saying on Monday, weve played like that all year long.

When the Boise State linebackers were watching game film from Saturdays win over BYU, they saw true freshman defensive tackle Scale Igiehon take down quarterback Zach Wilson for a sack on the third play of the game. The technique he used to roll Wilson to the ground is called gator, like the big reptile takes down its prey.

McMaryion was just another face in the crowd on an average Oregon State squad, but hes been key to the Fresno State turnaround since he arrived. Its easy to forget that the Bulldogs were 1-11 the year before he arrived (and Jeff Tedford, which also helped) and the dual-threat signal caller was able to lead them to an MWC title appearance in his first season. Hes been having another stellar year in the Valley—completing over 70% of his passes and owning a 20/3 TD/INT ratio. Think of that…hes thrown just 3 INTs since the infamous one he threw to Leighton Vander Esch to ice the 2017 MWC championship. Seems like years ago.

Igiehon, a 6-foot-2, 300-pound Texas native, made his first start against the Cougars, and he had five tackles. He teamed up with junior linebacker Tyson Maeva to stop Wilson at the Boise State 4-yard line on the games final play to seal the win.

Allison was my second favorite linebacker in the Mountain West last season (two guesses who the first was). Last year as a sophomore, the stout Floridian had 126 tackles en route to first-team All-MWC honors. This year, he was named to the Bednarik and Butkus Award watch lists and was a preseason all-conference honoree. This season, he already has 83 stops (aided by a 17(!) tackle game against Nevada) and 2 INTs and he didnt even play last week. Is it too much to hope he doesnt play this week? Probably. Season-ending injuries to top-tacklers is only a Boise State thing.

Hes extremely coachable. Its very rare with freshmen to have the ability to listen and learn like he has, Avalos said.

Johnson is easily McMaryions favorite target, with at least double the yards and catches of every receiver on the roster except this guy…who isnt really a wide receiver anyway. The 65 junior is second on the team in catches (38) and yards (477). For reference, John Hightower has 30 grabs on the year for 496 yards. They like this dude and we dont have many DBs that are really in his weight class.

Fresno State wide receivers coach Kirby Moore (2009-13) and offensive graduate assistant D.J. Harper (2007-12) played for Boise State, and junior receiver Derrion Grim was committed to the Broncos in 2015. … Hill was named one of 53 candidates Wednesday for the Broyles Award, given to the nations top assistant. … Fresno State is 0-9 on the Blue, though the Bulldogs won in Boise in 1984, the year before the turf was installed. … Boise State is 2-2 against ranked Fresno State teams.

Fresno State is in possession of the coveted chrome milk can by virtue of winning last seasons regular season matchup, but Im certain the Broncos were happy to trade it for some heavier hardware. If Fresno State wins on Friday, it will be the first time since the milk cans inception that Fresno has possessed it for more than a single year. Now I really want it back.

Records: BSU 7-2, 4-1 (won 21-16 vs. BYU on Saturday); Fresno State 8-1, 5-0 (won 48-3 at UNLV on Saturday)

No relation as far as I know. The senior wideout is going to test our DBs mettle all night as the 62 playmaker is easily the Bulldogs biggest weapon who doesnt have a superfluous y in his last name. With 858 yards and 6 TDs to his name, Johnson definitely will need some attention—perhaps even double attention.

Tickets: Office on the west side of Albertsons Stadium, visit or call 208-426-4737.

2. Hope UCF loses (or somehow makes the CFP): I hate to say it, but both Fresno and Utah State stand no chance of the NY6 bid if UCF finishes off their season without a blemish. UCF ends the year against Navy, Cincinnati, and USF. Navy and USF are most certainly wins, while Cincy can certainly give the Knights trouble. That UCF offense is too powerful, so either Cincy or whoever they face in the AAC Championship game has to deal with that in order to win. Either they lose or by some incredible miracle they make the Playoff, leaving the G5 NY6 bid open. Thats not going to happen, so yeah, hope for a loss!

The Boise State mens and womens cross country teams will be in Sacramento, California, this week for the NCAA West Regional at Haggin Oaks Golf Course.

1. Win out: Win the remaining games (SJSU, @Colorado State, @Boise, MWC Champ. Game vs presumably Fresno). Win these games, and win them convincingly. Now Im not saying USU has to dismantle Boise and Fresno by 60 apiece, because that just wont happen. They CAN do that, however, to SJSU and CSU. Do this, handle the big boys from Idaho and Cali, and just hope for one more thing to happen. That thing?

The top two teams in each region receive an automatic bid to the national championship, but there are also 13 at-large bids up for grabs.

Seriously though, that was painful to type. Utah States bowl history has not been very kind to them. That three year win streak makes things better though! As you can see, USU has not played in a bowl game nearly as prestigious as one of the NY6 contests. Making it there would be a magnificent achievement for the Aggies and Head Coach Matt Wells.

Both Boise State teams have already accumulated enough points in the latest KOLAS predictions to likely earn a berth to the national championship should they finish outside the top two at the regional meet. The ninth-ranked Boise State men have 11 points, while the No. 3 BSU women have 10.

Fresno State is not lacking for motivation headed to Boise State on Friday, having lost the Mountain West Championship game 17-14 the last time it played at Albertsons Stadium and looking to move up from No. 23 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

All in all, this race will comes down to whoever wins the Mountain West (Fresno or USU) and UCF. Maybe UAB too? If we want to see the Aggies on New Years, we have to hope for a stumble by UCF and a dominating finish to the season for the Aggies. Both are possible, its only a matter of time now.

And now comments made by Boise State coach Bryan Harsin after last years championship game are making the rounds. Some of the Bulldogs had not heard the sound bite from the end of Harsins postgame news conference until this week.

To recap: Our guys came to play tonight, Harsin said. It was a physical football game. We beat that team. We physically beat them when it was all said and done, and thats the bottom line. I have to give our guys credit for that because thats how it was. The execution part of it, well go back and well look at that and well figure out how were going to be better from it, but physically when it came down to it and it really mattered out guys got it done and they physically beat the other team.

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Fresno State offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer discusses the growth of the Bulldogs over the past year heading into a critical Mountain West Conference match up against Boise State at Albertsons Stadium on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

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