The Boise State Broncos started off their season with a 45-10 victory over the University of Louisiana Lafayette Rajun’ Cajuns. Sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien has been absolutely dynamite since he took over the starting job in 2015, and he’s going to play a major part in the Broncos success going forward.
In their first game of the season, the Broncos were in complete control on both sides of the ball. They averaged 8 yards per play and were practically unstoppable through the air — three different quarterbacks averaged 12.2 yards per completion — while holding onto the football. And that’s what Boise State did best last season, throw the ball all over the field without making too many mistakes.
Another interesting element about BSU’s passing attack is that the coaching staff is willing to use so many different players to pass the ball during the course of a season. In their game against the Cajuns, three different players had at least one pass attempt (the QB, a RB, and a WR); totaling 426 yards through the air, with one touchdown pass. During the 2015 season, three had at least 15 and five threw the pig skin at least once.
Rypien is the starter, and it’s unlikely that WSU will see any of the other quarterbacks, and will get a chance to go up against a secondary that allowed 496 yards to a sophomore quarterback in his first start for a FCS program. It’s going to be imperative for the Cougars to put pressure on the sophomore from Spokane and force him into an uncharacteristic mistakes…if they’re going to keep the Broncos from scoring at will.
Washington State gets Shalom Luani back at safety, which should cover up some of the glaring holes in the that were left in the secondary once freshmen Robert Taylor was ejected for targeting — the secondary was struggling before Taylor’s ejection, but the holes became hard to miss without him. But that won’t help the defense get pressure on Rypien, that’s primarily on the front seven and it struggled.
The WSU front seven is also going to contain junior running back Jeremy McNichols. Mcnichols was a key cog in the Boise State offense in 2015 as he rushed for 1,337 yards on 240 carries last season (averaging 5.6 yards per carry). While he only carried the ball nine times in the win over ULL (while averaging 5.3 yards per carry), he was still a major threat in the open field — he also caught three passes for 98 yards last week.
Since Boise State has such a high powered offense — and the Washington State defense was shredded by EWU — the offense is not only going to have to keep up with Boise State, it’s going to have to score in all four quarters if the Cougars are going to pick up their first win of the season.
Washington State junior Luke Falk had a very Luke Falk like game in the loss to Eastern Washington. He completed 41 of 51 passes for 418 yards while tossing four touchdowns and one pick; as the Cougars put up 42 points on the score bored. But it wasn’t enough for the Cougars to walk away with the win, and that’s mostly because the offense was unable to score in the third quarter.
The offense can’t afford to put up any zeros on Saturday if the Cougars are going to walk with the win; its going to have to score every quarter.
Washington State 45
Boise State 52
The Boise State offense will be too much for the Cougars to handle, and Rypien will lead a game winning drive at the end of the fourth quarter.