Will BYU break the Boise St. curse?

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Boise St. has yet to lose to BYU or Utah since becoming a D-1 team in 1996. No team from the state of Utah has beaten Boise St. since 1998. The Broncos are 3-0 against the Cougs and 4-0 against the Utes, it seems like an unbreakable curse.

How is it that a team can dominate every single team in an entire state? Boise St. has done just that. It's not like BYU, Utah, or Utah St. are bad teams. Whether it's Dan Hawkins at the helm, or Chris Petersen, it hasn't seemed to matter, Utah teams seem to cave under the Bronco's trampling hooves. Here are the three times BYU has played Boise St.:

Game 1 vs. Boise St., 2003, Provo, UT

The lone game that BYU has played the Broncos in LES was in the Crowton era in 2003, when BYU lost 50-12. Now, I don't think anyone expected BYU to beat Boise St. in the Crowton era, but nevertheless and notwithstanding, they drubbed BYU. BYU ended up with a 4-8 record that season. Boise St. finished 13-1 that season. Dan Hawkins was their head coach.

Game 2 vs. Boise St., 2004, Boise, ID

Many of you might remember the Matt Payne "House of Pain" he put on the kick and punt returners of Boise St. on the blue turf in 2004. Todd Watkins had 9 catches for 211 yards and a score, Austin Collie had 5 catches for 95 yards and a score as a freshman. BYU lost 28-27 when Matt Payne missed a 37 yard field goal that would've won the game. BYU finished 5-6 that season, that win would've made BYU bowl eligible at season's end and possibly landed them in a bowl game. Boise St. finished 11-1 that season.

Game 3 vs. Boise St., 2012, Boise, ID

Fast forward 8 years and into the new era of Bronco Mendenhall in his 8th year as head coach of BYU. Even with Bronco at the helm, BYU suffered the same defeat. A loss to Boise St. by 1 point. This game was by far one of BYU's most impressive defensive performances of the season. The famous goal line stand, the fake punt stuffed by Ziggy, shutting Boise State's offense out on their home field was very impressive. The only TD's scored in the game were a pick 6 that Riley Nelson threw, and a late TD drive by then backup QB Taysom Hill. Bronco decided to go for two instead of kick the PAT, which probably would've resulted in OT, but instead Hill's pass was batted down on an athletic defensive play and Boise St. held on to win 7-6. Talk about a fun game to watch for offensive enthusiasts. BYU finished 8-5 last season. Boise St. finished 11-2 last season.

Facts and stats:

-BYU's total record the three seasons they played Boise St.: 17-19. Avg. W-L record for those three seasons: 6-6

-Boise St's total record the three seasons they played BYU: 35-4. Avg. W-L record for those three seasons: 12-1

-BYU's W-L record since 2003 (the 1st season they played Boise St.)- 88-45 (.661 win pct.)

-Boise St's W-L record since 2003 (the 1st season they played BYU)- 122-16 (.884 win pct.)

Boise St. has had the better program the last decade, but Bronco has turned BYU around into a competitive team. BYU and Boise St. both come into Friday's game with 5-2 records.

-Boise State's two losses: @Washington 38-6, @Fresno St. 41-40.

-BYU's two losses: @Virginia 19-16, Utah 20-13.

-Boise St's five wins: UT Martin 63-14, Air Force 42-20, Southern Miss 60-7, @Utah St. 34-23, Nevada 34-17.

-BYU's five wins: Texas 40-21, Middle Tennessee 37-10, @Utah St. 31-14, Georgia Tech 38-20, @Houston 47-46.

BYU wins are much more impressive considering the quality of teams BYU has beaten. Boise State's most impressive win is against Utah St. (currently 4-4) who was without their star QB Chuckie Keeton, thanks to BYU's D.

-BYU has faced 5 BCS conference opponents this season, is 3-2 in such games. BYU's opponents combined record is 26-22. (.541 win pct.) 5 of the 7 FBS teams they've played are on track to be bowl eligible.

-Boise St has faced 1 BCS conference opponent this season and is 0-1 in such games. Boise State's opponents combined record is 22-26 (.458 win pct.) 3 of the 6 FBS teams they've played are on track to be bowl eligible.

3 things to watch for:

1. Boise St's starting QB went down with a broken ankle last week against Nevada, so their backup Grant Hedrik is up, who threw 18/21 for 150 yards and ran 8 times for 115 yards and 2 TD's against the Wolf pack. BYU struggled against the passing game last weekend and could again this one.

2. As BYU's passing goes, so does BYU go. Hill amassed 517 total yards last week, the only QB in BYU history to throw for over 400 and run for over 100 yards in the same game. Will the offensive production continue? BYU averaged 23 points the first three games against opponents with the combined record of 10-10. The last four games BYU has averaged 38 points against opponents with a combined record of 16-12.

3. Will BYU break the Boise State curse and become the only team in the state of Utah since Utah St. in '96 and '97 to beat the D-1 version of Boise St. in football?

We shall see.

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