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BYU vs Boise State Q&A: Know the Foe before the Battle on the Blue Turf

Get to know Boise State from our friends at One Bronco Nation Under God

NCAA Football: Boise State at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

BYU is playing a road game this week which means at least Michael Shelton will be excited. On Saturday BYU faces off against Boise State and we were able to catch up with Russ Wood of One Bronco Nation Under God to get the details of this year’s Bronco squad.

1) There have been five games played between BYU and Boise State in the Gem State. The Broncos are undefeated in those matchups, with three of the games being decided by one point and two of the games being mercy killings (where BSU put up 50 and 55 points respectively). So are we going to see a one point game on Saturday? Or will the Broncos go for 70+?

As much as I wish it were an exciting, decided by one-point game, I haven’t seen a lot from BYU this season that would lead me to believe this is going to be one of those. That being said, I guess it all comes down to which of each team decides to show up. Every so often, the Broncos play a game where nothing goes right and we turn the ball over 8 times to Utah State, and every once in a while, the Cougars fake a punt from their own end zone. Oh, who am I kidding? I want a blowout just because I have to wind down before church the next day. Close games make me lose sleep (not that we’re getting much anyway, thankyouverymuchESPN).

2) Boise State heavily recruited both of the quarterbacks that have made starts for BYU this season in Tanner Mangum and Zach Wilson. How does it feel knowing that you lost out on two guys that have combined to average less than 200 yards passing per game?

Well, I just have to say they passed on us (and Mangum was even a BSU fan and Boise native)! I’m interested to see how Zach Wilson develops if he’s the guy BYU is going with. They’re both awesome athletes and great people (Boise looks for “Our Kinda Guys” or OKGs when recruiting), so who knows if they just haven’t had the right combination of teammates, play calls, or coaches to develop into their full potential. I can’t blame them for looking to other programs, where Boise State had Rypien solidly in place and a whole bunch of QB recruits at one time (which has thinned out since). I’ll be honest, I’ve even watched former BSU starting QB Ryan Finley at NC State and wondered, “What if…?”

Ultimately, Rypien is our guy, though. Love to watch him hit a streaking WR in stride!

3) The offensive numbers for the Broncos have been impressive so far this season, but they were inflated by playing against the Swiss cheese defenses of UConn and Colorado State. When this offense is rolling, who are the skill players leading the charge?

Holy cow, that’s like picking a favorite child (it’s Estella)! I’ve been super impressed with the players who have stepped up after Cedrick Wilson went to the NFL. Wide receivers Sean Modster, AJ Richardson, and John Hightower are a triple threat (with highlight reels), and speedster freshman Khalil Shakir sometimes runs the ball better than our starting running backs. Speaking of which, our run game has struggled all season, but I saw some promise with our last game, and I’m confident Alexander Mattison will end the season with over 1,000 yards.

4) When San Diego State took down the Broncos earlier this month, they did so with a stifling defense and a power running game. Are the Cougars better off attacking the Boise State defense through the air or on the ground?

Hey, good unintentional segue! In case your defensive coaches are reading this, I will let them know that the best way to stop BSUs offense is to have each defender play freeze tag and stop moving when they get touched. Now quick, go start implementing!!

…Are they gone?

Okay. I’m thinking the Broncos will try and establish the run first, because that normally opens up the passing game, but I’m only going off the series where I can recall paying attention to the play-calling. They normally have different offensive schemes based on the tape. Maybe they can take a page out of my defensive playbook whenever we play Air Force and just TACKLE EVERYBODY!

5) Are seagulls passing through Boise still accidentally killing themselves when they dive down to the blue turf thinking that it’s a lake?

Fake news.

It was geese.

6) How much longer until Bryan Harsin gets a decent P5 gig to show what he’s really made of? I feel like his name always gets tossed around but for some reason he’s never considered to be the top candidate. Maybe he just loves himself some Farr’s ice cream?

Honestly, I hope he retires as the old man of Boise State and gets a statue erected next to Lyle Smith’s.

Harsin is an Idaho product, and I know he loves Boise and its people. I’ve always admired coaches who commit to a program and become the name people associate with the team, and are not just looking for the next big payday. That being said, he is the highest paid state employee in Idaho, and you can buy an amazing home and live very comfortably in Idaho on a fraction of what he is making. It’s also a good place to raise children, crime rates are low, and nobody beats the French fries. Does this sound like a sales pitch? Well, I hope it does, because Harsin is an awesome coach! Call me!

7) One of the only good things to have happened for BYU in Boise was when punter Matt Payne laid waste to a couple of fools back in 2002. This isn’t actually a question, I just want you to watch and enjoy these highlights.

Daww, biscuits!

8) Can you say three nice things about BYU?

Well, I have a brother who went to BYU Hawai’i and Provo, and my wife earned an associate degree from BYU-I (back when it was Rick’s College: Good ol’ Rick.) Ask them?

Just kidding, I’ll give it the old “college try,” if you will:

  1. The Wasatch Mountains are beautiful. Provo Canyon and Bridal Veil Falls are breathtaking. Nice backdrop for a university!
  2. Studio C originated at BYU. (Link for the uninitiated.) Still the best family-friendly comedy on TV and the internet.
  3. You’re not Alabama.