This always makes me kind of puke when I think of it. How can I provide reasons that an opponent will win — when there is no way my mind can rationalize this. Whether it is the ducks or Alabama or Boise State or Eastern Washington, I cannot for the life of me bring myself to pick reasons the Beavers will lose.
Unfortunately, I took the plunge into the legitimate and objective world of sports blogging, and that requires a certain amount of professionalism. And apparently photos of food.
So here they are, my three reasons that Boise State will win the game tonight. May God have mercy on my soul.
1. The potent running game of BSU versus three young linebackers.
No matter how you slice it, OSU is short handed at the position that lines up between the defensive line and the secondary. With Alexander having surgery and Doctor completing his unscheduled redshirt year, OSU is going to have three players with less than one year of total starting experience in this game.
Boise State has a very potent running attack featuring Jay Ajayi and his 1300+ yards of rushing- and 17 touchdown- attack. That would be tough if he was the only threat, but with a mobile quarterback as well, OSU is going to have to pick its poison. While Mageo and Johnson have both played extensively this year, the whole front seven is going to have to keep both Ajayl and Hedrick in front of them. No small task for sure!
2. Boise State is rarely the nail.
In most games, there is a hammer and a nail. The hammer is the team that out hustles, out hits, and basically intimidates the other team. Against Stanford, OSU matched the Cardinal punch for punch, and had it not been for an unfortunate minute of football at the end and beginning of the first and second halves, would have won.
Then against Washington, the Beavers were kind of the nail.
Boise State is a tough team, filled with blue-collar players and coaches that want to make sure that Sunday morning is uncomfortable for their opponents. They will fight, scratch, and claw on the line all day, and will play from snap to just past the whistle. OSU has games like that and then, for some reason, doesn’t. (though I usually think it has more to do with knowing what to do than being less aggressive, but that is a story for another day.)
This balanced BSU team, with a top-35 rushing and passing offense and a stingy defense is going to play fast, aggressive, and will try to set the tone every play. Running routes over the middle, tipped balls, blocks and pass rush will all be places that Boise players will try and leave their mark, both mentally and physically.
Boise State is going to come out fighting and OSU needs to match that. If not, it could be a rough game for the Beavers.
3. Nothing to lose
That is the scariest. While everyone deals with it differently, I have known Bob Gregory long enough to know that he wants to leave on a winning note, and that he is going to expect nothing less from his players. There is so much turmoil for the Broncos right now, that for many of them, this is a chance to strap it up, play the game they love, and forget about their issues for a couple hours. Boise State is looking to make a statement and to show the world that they deserve respect. With the playoffs coming and the chances for mid-tier teams to make it in potentially dwindling, BSU needs to take advantage of every opportunity.
These BSU players are going to come in tired of the talk and media attention and coach issues and just be ready to take it out on the Beavers. That is always scary.