Fresno State Bulldogs
(6-3, 4-4-1 ATS)
Boise State Broncos
(9-0, 7-2 ATS)
For the second time in a matter of three straight Fridays in which they will be shown live to a national television audience, the Boise State Broncos will be making their grand appearance, as they look to make headway in the BCS Championship race against the Fresno State Bulldogs.
Fresno State nearly made itself a Top 25 team last week, as it would have surely been ranked if not for the narrow loss to the Nevada Wolf Pack which really took away any chance of winning the WAC crown. The Bulldogs are never strangers to going to weird locations to do battle, as they have already done this season at the Ole Miss Rebels. The combination of QB Ryan Colburn and RB Robbie Rouse will have to play well for the Dogs to have any chance of pulling off the colossal upset, and neither one has had much of a problem with that on the campaign. Colburn has thrown for 1,930 yards and 18 TDs this year, and he has only been picked off seven times. Rouse has been absolutely brilliant at times, and his body of work makes him one of a slew of rushers that is just short of the 1,000 yard barrier on the season. Rouse rushed for 217 yards last week against the Wolf Pack, and that came on the heels of a 286 yard showing against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. All told, the Fresno back has four straight games with at least 115 yards on the ground.
The message from Boise State rang loud and clear last week when it crippled the Idaho Vandals in the Kibbie Dome: We want to win the National Championship, and we want it right now. There’s no one that will be attending the Smurf Turf on Friday night that doesn’t already know that the Broncos need to win out and get either the Auburn Tigers or Oregon Ducks to lose a game, but they want to make sure that it only takes one loss, not two of them, to see that happen. Boise State cut the lead that the TCU Horned Frogs held on it in half last week with all of the close calls that went on, and the loss by the Utah Utes was particularly damning to the men in black and purple. Boise certainly hasn’t faltered this year, as it has scored at least 42 points in all of its games aside from the ones against the Virginia Tech Hokies and Oregon State Beavers and has held its other foes to an average of just 8.7 points per game, including two shutouts. There aren’t many teams that can say that they rank No. 4 in the country in total offense and No. 3 in total defense. This is also another chance for QB Kellen Moore to prove that he is the real deal and is a Heisman Trophy contender. Moore has thrown for 2,588 yards and 24 TDs against four picks in nine games so far this year.
If we learned nothing else from the 42-7 win two weeks ago at home for the Broncos over the Hawaii Warriors, it’s that no one is coming onto the blue carpet and walking away with anything less than a sound defeat. Do you really believe that Fresno State is at least five points better than Hawaii is? We sure don’t. It’s a heck of a lot of lumber, but there’s a reason that the Broncos are favored by this many points. It might be close for a little while, but a team that cannot take its foot off the gas pedal has no choice but to win this one by at least five scores.
College Football Free Pick: Boise State Broncos -30.5