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Game Preview: Oklahoma State @ Boise State

The Cowboys travel to Boise State for the first time in school history.

NCAA Football: Boise State at Central Florida Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State is fresh off a five point win over Tulsa at home. That same Tulsa team managed to lose its opening game to FCS UC Davis. This comes after a concerning season opening seven point win over FCS Missouri State for OSU. Now the Cowboys take on their first formidable opponent, and do so on the road as Oklahoma State will debut America’s Brightest Orange on the blue turf in Boise, Idaho. As Matt said last week, it really can get worse! Here’s what to watch for from Boise on Saturday night.

Game Info:

When: Saturday, September 18 at 8 p.m. CST

Where: Albertsons Stadium; Boise, Idaho

Watch: Fox Sports 1

Listen: Cowboy Radio Network

Spread: Oklahoma State (+ 3.5). Oklahoma State is 3.5 point underdogs to Boise State.

Betting Trends: (OSU): 2-7 against the spread in last nine games.

(OSU) won only matchup in series history 44-21 in Stillwater in 2018.

(BSU) 9-1 in its last 10 home games.

Get to know the Boise State Broncos:

First year head coach Andy Avalos dropped his first game as head coach of the Broncos in a 36-31 road loss at Central Florida. Boise State bounced back last week with a 54-13 win over UTEP. Avalos replaced Bryan Harsin, who left to be the head coach at Auburn. Avalos played linebacker for Boise State from 2000-04 and returned to BSU as a coach in 2012. He was named defensive coordinator in 2016 before leaving for the same position at Oregon in 2019. Through two games junior quarterback Hank Bachmeier has completed 42 of his 63 passes for 603 yards and four scores to just one interception. Khalil Shakir has been the top receiver with 12 receptions for 257 yards and two scores.

Keller, Texas, native Stefan Cobbs has been the other receiver Bachmeier likes to target with five receptions for 124 yards and a touchdown. I had to give a shoutout to my hometown! The ground game has been less impressive for Boise State as the Broncos are averaging 4.1 yards-per-carry on 88 attempts. Cyrus Habibi- Likio and Andrew Van Buren lead the team in attempts with 15 each. Habibi- Likio has gained 34 yards and Van Buren has gained 29 yards. Tyler Crowe leads the team in yards with 45 on seven carries.

Much like Oklahoma State, Boise State could be performing better on the ground, yet has more rushing attempts than passing attempts. OSU has 71 rushing attempts to 66 passing attempts and is averaging just 2.7 yards-per-carry.

Who to Follow on Twitter:

Cowboys Ride For Free (@CowboysRFF)

Micah Allen (@micahallen18)

Ryan Harris (@ryan_harris10)

Matt Harris (@Matt_Harris13)

Phillip Slavin (OKTXARPoke)

Robert Whetsell (RobertW_OkSt)

Ian Nikkel (@IanNikkel)

Jacob Ingalls (@jacobingalls)

Boise State Follows:

Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB)

BSU SB Nation (@OBNUG)

Final Prediction:

It’s still early in the season but the offensive play calling and playbook is already back to square one for Oklahoma State. Boise State’s one loss is a higher quality loss than either of Oklahoma State’s win. Both teams have struggled to run the ball, however, both teams have been committed to doing so regardless. I would expect to see each team pass the ball more often than trying to run, yet, that hasn’t happened so far for either team this season.

Oklahoma State’s ground attack will hopefully improve, though that’s dependent upon the offensive line’s ability to improve. Hank Bachmeier has two reliable receivers to get the ball to. Oklahoma State’s defense will once again have to keep its offense in the game. Boise State is also not an easy place to play. The Broncos led the nation in the 2018-19 season in false starts by opposing teams at Albertsons Stadium, and Boise State drew UTEP offsides three times last week in the home opener.

Oklahoma State’s defense will come up with several big plays to keep Boise State from scoring as many points as it could. That being said, I don’t think the Oklahoma State offense makes quite enough big plays to win the game. I will take Boise State and the 3.5 point spread, barely.

I think the Cowboys could absolutely prove me wrong, but it would take a massive improvement from last week in order to do so. OSU needs to improve on ball security after fumbling three times against Tulsa. Especially against a Boise State team that has five interceptions and four forced fumbles through two games this season. The play calling needs to improve after OSU ran about the most vanilla offense imaginable last week.

The offensive line needs to improve as a unit. There’s enough room for improvement for Oklahoma State to win this game by a score or two. The question is how much OSU has actually improved over the course of the last week. Final score prediction:

Boise State- 24 Oklahoma State- 20